Email from Miss M.-Future Free-Sleeper

Reprinted with permission.

Love your Blog…
 Am rapidly facing Homelessness (approx. 2 months or so–will
 fly by). No way will I go to a shelter (long waiting list
 anyway). I have a car, am employed, sane, and have no
 addictions or dependents. What is the best minivan to
 purchase? My major concerns are the obvious: the police,
 thugs and safety, where to park, when to sleep,
 hygiene, anyone who knows me finding out about my situation.
 I’ve read just about every article on homelessness &
 vehicle living I can find, and I still have questions. My
 son moved out of our shared apt (he’s 23), and he couldn’t
 care less about what happens to me (sad to say). I cannot
 keep this place going on my income, and have been refused a
 set schedule, in order to obtain a second job. So, I’m going
 to basically lose this roof over my head. I have no one else
 to turn to. I’m 55, female, Vegetarian, in good health, and
 am in FL. Any advice??

This is what I wrote back. 

Well, as far as a van goes, try to get one with tinted windows.  Also, you will likely want to pull out the back seat or seats so that you can lie down comfortably unless you are short enough to be comfortable laying in a back seat.  I tried that for a while and didn’t like it as it felt cramped and it had me up too high where I felt like I was sleeping in a fishbowl.

Other advice…try to sleep in a low crime city.  It is worth the gas to travel to, I think.  And when you get to the spot you are going to sleep in, just walk to the back and lie down.  Try not to get up in the night.  That way, probably no one will know you are even there.  Keep some sort of weapon handy next to your bed, just in case.  I have never even come close to having to use my weapon but it’s good to have, just in case.

Be cautious but not too afraid.  Try to read my posts starting in Sept 2011 for more beginner tips.  It’s really not a bad way of life, for the most part.  I LOVE not paying rent (and utilities!).  It’s freedom.

I also want to mention….

Why not leave your apartment now?  You can use the two months worth of rent to prepare your van etc.  It’s still warm now too.  Summer is the best time to start free-sleeping.  It would be a good way to ease into it.  It’s a little less fun when it’s colder.

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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