Homelessness-One Man’s Story

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A friend related the story of a man who has been homeless for around a year.  He sleeps outside.

The man admits to drinking alcohol.  Still, he always held down a job.  He had been with the same company for 14 years when they went out of business.  The man collected unemployment for a couple of years and at the age of 53 decided that his options were limited and that he really wasn’t interested in the jobs that MIGHT be available to him.

So now he collects bottles and cans for money.  He doesn’t do it all day or everyday.  He gets enough to cover his alcohol needs (a $12 bottle covers him for three days) and any other small needs he might have.  He eats and showers at the free places.  And he keeps to himself.

The environmentalists should be very happy with him.  He has a very small carbon footprint.  Something tells me thought, that they wouldn’t come near him.  He’s probably too dirty for their taste.

What do you, my readers, think of a man like him?  Do you think he’s a scumbag for not going back to work?  I think he is just tired, like I was.  Tired of being treated like a relaceable cog in a machine.  When he collects his bottles and cans, he’s his own man, on his own terms.

Nothing wrong with that.

As far as “taking free food” goes, most of the food at these places is donated.  I also heard a preacher the other day saying that the church often has to throw food away…there’s too much.

I don’t have a problem with this man getting free leftovers.  Not while there is so much corruption in high places.  You want to judge someone, judge those greedy bastards instead of some depressed homeless guy.

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Calling All Free-Sleepers and Homeless People

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Photo by Flickr user Ruth Hartnup

Photo by Flickr user Ruth Hartnup

If you’d like to draw attention to your blog, please let me know and I will give you a guess post here on Living In My Van.

I’d like to hear perspectives from long term and short term free-sleepers. including, car-dwellers, van-dwellers, tent-dwellers, boat-dwellers, street-sleepers or any other kind of free-sleepers that I can’t think of right now.

 

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Checking In

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I’m feeling much better now.  It turns out I had strep throat.  I’m really glad I was able to get some anti-biotics.

I have a LOT of work to do this week.  I kinda messes up the website for the Non-Profit.  Gotta fix it.

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Sick

I was sick, then I got better, now it’s back again with a vengeance.  I don’t like running to the doctor for every sniffle but this time it seems serious.  My throat glands are very swollen and it hurts so much to swallow.

I called one of the cards I have from the veteran’s admin for medical care.  They said it was only a thirty day program?!?!  WOW.  But I’m going to call some other numbers and verfy this.  Naturally the drone on the phone was no help at all.  Way to help our veterans people!  Hire idiots!

I also have Cal-Optima which I have not used yet.  I couldn’t get through to make an appointment.  I may try to go there directly tomorrow.

 

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Housing

I have a housing voucher now because I am a veteran.  I will only have to pay one third of my income for housing – IF THIS WORKS OUT.

I think one of my friends is frustrated with me because I am not sure things will work out.  I guess she thinks I’m wierd or something…it’s just that I don’t have any way to prove my income to a landlord.  The housing people are kind of acting like it shouldn’t be a problem.  So here I go again jumping through the hoops they put in front of me, hoping I am not wasting precious time, gas and my emotions on something that can’t work out.

I have already been “released” from two programs that were supposed to help me.  There was lots of driving to appointments, paper shuffling and signing etc. but in the end, it didn’t work out.  This is probably as close as I’m going to get to getting help from the Veteran’s Administration.

Honestly, I was only in the military for a few short years and don’t feel I “deserve” housing benefits BUT I’m sure that there are lots of less deserving people getting benefits so what the heck.  I might as well try.

If I don’t qualify, I will just use my money to get a better van or something.  Also a friend and I could split the cost of hotel rooms.  We’ll see.

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More Stats-OHHHH My Head!

If you want to see what kind of crap I have to read and try to understand, click here.    I have no idea what a lot of these terms even mean so in order to proceed, I have to look up the terms and TRY to apply these fixes.  And this is just ONE of the things that MAY be wrong with my site.

