10 Things You Need to Know to Live on the Street

July 19, 2009

for saleLike many neighborhoods across the land, we are surrounded by empty homes; each story unique yet the same. We, like several of our neighbors who are still hanging on,  could very well be the next victims of an economy brought to its knees.

With almost 3.5 million Americans homeless and the number increasing, Picture the Homeless and The Nation came up with the following list:

  1. Be prepared to be blamed for your circumstances, no matter how much they may be beyond your control. Think of ways to disabuse the public of common misconceptions. Don’t internalize cruelty or condescension. Let go of your pride–but hold on to your dignity.
  2. There is no private space to which you may retreat. You are on display 24/7. Learn to travel light. Store valuables in a safe place, only carrying around what you really need: ID and documents for accessing services, a pen, etc. You can check e-mail and read at the library. You can get a post office box for a fee or use general delivery (free).
  3. Learn the best bathroom options, where you won’t be rushed, turned away or harassed. Find restrooms where it’s clean enough to put your stuff down, the stalls are big enough to change in and there’s hot water so you can wash up. If you’re in New York City go to Restrooms in New York.

Read the rest of the list – if you don’t need it or know someone who does, count your blessings and remember compassion. Pass it on.


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