How You and your Family can Live in Your Car!
Rent was $1,500, Mum and Daddy couldn't pay when they lost their jobs.
But we still have a car and I'm OK. I just have to beg for food money is all.
But they love me and feed me and me and my nine siblings are fine.
Thank you for asking! Say, got any spare change? And could you ask
Gov to reinstate welfare for the jobless and homeless? Just drop a few
of those genocidal wars where you kill women and babies in foreign deserts.
Being jobless, not qualifying for food stamps (as your car is over the 2k limit in value.. as if you could EAT a car...) is a big fat drag but keeping the car and living in it, even if you're a family of nine, can be done. Living in a car isnít something that anyone would recommend unless all your friends refused to let your family COUCH SURF... or life in the garage that you'd fix up (my neighbors did that, Everyone was fine) threatened the home owner friend. Nor is it something you would TRY unless you were evicted, jobless and had to feed mouths. Looking at picture above, you can sense how EASY it would to get a few hundred a day putting small, gorgeous children to begging.) But, when you get laid off, your mate also, your six months UNEMPLOYMENT is gone, your 2 years WELFARE from the GOV runs out, your emergency fund runs out, or your home is foreclosed (or you get an eviction notice) and thereís nobody to help as your parents can't even afford heat and they live in a single room... living in your car might be the only choice, especially if you donít feel safe at a local shelter. SHELTERS are total BUMMERS. CARS are NOT. Unfortunately, in many places, sleeping in your car is not only frowned upon, but also illegal. NOT TO WORRY --Hereís how to get by without fuzz comin' at you...until something better comes along.
Remember, you are LUCKY. First, you are not alone and second, you have a vehicle. Lots of people have survived and even thrived while sleeping in the bush where tigers walk around, meals on their furry minds. And many have survived in big cities, living in cars where muggers prey.
1.. You can only live in your car successfully if your car works. Youíre
going to need a new or ďnewishĒ car or be a good also charitable mechanic to live in an
older car. If you have an old car keep in mind that youíre liable to break
down at an inopportune moment if you donít stay on top of maintenance.
2.. Find a safe and inconspicuous place to park. First, check to see if
there are any organizations or businesses in your area (or a nearby area)
that designates parking lots specifically for people in situations like
yours; For example, Wal-Mart allows people to camp overnight in their
parking lots. Itís not only legal, but the organization might screen the
people who use the lot, or even designate a women-only lot. If there
are no such lots available, and you live in a urban area, look for streets
with no sidewalks, no overlooking windows, and adjacent to woods; the area
should be sparse enough to avoid nosy onlookers but populated enough that the car
does not stand out. Parking lots of big-box retailers (especially those
that are open 24 hours and have restrooms, such as Wal-mart) are great to
clean up in and have security, as long as you spend a couple of dollars
there and donít park in one place too often. Parking lots however can be
noisy, particularly in the morning as trucks arrive carrying food and
goods.More and more the city sponsors 'safe parking.' ENQUIRE!
a.. Church car parks are often quiet during week days. If you check
around, you may find a church that is less used than others. This could be
a good place to park, and you may be able to ask for assistance at the
church. When deacon comes around, hold baby on your knee and say
I'd work to rent this space.
b.. Industrial estates and business parks are often noisy by day, but
very quiet at night. Small ones close to residential areas are best. They
have to be quiet at night. You may encounter security in some places like
this, but if you are honest, saying you are just sleeping the night in
your car, and flash that gorgeous child and your sweet mate, they
usually wonít bother you. Their main role is to protect the
property. There's nothing you could get except the dumpsters and
they don't care about those. (But they are full of saleable goodies! I had
a trasher let me ride in the shotgun seat.) So get a flash light!
c.. University car parks. This is okay if you are a student, but not so
good if you are not associated with the university. If required, get a
parking permit. Yeah and if you can do that, get a Screen Actors GUILD card.
d.. Camping grounds are another option, although they usually have time
limits and some are almost as expensive as a hotel room. Some offer a
shower for a nominal fee. National Forests have some free camping with a limit of
14 days. That's a no brainer. Keep switching parks!
e.. If thereís no restroom, having a creek nearby helps for rinsing
purposes. Know how to safely defecate outdoors and make a poop tube. Five
gallon bucket with a lid and lye for odour can also work.
f.. A free hospital parking lot is another option. If approached by a
guard, you can say that youíre waiting to visit a sick relative.
