Some tips I’ve found that will help my fellow brothers and sisters who may be homeless and living out of their vehicles.
1. Get a Costco membership. $50 a year. Gas is cheaper and the food court is cheap. I can buy a hotdog/soda combo for $1.50. Add to that a slice of pizza when you’re really hungry and lunch is $4, including tax in most locales. You can also get a chef salad if you want to eat healthy. Grazing at Costco with the food samplers is another way to supplement your meals.
2. State parks. Most are very well kept, clean and heavily patrolled. I think most law enforcement agencies know many Americans are homeless and that they’re sleeping in state parks during the day. I was amazed at how clean some of the ones were that we stopped by. You can take a shower and take a cat nap in your car, van or motor home.
3. 24 hour gyms like Family Fitness. You can purchase a 2 year membership at Costco for $299. You can use that gym membership to workout and shower. Something you can’t get if you’re living in your van or truck. Even on your days off from working out, you can go into family fitness, shower and clean up. Maybe even relax and sit in the jacuzzi.
4. Those who are living in their vans should try and work graveyard or night shift. That way if they need to sleep during the day at a local Wal-Mart, state park or back alley of a strip mall (many of which now are unoccupied) you’re a lot safer, especially if you’re traveling alone.
5. AAA membership is a must. AAA follows you, not the car. That way if you have a flat tire, run out of gas or need a locksmith, you’re covered.
6. Movie theatres. Buy a ticket at your local discount movie theatre for a couple of movies. Don’t theatre hop and break the law, pay your way. Especially in the summer where it’s hot during the day and you need to cool off.
7. Take out food. Many times a restaurant will have specials that will still be the same low price (even with coupons) for takeout. This way you avoid having to leave a tip (which many of us can’t afford now) and eat either at the park, beach or state park.
8. Carry a survival box. Flare gun, compass, inflateable tire pump, umbrellas, fishing net, fix a flat, wet wipes, first-aid kit, funnel for putting into vehicle fluids.
Many law enforcement treat homelessness as if it were a disease but more and more Americans are being forced out of their homes or apartments. You must protect yourself.
The last few years I’ve been dumpster diving, travelling across the nation has given me a new perspective on life. What is important and what is not.
What IS important, family, friends, love, good health and community.
What is NOT important? Buying more stuff and accumulating more debt. We’ve been working more hours to buy more stuff and accumulate more debt, for what? To pay into the system. What has the system done for you lately?