Friday, February 6, 2009

Could You Survive If You Were Homeless?

With the increasing the numbers of people who are losing their homes, their jobs and their savings due to a poor economy, becoming homeless is a very real possibility. It is well known that even our current infrastructure can’t provide sufficiently for the large number of homeless people that already exist in our society.

Dragon mentioned in one of his posts the other day about a friend of his who had suddenly found himself homeless and how he had helped them as much as he possibly could. But as Dragon mentioned even he is struggling and could only do so much. This makes a person wonder if becoming homeless is going to be the next real challenge for all of us.

Even in a best case scenario of having a home without a mortgage, would that be enough. There would still be maintenance and upkeep, property taxes, utilities, etc. All of which would require money. Let’s not forget about healthcare! There would probably be no insurance to help pay for needed medications, treatment or a doctor’s care if needed. How far would your first aid kit get you? Food will be a problem also, even if you have a garden and the weather is nice to you which allow you to have a good harvest. Even your savings may not be enough to see you through some really bad times. This is especially true when you consider the fact that many people’s savings have lost more than half their value in a relatively short period of time.

Emergency rooms, food banks, and other service providers are all struggling to meet the current demands on their resources without even considering the potential for even larger and more widespread numbers of homeless people that could be just around the corner. Most support groups are already overwhelmed by these ever increasing demands. Placing even more demands on their services could force them into a guaranteed position where they would fail due to a critical overload.

While being an advocate of group and community survival, I don’t wish to appear biased when considering some of these very real possibilities. Present support groups already have inadequate resources to meet present demands. It will take your ability to form a strong network and support group of family and friends to allow you the best chance for survival.

Frugal lifestyles and working to build a strong support group of family and friends will be the new priority for survival. Prudent choices and a determination to pull together will be essential.

Most of us can survive any threat or danger thrown at us by nature, but even the most frugal lifestyle is far beyond the life that an average homeless person endures. But can we survive being homeless?

There is a new monster on our doorsteps! That monster is homelessness. It is stalking our families, our friends and our neighbors. It is a very real threat to our survival.

Staying above the water line?



Anonymous said...

I've considered this the past year, and have been reading up on the experiences of people living out of their cars / vans, as well as out on a remote homestead. Lot of options out there - what a great benefit the Internet is, being able to find this out so easily!

I think to be successful at it, having a healthy body and mind, a 'can-do' attitude, and having no young children to take care of are great advantages.

Please don't get me wrong - I love children, have two young ones at home myself - but having to take care of their needs, and the threat of CPS hovering over you will cause some great hardships if living on the streets is reality.

As hard as it is, I think having to temporarily give your children up to someone you trust would help so much. Of course, you stay in touch.

Patricia said...

RW, there's a good website on surviving homelessness, although written from a pre-crash viewpoint. Nowadays things might be different and much harder. Here's the link:


Mayberry said...

I reckon a prudent prepper would get himself a tent at least, or a van or RV, and skip the homeless thing.... Might not have an address, but you'll have shelter!

Thomas Miller said...

When you think about the implosion of our system, you quickly realize it is perhaps the worst system to withstand what is unfolding.

As the infrastructure continues to crumble, life as we've known it will continue to deteriorate.

You nailed it : Frugal lifestyles and working to build a strong support group of family and friends will be the new priority for survival.

HermitJim said...

Thisd is one reason I kept the camper shell on my old I could always have some sort of shelter if the SHTF big time...

Luckier than most, I have a retreat I could go and park on without fear of being hassled...

Good post, my friend!

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Just as there is the lone wolf mentality among some survivalists, going it alone is a hard way to live. That's why I believe a strong support group of family and friends is going to be necessary as times get harder.

I hear stories of young people in their thirties having to move back in with their parents because they can't make a go of it.

But what do you do if your parents are gone or unable to help? Even worse would be a situation where you might have elderly parents or family with disability who may be relying on you for their support.

I wouldn't give up children unless it was as a last resort to maintain their health and safety and only then would I entrust their care to other trusted and reliable family members.

Thanks for you insight.


riverwalker said...

To: Patricia

Thanks for the link. It's a great site.

Unfortunately, as funding is cut back for so many programs it will be even more difficult to survive as their will be a lot more people placing a burden on what little services may be available.

Thanks a bunch!


riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

I only hope you can survive your present ordeal my friend. I would hate to think you might have to expierence this first hand. There are always family and friends that you can turn to for assistance.



riverwalker said...

To: RV Survivalist

You are so right! We are so dependent upon our current infrastructure that people have a hard time envisioning that life as we know it may become a thing of the past. Many people in other countries already expierence this and their lives are a constant struggle to survive from one day to the next. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

Glad to see you have some choices. So many do not and may face even harder ones. Simply having a job may soon be the benchmark of being well off! Thanks.


scoutinlife said...

