10 Things I Learned From Being Homeless

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is a very difficult story to tell, but I feel compelled to share and bring awareness to a problem that is growing.

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10 things I learned from being homeless

Sharing a tent in the woods with three teenage boys and six special needs cats. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn’t it? That was my reality Summer 2016.

One day I am attending HOA meetings, balancing three teens’ sports and activities, and speed racing through grocery aisles while Googling “Quick easy dinners” and trying to avoid clicking on that viral kitten video. The next moment we are living in the dirt, starting fires to prepare meals, and hauling water. And wishing we had a viral kitten video to click on. Our world and sanity was ripped apart when we found ourselves suddenly thrown onto the street without notice, finances or a vehicle.

Here are 10 hacks to ensure you are prepared for your journey into the world of the Dwelling Challenged.

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10. Activate Stealth Ninja Mode.

Constantly scan your surroundings for places to sleep, everywhere you go. Consider its safety and if it’s hidden enough yet allows for easy access. Imagine your boys coming and going, and weigh the possibilities of avoidance of such threats as human and animal predators, the elements, door to door salesmen…

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9 You are on your own.

Unless you have children in diapers, (who are an appropriate age for diapers), or you’re a single fella who doesn’t mind the indignities you’re forced to endure to acquire the coveted shelter reservation each night, there just isn’t any room in the inn. The majority of shelters have a rule against housing boys aged 12 to 18, citing “the bad things that happen to boys that age in shelters”. After weeks of calling each shelter daily to inquire about open availability, you will eventually hit the lottery and be put on a waiting list. So what if it’s 18 months long, that’s shorter than the reservation list for that trendy new downtown restaurant! Seattle’s world famous Tent Cities have a waiting list of only 4 to 6 months if you don’t mind your fellow homeless tenters as your law enforcement, judge and jury. Sure, there are resources out there. To save money on laundry you can choose one outfit twice a week from a clothing closet that distributes Goodwill’s rejected duds. Dine at rotating soup kitchens a couple nights a week. On other nights you can dine al fresco on cans of dented creamed corn you’ve acquired from the food pantries. (Typically, rules are one food bank visit per household per week.) If you are lucky, you might be given a brand new shiny tent from a generous organization. If you are super fortunate to have a vehicle, you can be granted gas vouchers to ensure you can gather the most out of your weekly food bank excursions, and save three hours a day transit time.

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8 How to budget time.

You might be able to make money, but you can’t make time. When you are homeless everything takes longer. The public shakes their collective head, mumbling “Oh, why doesn’t he just go get a job?” Picture this: You awaken naturally with the rise of the sun, walk to your water source, haul a few gallons back to camp, build and start a fire, then prepare and cook breakfast for your family. After eating, you brush your teeth and douse the fire. Then tote your dirty plates and utensils back to the water source and clean them, then bathe yourself. While you’re at it wash your families clothing articles to save time. You dry yourself, dress in clean clothes, and do what you can with your hair with your little fist sized mirror and no styling products. Then haul your clean kitchenware, bathing supplies and laundry soap, refilled water jugs, and freshly laundered clothing back to camp. Put everything away, hang clothes to dry on nearby trees (or in your tent if you are lucky) and gather your resume (carefully inspecting your hands for filth before touching it), job section from the newspaper, etc, and maneuver to the nearest road to get a ride to town. By this point, you are dusty if its nice weather, muddy if its rainy. Now, if you are a guy, hitchhiking is presumably a bit less scary, but it is stressful if not downright terrifying if you are a female.

Okay, you’ve made it to a company that’s hiring. It’s now lunchtime, and you are in desperate need of a shower as you are starting to smell a bit funky from the stress sweat that even the clinical deodorant can’t mask. Fill out an application and get an appointment for an interview if the Gods are smiling upon you. In that case, find your way back to camp and do it all over again on the day of your interview, with the added stress of not knowing if someone will stop for your outstretched thumb. Then hope you can make it to work each day and your family will be safe while unsupervised in the forest. Try not to wonder how you will juggle trying to get to and from work each day with finding and preparing meals, and keep them sane, healthy, and safe from predators- both two and four legged.

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7 Cabin Fever.

