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#87406 - 11/17/08 01:41 PM Living out of your car
itstarted Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 6428
Loc: Florida/Illinois
Posted for general interest, as a peek into a part of the world that shouldn't have to be... but already is. The homeless shelters in our area are already full.
Certainly something to be aware of in trying times.

Gleaned from internet blogs.
.................................................................
1. Window covers, such as sun shades, for privacy

2. Park in a semi-secluded area (not fully secluded, for that might leave you vulnerable to criminals)

3. Try to find a parking lot or neighborhood that is frequented by a few cars, but not a lot of cars (you don't want to be surrounded by passerbys, yet you don't want to be the only car in a completely abandoned lot either, that always looks suspicious)

4. Park towards the outskirts of the lot or area -- far enough away to not be visible to the local foot traffic

5. Locate the nearest public showers and/or restrooms, if available; park close enough to them to make them readily available

6. Try to sleep during the day if you can -- a police officer or curious person may just assume that you're taking a nap on your lunch break; sleeping in your car at night can be more dangerous and more suspicious

7. Carry the items that you need in your trunk (assuming that you have one), and not piled up in the back seat, to take away the appearance of homelessness

8. Sleep in the passenger seat, with the seat fully reclined, unless you have a larger van or SUV, in which case you can probably fold down or remove rear seats and use a sleeping bag on the floor; sleeping in the driver's seat could potentially be dangerous, and will not allow you as much room due to the steering wheel and pedals

9. Keep your windows cracked just enough to let fresh air in but not enough to allow a person to reach their hand in; if it is extremely cold out, keep the windows shut, and drive the car around to allow the engine to warm up so that you can run the heater -- and of course, make sure to bring plenty of layers of clothing just in case

10. Do not change clothes in your car unless you can do so without anybody seeing; instead, use a public restroom stall if possible

11. Use public restroom sinks or drinking fountains to brush your teeth; do NOT use them to bathe unless you are sure that nobody will see you... for bathing purposes, ask a friend or relative if you can use their restroom, or use a public shower if available (i.e., beach shower, gym shower, etc.)

12. Bring things to entertain yourself with; books, paper and pen, a deck of cards, etc.

13. Buy non-perishable dry foods that you can eat straight out of the box, such as breakfast cereal; make sure you always have plenty of water to drink (carry a water bottle or canteen, refill at drinking fountains)

14. If possible, have a first aid kit in your car, as well as a working flashlight with backup batteries; do not use the flashlight unless you have to, as you do not want to use up the batteries needlessly

15. Get a car adapter for electronic devices that you may need, such as a cell phone

16. DO NOT rely on your car battery for power unless you are able to drive your car regularly; car batteries will run out of power unless they can be recharged by the alternator, which will only charge when the engine is running (preferably at driving speed)

17. Make sure your car is in running condition, just in case you need to use it to go somewhere; also make sure there is enough fuel in the tank to take you where you need to go... if you intend on living in a non-running car, you may want to keep it in an empty field or abandoned lot somewhere where it will not be seen or towed away.

Pack the necessities to maintain good hygiene and changes of clothes..
To sleep at all you must have an alarm clock.

You can park in residential neighborhoods where this is less traffic but you must be up very early so your out by the time the neighborhood comes to life. Do not stash your sleeping gear in plain sight.

You clothes should be very organized according to what is clean and what is dirty. Dirty clothes should always be bagged and kept away from the interior of the car (trunk) this will keep the car from smell ( and eventually you). Food should not be kept or consumed in the car, again smell and filth.
Laundromats are your friend.

It is possible to carry a large bag with shampoo and toothbrush. Figure out where there are bathrooms (yes multiple) that have a single stall with a locking door. Learn to wash your hair in the sink. Keep a gallon of water in the trunk. You can learn to bathe with just one gallon.
Campgrounds have pay showers.
Do not have pets.
Park at service stations at night for the toilet and washes.
Dont park where its lonely
Dont sleep with the keys in the ignition,but somewhere still handy.


Edited by itstarted (11/17/08 01:42 PM)

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#87412 - 11/17/08 03:28 PM Re: Living out of your car [Re: itstarted]
Ardy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 12007
Loc: San Jose, Ca USA
Some people join the YMCA for access to the showers-- and a place to hang out
_________________________
"It's not a lie if you believe it." -- George Costanza
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. --Bertrand Russel

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#87462 - 11/17/08 06:29 PM Re: Living out of your car [Re: itstarted]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
 Originally Posted By: itstarted
5. Locate the nearest public showers and/or restrooms, if available; park close enough to them to make them readily available.


Chamber pots, or the modern hygienic equivalent, may make a come-back.

Swimming pool change areas are a good spot to shower and clean up ---- I have seen obviously homeless people using them.

University athletic changing rooms are also a possibility ---- there are some where no fee is required. Also, there are ordinary rest rooms, particularly in universities, that contain a shower. The intelligent homeless person will check out all the advantages that are available to the upper levels of society.

What a shame that people have to be so furtive just to survive. I am reminded of the way vagrants and peasants dispossessed of their land were treated in Elizabethan England. What a stain on our society.

-


Edited by numan (11/17/08 06:33 PM)
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#87469 - 11/17/08 06:35 PM Re: Living out of your car [Re: numan]
pdx rick Offline
Member
CHB-OG

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41554
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
When I waited tables in college, part of my college days were in Los Angeles. Los Angeles equal "wannabe's." So there were a lot of actor/model/musicians waiting tables before they get "discovered."

This one "actor" lived in his car and joined 24-Hour Fitness (which was opened 24 hrs) so that he could shower.

At that time, the membership was only $39.00/mo.

He ate for free at the restaurant.

...not a bad way to live and save money - IF you had to...
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#87472 - 11/17/08 06:38 PM Re: Living out of your car [Re: Ardy]
pdx rick Offline
Member
CHB-OG

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 41554
Loc: Puget Sound, WA
 Originally Posted By: Ardy
Some people join the YMCA for access to the showers-- and a place to hang out

...and the Village People wrote a #1 song about the place.


(...as far a mens who 'hang out' - I think I've run into a few of those in my day... ;\) )
_________________________
Contrarian, extraordinaire



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#87487 - 11/17/08 07:01 PM Re: Living out of your car [Re: pdx rick]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
-

In larger cities, there are lunch buffets where you can get all you can eat for $10 or less. (It must be a lunch buffet; dinner buffets are more expensive) Some of them are quite good. ( I am fond of good Chinese buffets) A person can stoke up almost all the food they need for a day and get a well-balanced, nutritious meal --- if he or she has a stomach that can handle a really big meal.

-
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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