A Question of Homeless Survival
I have noticed and crossed the paths of many homeless individuals in my travels and in my home time. I often wondered how they got into that predicament and what are homeless survival situations?
Is there a homeless survival ‘modus operandi’? No one ever plans to be homeless. In fact, when you speak to most homeless individuals, you will find that being unprepared is what led them to where they are today. However, there is a lot that you can learn from the homeless about survival.
Remember being homeless can happen to anyone, regardless of their race, sexual orientation or education. One financial pitfall can send anyone’s world into a whirlwind. How you handle this, is a different story.
Knowing the necessities must-have items and what to expect can help guide you through these unexpected tribulations. It doesn’t matter if you were forced on the streets, or if you are on the streets voluntarily; it is important to be prepared.
If you find yourself homeless due to economic situations out of your control, there are a few tips you should know in order to survive a crisis situation. These tips are highly recommended by other homeless people.
Best Clothing For Homeless
This situation means that you have to be prepared for all categories of weather for homeless survival. Dressing in layers helps to ensure that you are prepared for climate change. You can always remove layers if you are too warm, while the additional layers provide you with heat and insulation through cold weather.
For those that are homeless in the warmer climates, too many layers can cause you to become overheated. In this case, having pockets on your clothing will allow you to remove layers and store them for easy access.
The Versatile Newspaper
Newspapers are a versatile form of urban survival necessities. It can be used for many different things, from toilet paper to fuel resources for a fire. In some urban areas, newspapers can be hard to come by, however, fliers, junk mail, store circular ads can all be used as acceptable substitutes.
Stores often have fliers or advertisements that can be stashed away in times of need. Some areas have papers, such as Your Town Gazette that can be kept in your belongings and used when needed. Some homeless people recommend getting your hands on an old phone book if possible. This can be used as a pillow at night among other things.
Water Bottle Hacks For Survival
Water bottles can be a vital source of heat, when filled with hot water and placed close to the body. Refilling the water bottles can be somewhat of a task, however public restrooms have hot tap water and corner stores have hot water taps that can be used. If all else fails, heat water by creating a fire or place your urine in these bottles. Dispose of the liquids once they are no longer warm.
In addition to providing a heating resource, you should have one bottle that you drink out of. These can be refilled at water fountains or by asking a store or restaurant for water. It is important to maintain hydration to avoid other health issues.
Gather With Other Homeless Survivors
You may have heard the saying,” Safety is better in numbers.” When you are homeless and surviving an urban crisis situation, this is very true. Migrate towards other homeless people and sleep near them. Avoid situations where you are by yourself. At the same time, you don’t want to intrude on others, but you will find some compassionate homeless people that will guide you in the right direction.
Find areas where there is an abundance of homeless people in your area. This could be a park or abandoned building, the more people the safer you are. It is best to locate your sleeping area in advance, getting to know others. You may find that the other homeless people are more than willing to share their space and provide sound advice to you. Which brings me to the next tip…
Homeless Survival May Need Mobility
Make sure that you are always ready to make a move. Have your belongings close to you at all times, in the event that you have to suddenly move and relocate. This could be due to law enforcement forcing you out, or being bullied out by other homeless groups.
Having a backpack or small suitcase is extremely beneficial so that you have a place for your belongings. Only have out what you need for that exact moment and keep everything else packed away close to you. This is why it is important to…
What Items Do Homeless Need Most?
Remember that when you are in the midst of a homeless survival crisis, having the right items in your belongings is important. Think of things that can be used to serve a variety of purposes, such as, plastic bags, plastic bottles, even paper clips or bandannas are sensible items to have.
These items can easily be stored within pockets of clothing or a backpack. You often see homeless people with a backpack or small bag, that holds their essential necessities. Avoid lugging around too much, as it can prevent the ease of your mobility.
Avoid Disagreements And Altercations
There may come a time when you don’t agree with others. This happens within homeless groups, however, it’s important to avoid altercations with others. Self-defense is important, but so is your safety.
Avoiding conflict is the best thing you can do for homeless survival in order to remain safe.
During altercations, you can become injured or attract unnecessary attention. The injuries could be minor, however being homeless and not having access to proper medical resources, could increase the severity of the injury. Not to mention, law enforcement could be called and you could find yourself facing legal woes on top of dealing with an urban survival crisis.
Homeless Survival First Aid Kit
Having access to first aid is very important when you are living on the streets. Any types of scrapes, bruises or cuts can lead to serious infections, if not properly cared for. The essential first aid items such as ointment, band-aids, and rubbing alcohol are inexpensive, yet effective.
Sometimes the local hospital or health clinic will have these items available for the public at no cost.