Entertainment while trapped in insanity. Some turn to drugs. Others to alcohol. But the Dwelling Challenged have to have something to occupy the mind or entertain. It’s easy to lose a couple hours bingeing on Netflix, or get lost scrolling steemit, but what do you do when there is no wifi and after unpacking your backpacks you just can’t find that deck of cards you are sure you brought? What do you do when your children, who left behind hundreds of hours of gaming platforms, look to you for a reason to stop the bickering? This is one of the hardest parts about being homeless. Coming up with activities to quell the injustices of the day. We were fortunate to have a solar device charger so the kiddos were able to play a few game apps and listen to the music on their phones. But that doesn't last as long as you hope. Find easy and free hobbies to master. Learn to whittle wood, you never know when you may need the skill!!

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6 Who your friends are.

I am going to be realistic here- no-one has room. Not for someone with the homeless stigma cloud looming over them like Pigpens fog of filth. Some friends, who truly love you, will simply stop talking with you. It’s not that they are unsupportive, although it will certainly feel like it. It is because they truly do not know what to say or do. They wish they could help but lack the resources or ideas. You must ask. They want to help. People want to help you! Be specific.

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5 Being Dwelling Challenged is the best workout.

Seriously, if you want to lose a ton of fat and gain mad muscle, give up your apartment and all but a backpack full of your most important (and necessary for living on the street) belongings, and haul that bad boy all over the county all day, every day. Guaranteed you will lose dozens of pounds and be ripped in a month!

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4 Learn from the best.

There are classes of homelessness. You have your Jocks, who live for and in the outdoors in search of the next mountain to summit and slope to ski, not bothering to waste money on trivials such as rent. There are the Preppy homeless, who were able to foresee their financial demise on the horizon so sold their home and purchased new RVs. They possess fun electronics, satellite cable, thousand-dollar gas grills, and blow-dryers. If you can befriend one of these, go for it! You will eat well at their cookouts, and there’s always beer. But they look down on the rest so be sure your attention capitol is immense. Then there's the Slackers, typically street kids who ran away from home years ago and dabble in chemical opulence. You can spot them by their super large backpacks and sunburned thumbs. They accept the fact they are not rejoining society so they’ve learned to make the best of it. Of course there’s a fair share of hippies, perpetually happy living in their natural environment among the trees and flowers. And cloyingly sickening considering your situation- you WISH you could be so happy! But the best to learn from are the perpetually homeless young families. They like to refer to themselves as “Gypsies”, have a number of small children and travel about the country consuming resources until they wear out their welcome. They are in possession of a plethora of valuable knowledge. Befriend them, they will enlighten you to a variety of hacks accumulated from their years of manipulating the system. Learn from them, watch them. But never trust them. Their knife will surely find your back the moment they see something in you they covet.

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3 You are wrong.

Everything you thought you knew about the homeless is terribly wrong. Yes, there are many people on the street who are mentally ill, and there are a fair share who arrived there due to poor choices. But there is a small subset of the unhoused population that was simply one paycheck away from a life on the street. Stacy was shift manager of a pizza joint. One morning she arrived to work to find signs across the doors that the building closed. The employees standing around, wondering what was going on, their phone calls to the owners going straight to voicemail. After the local news crew arrived, interviewed and investigated, there were more questions than answers. The unemployment checks were not enough to cover rent, and neither Stacy nor her roommate who also worked at the restaurant could find a job in the tight market fast enough to avoid eviction. Stacy was young, naive and easy on the eyes, so a series of unfortunate events revolving predators shattered her already shaky safety net. She chose to sleep in stealth in the woods while saving for a deposit on her own apartment doing odd jobs over exchanging her body for a place to call home. Homelessnessism is a little like racism, and felt by it’s victims just as profoundly.

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2 Comfortably numb.

In the beginning, you will shed many tears each time you have to tell or even think about your story. You will fall, and you will fall hard. You must learn to never panic. Panic kills. Keep your head, as best you can, and keep moving forward and upward. Homelessness is the most difficult challenge to overcome in life. I was the victim of an attempted murder and kidnapping years ago. I escaped with 19 broken bones. That experience was much easier to survive than this- at least I could see the way out.

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1 Once you pop- you can’t stop.

