The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Emergency Preparations => Topic started by: Alfonso Crawford on March 18, 2013, 08:07:11 PM

Title: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 18, 2013, 08:07:11 PM
Hello, everyone! As well all know, one is more likely to experience an acute disaster than a wide-scale catastrophe: I've experienced a few myself, that have resulted to me living on the street. Things are better now, and since I'm terrible at writing guides, a thread wherein I answer anyone's questions about living outdoors within a city or suburb seemed like a good idea.

I'll start off with two easy points, though:
That's all for right now~! I'll answer your questions to the best of my ability, and even make videos when I can. Thanks for your time, and let's hope you never have to use anything you learn here.  ;)
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: FreeLancer on March 18, 2013, 09:42:45 PM
How about cleanliness?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 18, 2013, 10:13:26 PM
How about cleanliness?
What you're gonna need here is a bathroom with a handicapped stall that doesn't see much use by handicapped people. Scout the area out some, beforehand. If you've got two rags (one for scrubbing, one for drying) and a bar of soap, you've got everything you need to get your body clean. Just like the George Carlin joke goes, focus on the stank bits first. Keep sandwich bags handy, too.

If you practice, you can be in and out before anybody suspects a thing. Oh! You'll be washing yourself in the sink. WikiHow's got the hook-up for in-depth instructions (http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Bath-in-a-Sink,-Bucket,-or-River); but the gist is "take your shirt off and start scrubbing." Make sure to keep the washrag only kinda damp so you don't get your pants wet. I've yet to devise an elegant way to wash your junk, but I'll start experimenting if there's call for it. When you get to somewhere outdoors and private, lay out the rags to dry.

Your teeth work the same way as when camping or on a road trip: the cargo and techniques are all the same.

For clothes, you can do a lot of the same routine; but with different soap. I'll get some powder detergent and make a video for how to wash your clothes. Drying? Wring 'em out, fold 'em, bag 'em, lay 'em out on a rock when you can. A park would be my first candidate; or the safety rails on a train-bridge (assuming... ah, I'll get a picture of what I'm talking about tomorrow or so). If you've got dark stuff, you don't mind the feel, you can wring well, and you're damn sure you've got time to walk around, you can wear your outfit immediately; but, obviously, that's a lot of ifs.
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: FreeLancer on March 18, 2013, 10:25:43 PM
Interesting stuff!

How about sleeping?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: NWPilgrim on March 19, 2013, 03:39:39 AM
Wow that is some background!  Lots of interesting things.  How about where do you choose to hang out?  Say you lived in the suburbs and became homeless.  Do you hang around the same area because fo familiarity and friends, or move toward more population density for more opportunities to find facilities, etc.?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: endurance on March 19, 2013, 09:29:57 AM
What are your most important items that you keep with you?  Do you keep a full change of clothes, just the underbits, or manage with just one set the best you can?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 19, 2013, 10:31:09 AM
I hate college. I hate college. I hate college. I hate college. I hate college. I hate college.

Due to extenuating circumstances, your questions will need to wait a day or so to be answered! I don't like it anymore than you do, but I'll knock out one just 'cause I can touch on it quick.


You gotta be wise with how it's packed, but that was enough for me to get by if you don't have a campsite. I specialized in ultralight living, so I neither had a hideout nor a large backpack. There's more to share, but I've got to go hate college some more. If anybody wants to come down to Florida and, y'know, shoot me, you're welcome to. I'll even move a little; make it interesting.
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: rikkrack on March 19, 2013, 11:21:06 AM
Reminds me of SLECO. Real experiences, and sometimes are not what you think they would be unless you did it. Watching for more info.

I am interested in how did you recover?
Were you able to get any money?
What about shelters?
Were friends/family not available?
Since there was mention of location, winter was not an issue. But there are food sources in that location for foraging. How much did foraging (not dumpster diving, not to dismiss that) play into food sources.
What about water availability for drinking?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 20, 2013, 12:50:39 PM
Hanging Out & Sleeping

I loved hanging out at libraries, myself! Internet, romance comics... internet. Oh, and water. Water was easy to come by. And romance comics. (I'm a simple man.) Higher population density means higher population of homeless, which typically leads to higher population of people helping the homeless. In Gainesville, on Saturdays, you can get six meals if you're willing to put in the legwork!