However, note that if your city has had past murders of nurses, you may attract
police attention by parking in a hospital car park. You may be asked to
move on by security.
g.. If you can establish rapport with the manager of a retail store or
restaurant, they may not give you problems about staying overnight,
especially if they see your presence as a form of overnight security.
Cafes will have tons of food to give you at closing time. The cooks will
save it for you if you ask. Ditto busboys. BAKERIES throw away a
ton of bread daily. I do not think bread is a good food, but...ask the
cooks. They tell you when is throwaway hour. Be there or be square.
h.. Once you find a spot, try to arrive late at night, and leave before
7am. This will draw as little attention as possible to yourself.
i.. Due to noise, you might find that you will need ear plugs to sleep.
Ear plugs will block a lot of background noise to a level that is
bearable. Ear plugs are good for blocking out traffic, birds, animals, talking and
background music. They will not block out very loud noise or close noise,
such as some one tapping on your car.
3.. Find a place to shower. The most logical place would appear to be a
gym. This will help you keep your sanity and give you a purpose to your
morning. Donít settle for the first gym you find. If you look around, you
may find nearly deserted gyms in which you can showerand fully clean
yourself without embarrassment.
a.. Gyms though can be an expensive option. Many gyms range in cost
from $35 a month to a big city, posh area cost of $55 a week. This is pretty expensive
just for a shower. Many councils, churches and support organisations have
free showers. It can be a false economy to use a gym just for showers,
particularly as there are many free ways to keep in shape without a
Try to remember the flip flops or water shoes as not to get a foot fungus
and let the towel dry out in the car Not on tree branches or fenders!
b.. Community or Recreation centers that have gyms and showers are a
cheaper option than the nationwide chains. Many Rec or Community centers
yearly memberships cost about the same as the monthly memberships at a
national gym. You may not be able to store your items as safely in these
c.. The next best choice is to check into an affordable caravan park
one or two days a week. These usually range from about $18-$26 a night in
possible more in the USA. You will have a spot to park your
car, you can do laundry (usually an extra fee), fill up on water, have a shower
and even pitch a tent if you have one. They usually have powered sites, so
you can recharge your electrical devices or run a fan or heater
d.. Another option, though possibly more expensive, is to book into a
cheap motel or hostel once or twice a week and clean up thoroughly there
(if you can afford it).
e.. Public pools tend to have showers, depending on whether they have
private stalls or are set up gang style, they may provide a discrete place
to shower. Another option to consider- when you canít shower, use
unscented baby wipes to clean up, or take a ďbum showerĒ in a public restroom where
you feel comfortable doing so.
f.. At a truck stop, you can ask around for a shower coupon, if you
feel safe allowing people to know that youíre without a place to stay. Truck
stops are good to sleep at too. Truck Stops can be noisy at night though,
so ear plugs are recommended. CES drug chain has fabulous waxy ones that melt a bit
to fit the ear, so you cannot feel them. 3$ a box of six. Cheaper than bees wax
SLEEP WELLS which we used in the old days.
g.. Some toll roads, especially state turnpikes, have large rest areas
with free showers for truckers. Since these are usually open 24 hours,
these plazas are also good places to sleep.
h.. Keep an eye out for community college athletic field housesĖ they
donít always check IDs, and can be a good free shower option. Check their
fee scheduleĖ sometimes you can take a single class for a nominal price,
thus becoming a legitimate member of the college community, with access to
their gym, library, wi-fi, employment office and other resources (in
addition to learning something).
i.. Rest areas on National highways are good for a few hours and most
4.. Be discreet. Keeping your situation under wraps minimizes the
embarrassment and helps avoid becoming a target for police officers and
a.. Rotate among several parking locations to avoid getting noticed.
b.. When you move around in the parked van, move slowly to avoid
rocking the car.
c.. Consider using a car cover. Not only will it maintain privacy
(especially since condensation on the windows will otherwise make it
obvious that youíre in there) but it will also keep the car warmer during winter.