The moment anyone finds out you were homeless, you are granted a dark shroud. Even after the fact. I worked extremely hard to pull my family out. There was no help. Sure, we were the recipients of a few helpful items like sleeping bags (all we were able to escape with were our comforters) cookware, and once a bundle of pre cut wood. But what we needed had already been consumed by the thousands who came before us. We are still cleaning up the mess we were forced to endure, and we learned the hard way to stop telling people we meet our story. I worked hard, it wasn’t even an option not to, but I had to do it alone. Many must give up because there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and day to day survival takes up all time and effort.

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There is an obscene amount of homeless people in America. That little patch of green behind the grocery store? There’s probably a young family living in stealth, desperately trying to keep their kids quiet and hidden. There are 800 families with registered schoolchildren in my county alone which boasts a population of only 269,000.

References: NT Public Schools Homeless Advocate

Please Resteem! More people need to be aware of the harsh realities faced by so many.

Please Upvote, Resteem and Follow!

I appreciate your support :)

For the second in the series, please click here https://steemit.com/homeless/@arbitrarykitten/10-more-things-i-learned-from-being-homeless

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Im sorry you lost me at the parody part.

My mother was homeless at eight y.o. when her parents gave her away to be used as a babysitter and house cleaner. Obviously school was no longer an option. Who knows what else she experienced.

I my self was homeless at 15 y.o. When I left an abusive home to live on my own until I was old enough to join the military.

I'm glad you are trying to inform others that have never experienced homelessness but to be honest I also cant help and think of the fact that you are making money from others misery.

Just a suggestion why dont you decline payment or donate it and update us.

P.S. I'm going to upvote my own post to get it up to the top.

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This was my misery, actually. Mine and my boys. We lived it, unfortunately.

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Im sorry your family went through that and I apologize if I misunderstood your intentions. I'm just a little sensitive from being homeless as a teenager and then as a single parent with 2 young girls.

Now that I know your back story that further enriches your piece and allows me to look at it from a different perspective. I enjoyed your writing.

Im looking forward to future post from you.
🙂

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You must remove the parody tag. When I saw it I thought your story was just out of your imagination.

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I was thinking that...

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Just a suggestion why dont you decline payment or donate it and update us.

I completely agree!

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I am now an advocate and Public Speaker, trying to bring awareness to all my children and I were forced to endure. It may have been easier for me to write this in a comedic way, but everything here is truth. And so many suffer from homelessness every day, so many that shouldn't be there. Proceeds will go to a family in need. Wonderful thought

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I just wrote a post in the German Steemit community (with decline payouts), in which I ask the people to spread and support your post. I borrowed the first picture of your article.

I hope this is in your interest.
https://steemit.com/spenden/@mbit/leseempfehlung

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That is so wonderful, and appreciated immensely. Thank you so much <3

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Thank you for sharing your story. I have been homeless for a short period of time several years ago. Three people very very dear to me are homeless right now. It can happen to anybody.

When I was in my early 20's I ended up sleeping in a tent for a couple months due to a series of bad decisions and unfortunate events . That wasn't the end of the world and I made it out just fine. Gave me some time to deveolp thankfulness and stack some cash (which wasn't easy sliding by on minimum wage day labor) ,but yes everything is much harder without permanent residence and friends to help.

It has to be far more difficult for someone with children or one who is mentally Ill.

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So true- minimum wage barely allows for one person to live, much less a family...

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I don't believe in Minimum wage tho..Paying fast food workers 10 bucks an hour here, in AZ, is making it nearly un affordable to eat out at all anymore! Don't you realize that only leads to inflation? Those in Control, only raise the prices of ALL goods needed to survive, and tho you make more per hour, it takes MORE to survive! They KEEP Us broke, so we are Obedient Wage Slaves, and they are just waiting to replace everyone with Robots! I was Homeless before too, Thank God I found my way out, but it took awhile for sure..Most Everyone is one or two paychecks away from it..Living on the Edge..