Finding A Pet For Survival
This tip can be a little harder to do than it sounds. However, finding a stray dog can prove to be beneficial in the event that you are facing an urban survival situation. Canines can be a very loyal and much-needed companion.
There are times when being homeless, you may feel like you are alone. Keeping a dog will help get you through these times. Not only that, dogs will protect you against those imposing danger on you, and help provide warmth during your time of slumber.
Blending In For Your Survival
This is something that you will hear again and again regarding urban survival- you need to blend in. Blending in with a crowd or being invisible, allows you to go unnoticed. This makes you less of a target for criminals and law enforcement. In the eyes of the public, you appear shy or gray, however, you are portraying a chameleon by going with the flow rather than against the flow.
Blending in also means making yourself look and appear presentable. There are many public restrooms that you can have access to in order to clean yourself up. You don’t need much in order to maintain a clean and neat appearance. You can see this in the next tip.
Homeless Hygiene Kits For Survival
One of the biggest tips for urban survival crisis situations is finding ways to maintain personal hygiene. This includes keeping up with sanitation, in order to prevent illness. Carrying around hand sanitizer is the right idea, yet it may not be the best cost-effective solution. Baking soda is the most practical, cost-effective way to keep up your hygiene.
Baking soda can be used in the replacement of most of your hygienic items, such as toothpaste, soap, detergent and much more. You just need to add a little water, and voila you have all that you need to keep yourself presentable and sanitized.
The Picky Homeless Eater
One downfall of being homeless is the lack of food resources. Rummaging through the garbage in search of edible scraps may seem enticing, yet it should be avoided. There are so many health risks associated with doing this, that aren’t worth it.
Despite the hunger pangs, in order to survive during this setback, you need to be a picky eater. This means avoiding certain foods, such as candy, chips and other forms of junk food. Your body still needs to receive the proper nutrients in order to survive.
Foods such as nuts, berries, jerky, and granola bars provide adequate nutrients that your body needs and can thwart the hunger feeling. Accessing non-perishable foods such as these will help maximize your food supply.
In many urban areas, you can find food pantries or food kitchens that will help provide you with supplies needed in order to eat. Ration the food that you receive from these resources in order to avoid the temptation of dumpster diving.
Keeping A Level Head While Homeless
While trying to survive during an urban crisis situation, your emotions are going to run high. You need to keep these feelings in check and avoid letting the emotions take over. This will avoid reacting in a desperate manner. You need to remain logical, positive and hopeful. Understand that “this too shall pass.”
Being able to control your emotions, is the best way to cope with your situation. Despite the fact that you are faced with the same daily dilemmas of searching for food and shelter, the way you cope with these struggles determines how long you can survive. Many people will try to take advantage of your vulnerable state, by remaining strong and in control, this can be avoided.
Knowledge Of Your Situation For Survival
In an effort to prepare yourself regarding homeless survival tactics, it’s important to know where to go for additional assistance and resources. There are many non-profit organizations that can provide you with the necessary resources to help you pull through the crisis situation.
Shelters- In many urban areas you can find shelters that can provide you with a place to sleep for a temporary period. This will help during the hottest and coldest times, that you may endure while being homeless. Churches are an excellent place to find shelter.
If shelters are scarce in your area, then resort to the alternatives of sleeping in abandoned buildings or parks. If you are fortunate enough to own a vehicle, then this would be your best option.
Food Pantries/ Food Kitchens- There are many homeless soup kitchens that provide at least one meal a day to the homeless in urban areas. Some of these places will also provide additional food that you can store to consume at a later time.
Finding a food pantry would be ideal, as these places will provide boxes of food that should provide you with enough for at least a few days. Many churches have times set aside where they provide food boxes for the homeless.
Planning For Homeless Survival
One key ingredient in being prepared for urban homelessness survival is having a plan. This could be in terms of a familiar landmark or terrain to embark on in the event of an emergency. Or even a course of action in case your supplies are running short. Knowing what to do without becoming negative or having an emotional setback, will help you fare better than others when a crisis arises.
Getting to know other homeless people and allow them to share their stories with you, is a way to help get you through these times. This will help deter negative thoughts and feelings, knowing you are not alone. Chatting with others can provide you with connections needed to create your plan of action.
This Could Happen To Anyone
The intent of this homeless survival guide is to prepare you for handling things when a crisis situation arises.
A natural disaster could make you homeless tomorrow.
An economic crisis could do the same thing.
These tips should provide you with enough knowledge, in the event that you are faced with the unexpected scenario of being homeless. Knowing where to go, and what to do will educate and prepare for times when disaster strikes.