This is not a viable option, however, when itís hot outside.
d.. When itís sunny in the daytime, use a sunshade for the windshield.
e.. You may find that you need and want more privacy than windows
offer.There are a few cheap ways to gain this privacy. Reflective window shades
in your back and front window help. Similarly fold up shades on the side
windows are good. You can also buy some cheap cloth and either stuff them
in the windows, tape them in, or hold them in place by magnets. Black
cloth is best for privacy and blocking out light.
f.. If you can afford it, local laws allow, and you donít mind driving
with it. Get your windows tinted as dark as legally possible. This along
with the front sunshade and dark cloth or towels can provide a lot of
privacy. If you hang a towel or cloth on a untinted window it screams
homeless person. You hang the same on a tinted window itíll be impossible
to see inside and wonít draw attention.
g.. Keep the windows cracked open while you sleep, not wide enough for
someone to reach in, but enough to allow fresh air and reduce condensation
on the windows.
5.. Get the things youíll need. The basic essentials for living in a car
are a blanket, a pillow, and a mattress or some other padding. Due to the
angles involved in the seating setup, you may develop dull back painfrom
the cramped quarters. Should this happen, be sure to have pain medication on
hand. (legal kind). Gout and arthritic joints are bothered by not using kidneys enough.
Keep the flow going, do not get dehydrated.
Once you have your sleeping gear, youíll want a blanket to place
over the back seat, and draped over the two front seats. This will block light
and peopleís views. For this you can use poly but I would not let poly blankets
cover anybody. They act like plastic bags. Thrift stores for the real deal, wool.
That and a pure cotton sheet is all you need. (So you con't have to wash wool blankets )
a.. A cheap cooler will help make life easier. The main thing the
cooler needs is to be water proof. Cold food will cause condensation, while ice
will melt. You donít want that water inside of your car. A cooler will
help keep your perishable food cool. It will work most efficiently when full,
so add bottles of cold water to it as you take out food. If you choose to buy
an electric cooler, it will need good ventilation to work. For this
reason, it will not work well in your carís boot. It is best placed within the car
when running. Make sure it is only running when the engine runs, or use a
low voltage cut out device, as explained below. Make sure the cooling vent
grille is not touching anything as it exhausts waste heat and may set some
things on fire.
b.. One essential item, if you can afford it is a porta potty, a
chemical toilet. These devices can really make living in a car bearable.
They can be purchased for under $100 new these days. If you canít afford a
porta potti or donít have room for one, a man can pee into wide necked
bottles like gatorade bottles, or make an improvised bucket style toilet.
6.. Find alternate ways of generating electricity. A cigarette lighter
converter is one option. These are useful for powering low consuming
devices (100 watts), but if you plan on using your vehicle for cooking, then
youíll need to draw power more directly from your battery or youíll blow the
fuse. Running electric cooking appliances from your car though is fairly
impractical without an expensive dual battery and inverter system. There
are small 12 volt water heaters and skillets, but these generally are not very
efficient. You will also need a much more expensive inverter if you plan
to run things that use mains voltage. You may need to idle the vehicle while
drawing this power if you donít have a dual battery system, however even
then, car alternators are not designed for such use and may not be able to
produce the current you need.
a.. A good buy for any car dweller is a low voltage cut out device.
This device protects your carís battery by cutting off the electricity
once the battery reaches a voltage where it can still start the car, but canít
really run plug in devices much more. These usually retail for about
$25-$40. They are a very good investment for a car dweller, as continual
flattening of your battery will damage it, resulting in a costly
replacement, and inconvenience of not being able to start the car.