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I totally agree. Noone can survive on their own making minimum wage. It's nearly impossible. Note how I didn't even say live, I said survive

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Homelessness in Arizona, Is a HUGE Problem! Go to YouTube, and type in "Life on the Street", and watch that...the Kids from ASU made the film, and there's a great one from 60 Minutes about Children living in Poverty, (which Skyrocketed Under Obama!) St. mary's Food Bank in PHX, is the Largest in the State, and they even take food clear up to the Navajo reservation way up by the Grand canyon, and that is NOT close to PHX! The small town where I work, Casa Grande,was chosen Most Charitable in the State, yet there is NO shelter anywhere for the Homeless? I have even read in various places, that The Gov't is Disappearing Homeless people from some places!! Rumors they are being taken to FEMA camps abound! This is entirely possible,IMO, as these People are the Most Vunerable in Our Society, yet they are almost Invisible at the same time, no one notices they are missing? You have to write more..:)

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A man recently made headlines here. He is earning his degree at University of Washington. Has a part time job. Has been living in his car in the parking lot for three years. He can't afford to live on or off campus.

He eats in the dorms, showers in the gym. And is thankful every day because he knows it could be much worse.

I will check out the videos, thanks for the share.

I have two sister articles to this in the pipeline already :)

Thanks for reading! I look forward to learning and talking with you more, and growing together in this awesome community!

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Being homeless can make you smart, many don't know this another thing it teaches you is to value what you have.. nice post.

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It definitely made me aware of strength I didn't know I had...

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I was reading it yesterday, and I got to almost the end, and it froze for some reason, I couldnt get back til today..But it was on my mind all day, I remembered all my struggles, and the hopelessness I felt..was compelled to finish the story..Hope you like one of mine..

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I left a comment on your intro ;)

And followed you

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meep

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bunga

I remember being stranded in a town one night with a friend with no money and just trying to find a place to sleep for the night. It was a lot lot tougher than I thought and never want that experience again. Thanks for sharing your story!

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It certainly leaves a permanent mark. I am literally terrified of it happening again. I probably have some sort of PTSD from that alone!

This post received a 15% upvote from @randowhale thanks to @firepower! For more information, click here!

Wow. What a post. I can identify with so much of this. And you have a knack for humor and getting a serious point across at the same time. I was homeless before too. And "once you pop, you can't stop" rings so true to me.

I'm happy that you and your family were able to find a way out. So many, unfortunately, do not.

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Thank you Shawn. I am thankful you made it out as well. The system sure does not make it easy to do so.

A fascinating account. Thanks for sharing 🦋

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Thank you for reading. Be blessed :)

the system again fails us.....people in this day an age shouldn't be homeless, no one should be, but unfortunatley the goverments that try to control us make this impossible and we find there is so many young and old sleeping ruff
You are a credit to the world and a very strong person, more people like you would make this place a better place to live in...well done keep strong

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Thank you so much for your encouraging words :)

Thank you for sharing your story. I will admit that, while my mother did struggle raising my sister and I alone, I never had the misfortune of becoming homeless. Growing up, it took my a while to understand why all my friends could have the coolest toys and wear the latest trends in fashion, But I myself was limited to what my sister couldn't fit anymore and looked forward to my mother sneaking us the newest kids meal toys from her fast food job.

She raised us well, though, and we understood and respected the struggle she went through to keep a roof over our heads. I may not have experienced the worse, but I like to think gained a higher level of respect for those who have. I may not have a lot now, but I try to help how I can. The homeless rate is not high where I live, but giving someone else five bucks, a meal, or some extra clothes when they need it isn't going to set me back.

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I have a story like yours ( maybe not) butt my mom struggled to keep food and the fridge and the lights on. We have came close to having our lights shut off. Rent ate up most of my mom's check. We were blessed we didn't end up in the streets. Plus my mom was sick and missed a lot of work which also interfered.

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Very similar. My mother had to choose between the lights and the hot water. I remember she would boil large pots of water to put in the tub and then add cold water so that we could still have a warm bath. And yes we were blessed as well and I am blessed to have her now. She wasn't sick then, but now she has MS. So we are both on disability and we take care of the house and my two little ones together. I try to do most of the work so that she doesnt have to, but she is always willing to watch the kids when I need a break away.

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My mom was on disability from her job but she was fired because the doctor wouldn't sign off on her papers.

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It must be difficult for a child. I know how I feel not being able to provide cool toys, I cannot imagine how the kids feel. I realize they will understand later in life, but for the time being it's rough.