Sleeping is a pain, but pretty straightforward. What I do is walk around looking as normal as possible, scanning for places that can hide somebody. Once got caught behind an abandoned church, 'cause people were using its parking lot, while another dude was chilling behind its dumpster! Two important things to know:
If you're in a place with 24-hour establishments, you might want to become nocturnal. Sleeping in a park during the day, when it's open, won't get you in trouble like sleeping in it after hours. Hell, I had a netbook on me in Gainesville, and I just hung out in the corner of a copy-place every night watching anime on YouTube. Good times~
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: MTUCache on March 20, 2013, 01:17:05 PM
So, without getting into anything personal that you don't want to share, was this a voluntary lifestyle choice that you took?
What was your EDC (Every Day Carry)? What kinds of tools or weapons did you end up carrying?
Did you have ID on you or were you looking to get really off the radar?
What was the worst situation that you found yourself in? Safety-wise? Medical-wise?
Was there a fallback option in a worst-case-scenario, where you could hit a payphone and get picked up by a family member if things just got too far messed up?

I'm curious as to what decisions went into that, and more importantly what your long-term plan was for that...

In my opinion, if I didn't have the family/career life that I've chosen, I still don't think I would choose to go without the security that comes with some place or the options that come with having a regular paycheck (no matter how small). The freedom that comes with that life would be freeing for a few weeks, but once you get past the "camping out" phase that you could get from a hike along the AT, that doesn't sound like all that much fun.

How much more effort would it have taken to live the same sort of way, but live in a "tiny house" that you can keep some supplies, food, and "stuff" in and sleep in a locked up place? Even if you've got to rent a truck every month or so to move it to another locale, you're not putting all that much money into it.

I see all sorts of different homeless types around downtown Chicago, and I know there's a lot of resources around for them to keep warm and eat. The panhandling around here is out of control, to the point where they laugh at some of my coworkers when they ask what we make per hour... they make more in handouts everyday than many people do working full time.

I was an avid watcher of skipperfound's on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0BEFFB20ACA146EE) when he did some similar adventuring (shanty-boat from Michigan to Florida, and then living among homeless for a few weeks). A lot of his videos were really informative and insightful, but I think eventually it just got old for him. He's actually now in the Red Cross and getting ready to ship off to Africa for a Peace Corp adventure.
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 21, 2013, 12:30:52 PM
MTUCache's Questions
MTUCache's Comments
Okay, now which one's haven't I gotten to yet...?
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: MTUCache on March 21, 2013, 12:49:24 PM
Real talk? I pursued it because I always felt (and still do feel) that it's all I can amount to. Living comfortably on the street looked like the most I could ever hope for, even since I was a kid.
Wow... that's a pretty profound statement. A lot to process there.

I don't know if your interested in hearing it, or whether it would help anyway, but I can GUARANTEE you that I've met, worked with, and probably even lived with people who are less worthy of what they have in life than you are. There are some serious dirt-bags out there with really comfortable lives, and there's some really good people who have never gotten what they deserved.

Wanting something different out of life is one thing... but thinking you don't deserve a life is a whole other story.
I hope that you've gotten some satisfaction and pride out of the things you've learned and done, even if it would't have been your first choice.
Title: Re: When It Hits YOUR Fan: A (Sub-)Urban Homelessness Q&A
Post by: Alfonso Crawford on March 23, 2013, 11:19:17 PM
Reminds me of SLECO. Real experiences, and sometimes are not what you think they would be unless you did it. Watching for more info.

I am interested in how did you recover?
Were you able to get any money?
What about shelters?
Were friends/family not available?
Since there was mention of location, winter was not an issue. But there are food sources in that location for foraging. How much did foraging (not dumpster diving, not to dismiss that) play into food sources.
What about water availability for drinking?