b.. An alternative to electric cooking devices is to use gas for
cooking, but do not use this inside the vehicle for safety reasons. There
are many dangers associated with cooking inside your car; unstable
surfaces, fire hazards, burns from hot metal or spilled liquids, carbon monoxide
build up, smells. Cooking is for outside of the car. If you live in a van with a
stable set up for cooking, then cooking inside is okay, provided there is
7.. Have a place to store items that is portable. Get bags you can fill
with your soaps, clothes, cell phone, etc. Keeping things in order will
save you a lot of hassle. A vehicle may seem like a small space, but losing
things can be extremely easy. Also, keeping things neat inside the car
will draw less attention from people passing by who happen to look in the
windows. Hiding your bedding might be a good idea (consider the trunk). If
there is not room in the car for a weeks worth of clothes and supplies,
try to leave them at a friends for safe keeping and then you can have a reason
to come over, and they may give you a shower and a place to hang out. When
you do your laundry, be sure to get them bone dry, as you do not want damp
clothes to mildew or smell bad in the car. When youíre not in the car,
leave windows cracked and dryer sheets scattered about to keep the interior
smelling decent. Wash your sheets once a month, or else you risk smelling
like a homeless person, which will blow your cover and get you treated
like a homeless person.
8.. Keep dirty clothes separate in plastic bags so they do not smell up
all your clothing. More than a day in plastic bag? Hang on branches
far from people in park...let air out, dry thorougly. Rebag.
9.. Evaluate your food options. Peanut butter, tuna and crackers are
great staples. Have a box for food so it does not get smashed. Gallons of water
are a necessity for a lot of things. They will be limited by the lack of
refrigeration. Fast food is expensive when youíre living off of it. With
old fashioned (large flake) rolled oats, powdered milk, bottled water, plastic
cups, and chocolate protein powder, you can ensure that you always have a
nutritious snack to fall back on.
10.. Before you start living in your car, use your permanent address to:
a.. A Post.O. Box or a Private Mail Box (PMB) that you RENT. Although PMBs tend to
be more expensive, you can receive packages at them and some services will
let you use a address format which makes it appear to be an apartment,
which is useful for when someone requires a physical address.
b.. Sign up for a gym membership. (This however, can be expensive, and
if your resources are limited, you may find it to be a drain.)Trade one for janitorial work?
c.. Renew any paperwork that will require an address to process soon.
d.. Put valuables in a safe deposit box at a bank.
If you have friends or family who canít (or refuse to) help you with your
living situation (or you refuse to ask them for help) think about at least
asking them if you can use their address.
11.. Stay positive. Keep reminding yourself that the situation is only
temporary. Spend each day hitting the pavement and looking for jobs. Use
the local library and bookstore not only to search for jobs, but also to
become more knowledgeable in ways that will help you get through this and find a
job. Most importantly, talk to people like social workers and religious
organization workers who will sympathize and understand, and try to help.
Some introductory steps to sleeping in your car for the first time.
a.. If your car has the capacity, install a hanging bar. This will
provide a bit more storage space as well as keep clothes wrinkle-free for job
b.. Tint your windows for privacy; tinting works better than using
barriers (blankets etc.) because it enables you to see out while others
cannot see in. This could be helpful when trying to live unnoticed.
Barriers also attract attention and advertise what you are doing, while tinted
windows are very common on many cars.
c.. If you wear contact lenses you will need a disinfectant for your
hands. Better yet, wear glasses.
d.. Sleeping will likely be a challenge at first because there is a good
chance that your vehicle is not large enough for you to fully stretch out
your body. Find a position where you can comfortably sleep with your legs
bent or against your chest. Alternatively, you can try sitting up in the
back seat and propping a pillow against the wall of the car.
e.. Get an automobile association membership. This will help you if you
drain your battery, or break down.
f.. Make sure you have vehicle documentation and insurance. Without them,
your problems will increase.
g.. Personal safety should always be your number-one priority. Knives
used for food preparation and tire irons can be used as weapons. You may want
to learn your stateís gun laws and purchase a handgun or other firearm if you
do not already own one. Criminals seek out people who appear vulnerable,
or travel alone. Sometimes the sound of a cocked gun will be sufficient
enough to deter a potential mugger. However, be aware that if police become aware
that you have a gun, they may shoot you for possessing a weapon. Police
generally do not regard homeless people well and there has been many
unfortunate cases of shootings of homeless people (even unarmed ones) by
police. So get a can of WASP SPRAY, It shoots farther than PEPPER SPRAY
and nobody thinks twice about your having it. DO NOT LIKE kids put their
hands on it though.
h.. Be aware that if you carry an unlicensed gun that there
are extremely stiff penalties for doing so. Worse ones for murdering someone
who just wanted to chat.
i.. If you are spending the night in your car and you have been drinking
alcohol, do not have the keys in the ignition, If it is winter and you
need to run the car for heat, move over to the passenger or back seat.