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It really can be tough. I chose early on no to enforce the belief in Santa and the Tooth fairy. It took on time for my son to question why he wasn't good enough and why Santa didn't bring what he asked for. At the time I was heart broken and didn't know how to explain that Santa is on a tight budget and the Tooth fairy gets paid monthly so she sometimes leaves I.O.Us. It worked out good for our family and both my kids are more understand when it comes to holidays. I make sure they do not ruin it for other kids though. The sad part now is that my daughter is constantly trying to give back her allowance to help with groceries or school clothes. She has a good heart.

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Awe, your daughter sounds like a doll. With her attitude and foundation I am confident she will do something wonderful in life :)

Congratulations @arbitrarykitten!
Your post was mentioned in my hit parade in the following categories:

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Oh, wow. I don't even know what to say.

I'm surprised and honored! Thank you!

Wow, what an incredible story. I don't see a shroud of darkness, I see a bold beaming light. The fact that you were able to pull yourself out is a testament to the strength of character. What an eye opening post. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to resteem!

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Awe, thank you, this means a lot.

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You have inspired me to do something to help the homeless in my area. I just wanted to let you know!!!

https://steemit.com/steemit/@walkingkeys/steemit-i-could-use-some-help-feeding-the-homeless

A homeless has been living at the elevator engine cell on the top floor for over five years. He disappears in warm season time appearing again when it’s chilly and cold outside. All my neighbors do not know how to help. He doesn’t want to work doing something in gypsy way to get some booze… there must be a way out… I am not creative enough to think of it…

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That can be tough. But to be completely honest there are some homeless who have adapted into it so deeply they do not WANT out. Or rather, that is simply their reality and they know of no other way, if that makes sense. Kindof like when a person has been in prison for so long they become institutionalized?

But there may be a way. The fact that there are many of you collectively bringing thought energy into this... Perhaps there is something that can be done...

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Recidivist leaving prison is about to commit a crime to get back into cell where he sees him as a personality … or because of we are weaved of folks and things around us what outlines one’s social image where we got stuck …

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Ah, that is the question. Perhaps it is a bit of both...

Thanks for sharing this with us!

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Thank you for reading :)

I was homeless for 3 month back in 2009 during the sub-prime mortgage bust. It totally caught my family by surprise and at no fault of our own. I learned what true fear and vulnerability was...no one or nowhere was safe. So I empathize for All who are homeless cause homelessness really can happen to anyone! Without help or support...digging oneself out of homelessness is nearly impossible.

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"Without help or support...digging oneself out of homelessness is nearly impossible." So true. I come from Europe where there is more of a "community" mindset. Here in America noone hardly knows their neighbors. It truly does take a village to raise a child! I believe that has a lot to do with the current US society. There is no village. You are truly all alone.

followed because of what you called yourself in the bio :) - regardless of the parody mention at the top of the post the information in this post if picked apart is still valuable for people who are always one pay cheque away from being on the street. give this a good solid read people.

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Someone has to flog those... letters ;)

Thank you Phil :)

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look at you with your power triple dot game ... lol. followed. bring the noise... of lashes.. . meow.

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hehe! Purrs, and stuff ;)

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it was the 'stuff' that resonated. good skills.

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@teamhumble Hey hi! I was looking into those containers for about a year. I like how 1 person made a really nice home with 2 of them. Been interested in those and old log cabins for years. My goal is to have one or the other.

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hey, hi! yeah for me anything that comes on a trailer, even an rv but something small would be perfect. the ultimate would be the log cabin but that would probably need land and i'm not sure where in the world i'd want that right now.

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Same here. I lived in Punta Gorda here in Florida from April to August last year. It was a manufactured home with one of my friends. We were 42 miles from any store. Unless you count one high priced gas station. It was so peaceful and away from everything. Then I met the neighbors. LOL! Most were on the run and wanted. I still have good memories though,as I took care of my friends 4 dogs and 8 cats and a guinea pig.
This was near Babcock Ranch in Punta Gorda which,if you look it up,it is being built as a town fully on solar,and has electric shuttles. But I'm sure it would be expensive to live there.

Thanks for being brave enough to share your story. A sad indictment of the times in which we live. It's too easy to take a roof over your head for granted these days .. especially when many are only a paycheck or two away from the wolf at the door. Respect to you for keeping one foot in front of the other and coming out the other side.

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Thank you. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

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No problem, thanks for sharing .. life can be hard.

YES home is very important. I know your feeling

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Having a home is necessary. Even the primitive peoples realized this and built huts and teepees.

