Homeless Survival Tip: Your Forever Burdens

As I am thinking about my impending return to the streets, (tonight), I think about all the things I need to survive.   And then it dawns on me.   I don’t need anything to become homeless.   I will become homeless whether or not I have anything.  And that is important to understand.

Many people will start to freak out when becoming homeless because they have no idea what to do, no idea of what to expect, no idea of how to prepare. Well, to help put the potential homeless person a little at ease, let me assure you that the less you prepare for homelessness the better off you will be.

To be “successful” at homelessness is to be an extreme minimalist. This is because everything you own when homeless becomes your “forever burden.”  You will always have to carry your lug your stuff around with you, wherever you go, and the more you have to carry, the more difficult your days become.  For instance, you may want to use the internet at your local library for a job search.  Well, most libraries will not let people in who carry more than a medium sized backpack. Stores are becoming the same way, restaurants too.  So, if you need to go in anyway, you’ll be forced to leave your stuff outside while you go in, making your stuff very susceptible to theft.   Or you may try to leave your thinks in the care of another person.  Well, it’s a sad thing to say, but most homeless people are not dependable for such responsibility.  They may walk off with your stuff, not to steal it but just so they can go do something they were planning on.  Then you come back outside and your stuff and your friend are gone.  Then you have to spend time trying to track down your stuff.  A lot of street friendships are ruined this way.

When going homeless the first things people think of getting are usually larger items, like tents and sleeping bags.  Are you really prepared to drag that stuff around with you all day, every day?

IF you are able to secure a place for storage, then good on ya.  Just know that you will now be responsible for maintaining the rent payments on your storage facility.   Miss a payment or two and you can kiss your stuff goodbye.

I actually have a small locker at the YMCA so I can at least keep my more valuable things safe, along with several changes of clothing.

As you experience your own unique homelessness, you begin to discover what things you really cannot live without, then get those things, and get them in the smallest, lightest, least expensive versions you can.    Good Luck!


About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless

One comment

  1. Anonymous

    Kevin; is there any way you can be become employed again, get off SSI & off the streets? It would be great if you could do that.


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