Otherwise, you could get a DUI/DWI just for being in your car.
j.. The garbage truck or other neighborhood noises can wake you up.
Again, Consider earplugs. Walmart has the best fitting comfy ones in
raspberry red silicone, children's size best, $2.47 for six pairs. Adult
size too big and too costly! Learn the trash pick up date at that locale.
Sleep elsewhere that one night.
k.. Pay attention to your instincts. If a parking spot feels weird for
any reason, find yourself a new one.
l.. If you are on food stamps, and canít afford deodorant or car
deodorizer, baking soda is really good substitute that food stamps can
buy. Also cheap dollar store hydrogen peroxide along with baking soda, are a
phenomenal toothpaste. If for some reason you cannot bathe for a day or
two, baking soda will make your hair clean and grease free. Rub in scalp, comb thru.
Towel and brush out.
m.. Apply for HUD Housing in remote areas of the country where there is
no waiting list.Heck, do it in the city if you must. Not like they cancel one another OUT.
So Enroll in ten cities!
n.. An outdoors shop, like REI in the U.S. or MEC in Canada, is a great
place to get cheap things youíll need to live outside of an apartment.
o.. Again, Wal-Marts usually allow all-night parking and sleeping in cars.
a.. Avoid driving the car. Cuz that's how people get stopped by cops
While a family together in a car seems harmless, police do not take
kindly to marginalized people. A danger is that they may write a report
about you to a government office in the hope that theyíll cancel your
license. You don't want Family Services LOOKING for you! So go to
park by DAY. Walk to shop. Drive to parking lot.
b.. Never sleep in the driver seat if you can avoid it. Your body will
quickly associate that seat with sleeping, creating risks when you are
driving Ė especially when youíre tired. Recline the passenger seat or lie
down in the back if there is room.
c.. If you are sleeping in the car on a regular basis, do as few other
things in the car as possible. Donít eat, read, or anything else that will
cause you to spend more time than necessary in the car. The more time you
spend in it, the more smells will accumulate.
d.. If you use a car cover, never run the car or smoke while it is on.
You could easily suffocate or get carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, do not use
it on a warm day without adequate ventilation. If you smoke, move 100 feet
from car and look like it and the kids do not belong to you.
e.. Be careful who you tell about your living in a car. If theyíre not
likely to provide assistance, then donít bother, because you might end up
endangering yourself. If they're poor, they might wait til you go for a walk
break in and take a lot of stuff. If they're rich, they'll report you.
f.. Be aware that having a gun in the car carries its risks. If you are
startled awake and point the gun at the wrong person (i.e. a cop tapping
on the window), you can wind up being shot yourself.
g.. Donít drink alcohol. Donít even bring any alcohol into your car. If
cops find you with alcohol in your blood or in your car, you could get in
serious trouble, even if youíre not driving at the time.
Things Youíll Need
a.. Car with insurance and license
b.. Blankets and pillows
c.. Towels and wash cloths
g.. Gym membership (you will stay clean and work off stress)
h.. Automobile association membership (if your car insurance doesnít
include Roadside Assistance)
i.. If you have been homeless for a while, you may not have money for car
insurance. Be aware that you can be considered a vagrant. Your car will be
impounded. No money, no recovery of your car and the impounder has just
stolen your car. Now where can you go??????
a.. How to Find a Place to Live in LA
b.. How to Make Money Fast
c.. How to Panhandle
d.. How to Become a Hobo
e.. How to Stay Positive when You Know Your Life Sucks
Sources and Citations
HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN R.V http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-nomadland-airstream-20171122-story.html
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