Our nation’s real estate disaster left behind vacant properties in unprecedented numbers. There are several reasons for the catastrophe but one thing is clear; Americans are becoming homeless at an alarming rate. Some find refuge with family or friends. Others obtain state or government assistance to provide shelter. Another option that is gaining popularity is to willingly give up the proverbial castle altogether.
Most of us envision the homeless living down alley ways in cardboard boxes. Today, a new class of the destitute has entered into the equation and their numbers are increasing. These homeless individuals have no permanent job or residence just like their counterparts but that is where the similarities end. The new generation made the decision by choice and insists on maintaining a clean and healthy lifestyle until the next opportunity presents itself.
They are intelligent, independent, individuals who get their hair styled by students at local beauty schools and teeth cleaned at the local community college for free. Bathing facilities are utilized at truck stops or state parks for a few dollars a day. Designer clothes are even purchased in thrift stores for a fraction of the retail cost.
This new generation of homeless rarely seeks government assistance but instead relies on the internet as a means to obtain their next meal or job to get them through another day. The trend is found in all levels and ages of society from college students to baby boomers who help one another survive during this economic crisis. Those who are fortunate enough to find a job or a permanent place to stay do not forget where they came from and assist others in need providing moral support and when they can financial assistance.
A nomadic living may sound extreme but for those struggling with a sub-prime mortgage, out of work or deeply in debt the decision might be a logical choice. The reason: this lifestyle gives people the freedom to move about from state-to-state or country-to-country in search of prospects during the global recession. These itinerant American’s live out of automobiles, RV’s and tents with an understanding that sometimes you have to search for opportunity.
Whenever possible they barter for anything from traveling to tax preparation. These savvy entrepreneurs traded in the American dream of home ownership for a society with no taxes, utility bills or condo fees. It might sound tempting, even romantic but it is not for everyone. The following tips and advice came from such individuals who voluntarily gave up their houses and now technically “live on the street.” But it doesn’t end there, they don’t just provide opportunity for homeless people to have their own home but they also make sure that the design of the home is quality and unique just like Clavon condo located in Singapore.
By chance you are faced with eviction those interviewed for this article suggest you stay in the dwelling until the very last day if possible. This gives you time to make preparations and decide what you plan to do next with your life. Get everything in order and don’t procrastinate. Start by canceling all services and utilities and have any deposit forthcoming mailed to you ASAP. Next, take a hard look at your assets and decide what you can live without. Hold a garage sale, take furniture to a consignment shop or try selling items on a local internet site. What you are left over with donate to local charities to help others in need.
Get all of your financial affairs in order and try to consolidate your debt into a low monthly payment. Do everything possible to maintain good credit. This gives you the ability to maintain a valid credit card that is required to rent a car or stay in a hotel.
A golden rule for the homeless is to never carry large amounts of cash. Either obtain a safety deposit box or use a debit card. Another alternative is traveler’s checks that are guaranteed if lost or stolen. This is very important for those who decide to backpack or walk great distances alone.
Be careful with pawn shops. They will loan money on just about anything but for a fraction of the actual value. Carefully read the terms of the loan agreement before signing. If the item is too precious find someone or someplace to keep it secure until you can retrieve it.
Maintain an Address:
If you expect to receive unemployment checks etc. then obtain a forwarding address from a trusted family member or acquaintance. Otherwise, get a P.O. Box at the local UPS store or post office. Unless you plan to leave the area for good have some way to collect mail. A physical address also helps when it comes to applying for steady employment.
Even if you have no family, friends or forwarding address keep in contact with someone. Join a local homeless support group online or Twitter to let others know where you are and what your next move is going to be.
Get a free e-mail account and check it often try: www.yahoomail.com
Research Your Decision
Before you attempt building a snow cave for the winter or live off the land research the decision thoroughly. Examine biographies on the homeless and read what it is like to “dumpster dive” before attempting anything that extreme. Go to your local library and obtain a library card. There are books devoted to just about every topic from bartering to panhandling.
Many libraries and coffee shops provide free internet service. Research personal accounts of people who traveled around the world before you attempt a similar trip. Learn from mistakes others made before venturing into the unknown. Sound advice!
Decide where and how you plan to travel every day. Do not wander from one location to the next without a final destination carefully planned out. Investigate where you are allowed to stay and for how long before camping in an unfamiliar area. Do not be ignorant of the law and know your rights. The last thing you want is to end up in jail for vagrancy!
Before you make the decision to live without a permanent roof over your head ask yourself a number of questions like: Can you endure living out of a car? Can you sleep soundly in a tent through the pouring rain? Are you physically and mentally capable of not knowing when your next meal will be?
If you have second thoughts about living a nomadic lifestyle don’t get discouraged, get assistance.
Call your local housing authority for help or check out the following links:
The U.S. Department of Housing and Development: http://www.hud.gov/homeless/index.cfm
National Coalition for the Homeless: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/
Taking on the world without a home might seem daunting to some and enlightening to others. Whatever you decide remember to always be honest; if someone asks where you live tell the truth, especially to law enforcement. Being homeless is nothing to be ashamed of. Many have lived through the ordeal and found new friends, better jobs and hope for a brighter future.