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yes you are right

This is such a sad story. It made me cry. 😭 I've been homeless before too! And luckily I found solace in an amazing shelter for youth called "Covenant House California" but you had children!! I feel so bad and selfish for having gone through all of the things described in this story. It was such a hard battle/struggle for me, I've never felt more pain and worthlessness in my entire life, I still feel broken from time to time. Thank you for sharing this post. 😢🤧

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I am happy that you were able to find such a wonderful and helpful organization. I hope you are in a better place in life, and can heal fully <3

When I hear stories like this , it makes me wish I as a person could do something to prevent it.

I wish only the best for people and noone deserves to be homeless, there is a place in this world for everyone and everyone deserves a proper home , warmth and food. Irrespective of their position in society or academic standing.

Love for all of humanity that's my motto!

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I agree completely. Society has grown, generally of course, into a "what's in it for me" instead of growing as a whole. And there is absolutely nothing good that can come from such mentality.

Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. I have a wife and 2 boys and can't imagine being homeless and living in a tent.

I too am one paycheck away from the street, as I am unemployed and trying to make a living. I am doing my best to keep it all together and avoid the fate that befell you. So far, so good.

Make sure you take the time to celebrate and congratulate yourself for taking care or your family, as best you could. You are simply awesome. I admire you. Too many people give-up when faced with adversity and you did not.

I agree that most people have no idea of how many folks are homeless, especially car homeless. In my area, one only has to go to a Walmart at night to see the campers & vans of the homeless, mixed in with the million dollar Provost motor homes.

One employee of the store, lives off-site in his van, but drives in each day to work.

One solution, resisted by every community in America is to make it legal to own, build and live in a small house or tiny house. There is zero excuse for Seattle to have a "Tent" city, as these folks could be put to work building their own modest small homes with one bathroom, a heater and hot and cold running water.

Cities care more about building permit fees, property taxes and zoning than they care about the welfare and dignity of their people. Seattle is not alone in this and it is shameful.

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This country was founded by tiny home builders.

I used to think Seattle only had one tent city. They have five. Five! And they are all on Google maps! I am floored. How did this become ok?

Yes, not only are there thousands of people living in the patches of green in every city, there are just as many who are "fortunate enough" to still have their vehicles to sleep in. That is stressful in itself- it's much more difficult to be in stealth with a car. Kinda hard to hide.

I wish you the best of luck, and health. I have been urged to write a couple more posts as spin offs from this one, I think you'll be interested. I've followed you, and will support you here on steemit. This is such a great community! Be well and safe.

you are a strong person for sharing this.
hug

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Thank you, and hugs right back at you :)

The pure fact that this post has been written it looks like beeing homeless is becomming a normal thing, the further our civilization goes, the more, it seems, people are finding it harder and harder to get by in our so called "growing" economy. Although ive never been homeless, reading this post gave me a glimpse of the harsh reality about being homeless and gratefull for what i have now. In the past two years ive seen an ever increasing number of homeless people in the UK city of Coventry and you dont need to see the need to look up the news or statistics, you can look at the sleeping bags on the streets. Its a real shame to see that one of the most basic human needs(shelter) is a big buisness that people in the UK are only trying to profit from and leaving tens of thousands to live in poverty.

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Exactly. What does that say about a society when it has citizens sleeping on the sidewalk? You are correct, it's getting worst. More and more tents spring up every week on downtown along the fronts of the billion dollar banking establishments.

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by ArbitraryKitten from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, and someguy123. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows and creating a social network. Please find us in the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

If you like what we're doing please upvote this comment so we can continue to build the community account that's supporting all members.

Homeless people are the strongest people!
Resilience is key!

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Having to play the Survival game every moment of every day either makes you or breaks you ;)

One of the best posts here on steemit.. I may have not experienced it, but i can relate to it because of certain incidents in my life... Great post, keep it coming..

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Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I just posted a follow up article https://steemit.com/homeless/@arbitrarykitten/10-more-things-i-learned-from-being-homeless

Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such a great community! Thank you for all your questions in Discord, I am posting a follow up to this post tonight going into detail on all you were curious about. If you have any questions or anything you'd like to know more about, please post them in the comment to this and I will add them :)

Thanks so much for this! Resteemed and tweeted and shared to facebook. There is a lot of stigmatisation around homelessness and it can happen to anyone in the space of moments.

