People who’ve experienced homelessness, what do you wish more people understood about being homeless?

People who’ve experienced homelessness, what do you wish more people understood about being homeless?

What do you think?

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  1. There are different levels of homelessness.

    First “level” is you don’t have a place of your own but have friends or family you can stay with with little/no rent charges. This is usually temporary because you have a support system, and is cause by something generally quick to fix (lost a job, house had a sudden flood, etc)

    Second is you don’t have friends or family to help, but you have a car or cheap RV/fancy tent you can stay in. You can work to pay basic bills, use a gym membership for a shower, etc.

    Third is the worst. No job, no car, no help at all. You might get lucky enough to stay in an empty lot or tent city for a while but there’s never consistency.

    The thing to know is 1) because of the terrible economy, there’s more people at the first or second level, and 2) not having a physical address can make it damn near impossible to get your life together. Most job applications want a physical mailing address—not a PO BOX. Most places won’t hire you if your clothes have a few holes.

    I’ve only been through levels 1 and 2, thankfully, but I know people who went through the third level. It’s hell.

  2. You are without so much that others take for granted: clean, running water; sewer services; cover for weather; food source; bathing; privacy; safety.

  3. Though a lot of homelessness is the result of substance abuse and mental health issues and being a sex offender; there is that segment caused by have a father who is financially inept, narcissistic, and a moron.

  4. Haven’t been homeless, but I’ve worked with unhoused. Cash is king. Don’t offer to buy things. They don’t have room. Food is heavy to carry around. The money you give isn’t yours anymore, and you have no claim on how they spend it.

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