I think the Nation is headed for a larger Homeless population in the future! Help your friends,family, & Neighboors because one day you may need there help as well. Don't be the guy that only what help never givening any help to others before.

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

Sound advice! We may be truly in need ourselves one day and may need someone to turn to for help ourselves. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Heck,I'm borderline homeless! Bill's add up faster than sale's,2 dog's need food,I can live on a can of spaghettio's,spam,mac and cheese,but it just ain't working out. I've considered getting an RV and selling the house,but what about my home machine shop?
A rental storage unit? still need cash! I still need to move my prep stuff,store it,all that.. I'm close to getting a slow screw! I could live in my pickup,no prob..but 2 dog's? Camping is an option,but what happens after the prep's run out? If I had an RV,I'd camp out in the casino parking lot!
Whtever..I'm ready to grab my ankle's....
Dean in az

Anonymous said...

I've been prepping as best as I can for a year, aware that *something* was coming - and was laid off from my dream job on Monday. I wish I'd done more, in hindsight, but am extremely grateful I covered as many bases as I did. I work in an industry where, to be honest, I don't expect I will see an opening for a year or more, and I am aware that unemployment will run out. Someone asked if I would move for work - and I said no - because here, I have a deep and connected tribe of friends that will care for me like I would them, no matter what. Unless they are all homeless, I will not be, because of those relationships. I know how to creatively hustle work and barter my skills, so I'll be alright. I'm just so glad I stockpiled food, cat stuff, household essentials, medicine, and money, paid down my debt and learned to live very frugally before this happened. I wish I were more prepared but ... I'll tell you what, the company I worked for was telling everyone things were just fine and then letting one person a week go in great secrecy - said they didn't want to panic anyone. But when they laid me off, I invited 20 coworkers out to lunch that afternoon to make sure they knew it could be them next, get ready, start your preps. I didn't just vaporize like layoff preceding me did, a big mystery. No, these were my friends and I wanted them to know - this is no joke - get ready. Tighten your belts now and batten down the hatches - it could happen to you too. I hope at least some listened.

Riverwalker said...

To: AZ Dean

Try to hang onto that machine shop guy. You do too good a quality of work to let that slip away if you don't have to unless absolutely necessary.

As far as becoming homeless, it is not something I would like to face right now. I'm prepared and have a strong family and friends support thing going but if I'm not the only one it could put a real strain on our family resources.
Thanks Dean.


BTW, E-mail at ya later!

Anonymous said...
The above link is another pretty good one dealing with an increasingly prevalent form of survival tactics.
I have had a couple of friends who had been homeless that I helped out, and got a few more tips from them.

Riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 5:43

I work at a state funded job that could disappear overnight if states keep having money problems and decide to cut back or eliminate our services entirely.

They'll just turn the criminals loose on the streets and we'll have even more problems as a result.



Riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 6:00

Thanks for the link. I too try to help where possible with my friends and family as much as possible. Don't really have a lot of extra resources to spare but do what I can. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

No, the majority could not survive. The majority do not have a duffel bag to carry the supplies needed living on the edge or "homeless". In a nn-recession economy people can live homeless feeding off of the generosity of the salvation army and other similar church related avenues.

But, in a depression like now even those places are finding it hard to feed and house the large numbers. And those with a job living on the streets usually still don't have the supplies let alone a duffel bag or a non-electric can opener.

As for me & other like minded folk, yes, we could survive.

Anonymous said...

I think frugal living is key; many people don't need to spend money the way they do (eating out, too many clothes, etc). Recall that houses today are more square feet because of storage need for more stuff, not because we need more room for ourselves. I mean, does one really need 4 TV's?

Anonymous said...

In 2005 I sold my farm and got married. Went into the marriage with $180,000 and left three months later with less than $10. Then I spent about three years homeless. Now I live in a subsidized senior/disabled apartment, am on supplemental oxygen 24/7 and had yet another stroke on New Year's Day. I'm organizing a garden here at the apartment and plan to grow A LOT!

Here is how I lived in my van, what I spent my money on, how to do it, etc....

riverwalker said...

To: GreenvilleRoad

Agreed. There are those of us that will survive whatever comes our way.Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: Joseph

I beleieve you are close to the problem in that many people have an excess of "stuff" in their lives and a simple and less complicated lifestyle will be essential. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

To: Wendy

That's great you are getting a garden started. Hope you are well!
Thanks for the link.


Anonymous said...

Hiya RW!
Busted my butt in the shop yesterday,got a new style flash hider,seem's to get a lot of interest,as long as I can keep the phone paid up for sale's. Between the slow paying buyer's and the delay with paypal,it seem's like forever before I ever get enough for cheap beer!

Wendy,if you like hot pepper's,contact RW for my email,I got lotsa seed's!
Dean in Az

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