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From the stories I heard, it usually happens so fast that they almost don't know what hit them...

Mine should never had happened, it was a silly hole in bureaucracy, but it too happened in only three days... Too fast to do anything to halt it.

Thank you Frances.

Thank you for telling your story! Many Americans are struggling, I myself make a good living and yet still struggle being the single supporter of a family of five.

My wife and I are currently housing a woman who was no longer able to afford rent and we are helping her for a few months until she is able to get on her feet.

Thank God you were able to make it out okay in that condition!

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Opening your home for that woman is so honorable. I respect that.

Too many Americans are suffering, more and more every day. But it is kept quiet. Soon the woods will be overflowing and then what? I pray something gets better soon.

Thank you again :)

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Thank you for your work! BTW, RT News did a great documentary series about homelessness that really started me to understand how bad it has become! Unfortunately, I think this is by design by the powers that be!

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Oh man, I could write a novel on the many things I witnessed and experienced that lead me to believe the very same thing. Strangely, I can't help but equate it to the Japanese tenement camps... But that is another story for another day...

Thanks for visiting John! I look forward to reading your posts :)

You are brave to write all this. Thank you.

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Thank you. I feel compelled to be the voice for the millions who do not have one...

It's awful - how many charitable funds, and not in private hands are not reckoned, the fund can only transfer to another fund.

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Or into the administrations pockets

Great post dear! Makes you think how unhumane we are becoming!

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Thank you. I think that's it's become easy to fall into a collective mindset, especially when so many do not have a voice.

An eye opener really! Life is tough, but it is beautiful! Thanks for sharing! :)

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Life is beautiful, isn't it? I am thankful everyday :)

Great post! Very eye opening.

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Thank you! There is a stigma, and once you are out of the situation you just want to forget the whole thing. I feel there needs to be a voice. Homelessness is a hot topic in the media, however what is reported is nowhere near the true reality.

This is a great story. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for commenting :) Please consider resteeming, more people need to become aware of the harsh realities that face millions every day.


Nice story

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Thank you. My hope is that it brings awareness :)

This was a great article, and really really makes me appreciate the things my family and I have:) thankyou for sharing this

Really paints a picture! I'm sorry you ever had to go through this!

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Thank you Dillon :) I am happy I can have an impact.

@arbitrarykitten, powerful article... I cannot even imagine what that experience must be like; I "lived" on a bench by the 8th hole of the local municipal golf course... but I was a healthy 22-year old unattached male. And that was hard enough.

Stories like this keeps underscoring the reality I keep arriving at... that the US of A is essentially the world's largest "3rd world country." A dirty little secret nobody talks about.

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Thanks to The Greatest President of all Times that problem will solve itself! Without health care all those filthy rascals and their muddy offspring will die in the next winter!! And it even saves money!!!

If you didn't catch it, that was sarcasm.

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Homelessness is big business, Sir! One of the biggest problems I notice is that there are so many little organizations that "help" the homeless. However, they cannot do anything more than refer to food and clothes banks, help with GED, hand applications to Low Income Housing and the Federal "food stamp" program... These many small organizations DO NOT network with each other, nor do they offer any real help in and of themselves. Yet they are receiving a mad amount of funds...

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And there lies the real problem, fake news is just fluff/bluff and filter. We've allowed the mindscapers to decide for far too long...what is what and where we will be.

It's the no real news that's really tearing society down. The uninformed public is simply the compost which allows the regeneration of these illusions of freedoms.

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To be completely honest, after living it I feel that the "powers that be" WANT the homeless population to remain that way. My mind can't help but equating this to the Japanese Tenement Camp fiasco. Far too many similarities for comfort...

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I think you're correct. Late last year a homeless action group took over a disused building in the centre of Dublin and housed 30 homeless people, with beds, appliances, toiletries and money donated by a willing public. They were taken to court and the judge ordered the building be vacated. They're definitely not looking for solutions!

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They keep doing the same thing here. Then, the people have to live on the street, and the city conducts sweeps to gather their few belongings, tents and sleeping bags and scurries them on their way to look for another location.

Excelent post but so sad and we complain about any nonsense. It really breaks your heart speciallly kids. They are so innosent.