If I had all day to mess with this it would be fine but I don’t.  I have my backbone jobs that I do 5 days a week and then I have the non-profit work too.

I am so overwhelmed.  I also got a housing voucher last week and need to find a place to live.  More on that in the next post.

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Stats are Dropping

Ever since I started caring about my “stats” which basically, measure how many people are coming to my blog, they have been dropping.  The more I try to improve my blog, the more the drop!  It’s bizarre!

I have a feeling it’s not what I’m writing that’s the problem but something technical.  Yesterday I cleared out all my spam comments.  They are behind the scenes where you guys can’t see them but I guess they can slow your site down.  Hopefully that will help.

If any of you notice anything that is making my site unattractive, will you let me know?  Is it still hard to comment?  Does it take a long time for the site to load?  Does it look funny on your phone?  Is the print too small?  Please let me know what you think.

The better I make this blog, the more people I can reach.  It is very scary for most people when they are considering van living or car living as a survival technique.  I hope to be able to alleviate people’s fears a bit and give them some practical advice.  It will save them time and help them adjust easier to van or car living.  Please help me help the new people, if you can by letting me know how to improve this site.

I think more and more people will be sleeping in their vehicles as time goes on.  On television this morning the “heads” were talking about how we are going to be “free” trading in more and more countries.  This isn’t so good for the working class.  The high end professionals will make more money and the worker bees (who serve the upper class) will make less and less.  This doesn’t bode well.

1965 Chevy Van
Hugo90 / Foter / CC BY

 

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I Heart Berkeley!

I liked Berkeley so much I didn’t bother going to San Francisco today.  I ate Thai food for lunch and French food for dinner.  I drank one glass of wine and one Amaretto.  Good times!  Riding back on the train was scary but I’m still alive so that’s good.

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I’m a Long Way From My Van

Today I’m going to meet a friend in Berkeley then go into San Francisco.  The BART system is incredible.  Easy, relatively fast (compared to a bus!) and there are people to help you at every station.  I wish we had something like this where I live.

When I lived in a condo and had a regular job, I never got to travel.  Living in my van has allowed me to have a little more money and TIME to do interesting things.  Here I am on an all expense paid trip to San Francisco.  I’m even getting paid.  Sure it’s all on a small scale and I’m servant class but I’m an appreciated servant.  I never felt appreciated in my office jobs.

And not only that but I have found a new skill that I can use to make money and feel like I am doing good in the world, rather than just helping to make someone ELSE rich.

I FEEL rich today.  Life is good.

Photo by Flickr User BK

Photo by Flickr User BK

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My Trip

I got on a train and went to Berkely today.  It is nice.  I didn’t like the train ride though.  City people look angry to me.  Maybe they are stressed out.

Berkeley has a small town feel.  I like small towns.  I guess there are different sections.  Telegraph (Avenue) is hippy, grungy and Shattuck(Street) is city-ish. Or so I am told.  I don’t worry about things like that though.  I just like a friendly feel.

At the coffee shop, a young Mexican teenager complemented my jacket.  No one in my hometown ever talks to me so that’s different.  And despite the general unfriendliness on the train, a 30 something White guy kissed my hand after I asked him a train related question.  It’s like I’m in a different country!

As soon as I got off the train in Berkeley I found myself wondering if this would be a good place to free-sleep.  I have a feeling it would.  I’ll bet there are lots of car and van dwellers here, working there way through college.

I may not be free-sleeping much longer and that makes me sad.  The thought of packing up and living HERE in Berkeley seems so exciting to me.  A guy just walked into the coffee shop with a guitar and a covered plastic bucket.  I wonder what is in the bucket?  He has a grungy style about him that I like.  Is he a free-sleeper, a student or ???  Hard to tell for sure.  If *I* find him noteworthy, he is probably homeless.  Ha! I’m such a wierdo!

More later.  There’s internet access at the house I’m staying at.  Yay!

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