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Well, I believe in not holding things in, It's not healthy. If it is bothering you, yes, complain and get it out. Everyone on the planet lives a personal hell from time to time. The layers may be different, but we all need to get it out so that we can move on :) Thank you.

Very moving story. Thanks for sharing :)

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Thank you Isaria :)

This was an amazing read! I'd love to hear how it all happened.

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Thank you. I actually went into greater detail in the second part https://steemit.com/homeless/@arbitrarykitten/10-more-things-i-learned-from-being-homeless

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I just read that! Were you scammed by a man? My Mum was. Left us penniless, we were lucky to keep our house if I'm honest

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Oh ok ;) It was actually a little hole in the law that we slipped through- its pretty lengthy so I am writing that up and will be posting.

Thank you for your questions! That is how the second post in the series came about, there were many questions and curiosities. If you have more please ask, and I will add them :)

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Damn. That will be an interesting read for when I wake up in the morning. I really enjoy reading stories of overcoming hardship. It reminds me I'm not the only one, and it seems you've had a lot more to deal with than me!

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Well thank you for your support and encouragemnt Raymond. I am so grateful we met!

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Same same! Perhaps we could collude ;)

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Boy, you just read my mind.

I wish I could say I understand what you went through but I dont think I can. I've been broke, never homeless. I wrote about something close to me tonight and left home and came back to read this and I feel lucky that I have had a roof over my head all my life and feel grateful for the same!

Guess I'm going to continue stalking your posts haha!

Wish you the best, maybe in the future when I visit US on a trip I would come and help out for a day. Not sure what else I can do to help other than wish you the best right now... :(

You were kidnapped and had 19 bones broken. I feel terrible reading this. Is this what caused a disability that you mentioned in an earlier reply to my post? Sorry if this is too personal... you don't need to respond if you dont want to...

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I used to work in a very public industry, and gained the attention of a very, very bad individual. I was but one of his victims. That was how the kidnapping and attempted murder came about, and yes, that is to blame for my physical disabilities.

It is a very tough thing to understand. But that goes with anything; if you have not experienced it you cannot fully "get it".

That is why I am an advocate, and am trying to raise awareness to the true harsh realities. What is reported on the news is not even close to what truly happens.

I will welcome you when you visit America!

Stalk away my friend :)

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I'm glad this is behind you now.

I will be there someday!

Thank you for sharing your story A.Kitten! :)

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Thank you for your support :) It truly means a lot.

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You are very welcome! :)

Thank you for sharing your story! Really sorry to hear you and your kids had to go through this. I actually always assumed there would be quite some organisations that would help with a situation like this. Especially with kids involved....

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Unfortunately my kids are too old for the organizations... Most do not help boys ages 12 to 17.

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Yes I was really surprised by reading that! I wish you good luck raising awareness and thanks for sharing your story! What is your opinion by the way on giving homeless people money? I tend to buy them something to eat bur recently read an article that said to give them money as it gives them back a bit of their dignity. I also bought a bunch of underwear for them as it seems that's something a lot of them lack and are too shy to ask for.

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My honest opinion is to not donate money to the organizations. Most of them are worthless. I will actually be going on tour later this year, explaining this is one of my mainpoints- I'll post videos here. If you choose to go that route- research the org well. Find out where your donation REALLY goes. If you choose to donate to people, I agree cash is best. It is very degrading having to beg on the side of the street. If you do not feel comfortable donating cash, then gift cards are the way to go. Make sure it's to a store that's easily accessible to where you find the person. There will be many who disagree with me, about how donating to local charities is best because that way you know the money is being used for something "good", but unfortunately the money rarely goes to what a person actually needs. With that being said, yes, there are a few honorable charities out there, it's just difficult to find with the sheer amount of scam 501c3's that pay themselves under the guise of helping people in need :(

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Thanks for your honest reply! Will keep it in mind and I'm looking fwd to your upcoming updates! :)

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Definitely :)

This is so helpful and good insight. I'm sorry you had to experience this.

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Thank you :)

I love your post and the way it was written. I too have experienced homelessness. I guess you could say I have been a homeless jock in the past. There were parts of it I enjoyed and parts that I did not. But I feel your pain and I hope things continue to improve for you and your kids.

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Thank you so much <3