I could sure convert that van’s interior into a mighty fine living space.
Sure, a “real” house/home would be much more roomy and allow me to do stuff I could never do in that van but life reality, especially for the HUGE number of USA working-poor and unemployed folks, makes the possibility of a van as a house/home a possibility.
And that possibility sure beats being forced to live in a homeless shelter, on the sidewalk, under a bridge or a cardboard box in the woods or other worse places than a van.
My used van search continues and I am very fortunate to have the time and funds to wait for a good deal; low purchase price and in good or easily-fixed at a reasonable price condition.
Prepare for the worst NOW, folks!!! I repeat that advice constantly and for good reason.
So many USA residents seem to be complacent, assuming the past and present will continue as it has into the future.
For a minority of folks their future will have nothing but ample wealth for various reasons.
If you are one of those folks I doubt you are reading this blog.
“Be prepared” the Boy Scouts shout and they do so for good reason.
Okay… you fell headfirst into tough times.
No job, no income or maybe a minute amount of interest your savings give you.
You were prepared and had a vehicle ready to live in… hopefully a vehicle offering some sleeping, living and storage room.
A cargo van as shown above is my vehicle of choice.
Sure, a BIG comfy RV (recreational vehicle) would be much more comfortable but also costly and finding a place to park and sleep could be hard to do.
There are places that rent a space to park and live at but what about the cost? Places that tend to attract the tourist trade will likely charge top dollar for renting a space.
And if you have to seek work and other day-to-day living tasks do you need to be in or near a town or city offering those necessities? A typical cargo van, either standard length or extended, is a common site and will blend into an area much easier than even a small RV.
I took a break from writing this post and found a story about “Recession Ghost Towns.”
“America has a new kind of ghost town, haunted by the spirits of the recession. Developers caught up in the runaway housing boom overbuilt and oversold lots, houses and condos, leaving neighborhoods barren with uninhabited model homes, eerily desolate luxury condos, and abandoned McMansions in the aftermath of the collapse. ”
One of the reader comments contained the following:
“I live full time in an R.V. park in a trailer a buddy gave me. Nothing fancy, a 25 foot 1980 holiday rambler. I pay $450 per month rent and that includes everything.”
Rents vary greatly across the USA but if unemployed and no income and limited savings any rent may be more than you can handle.
Thus the reason for this entry… where to park your vehicle free and can safely (hopefully) sleep at night and, even better, stay parked for lengthy periods and use the vehicle as much akin to a home as possible.
Maybe being able to walk to needed facilities such as a laundromat, a store, a place where you can take a shower and how about places offering entertainment? A library could be handy for the entertainment it can offer.
Maybe a nearby college can offer a library, a student center, maybe a gym where you can walk in as if you were a student and grab a shower.
Circumstances vary greatly!!!
In the center of a HUGE city will be far different than in a rural town of 5,000 folks.
Parking and living in an area where very wealthy folks live will be different than in an impoverished area.
I am unsure about the idea/possibility I offer in this post… I have not tried it and those who have that I talked to were not homeless.
I knew a couple with a BIG RV who traveled to various tourist-type areas such as south Florida.
They belong to a fraternal organization known as the Elks.
As members, they can park at Elks lodges/clubs and stay for a certain length of time that varies from club to club. The lodges often serve lunch and dinner and may have showers though I forgot to ask about that. It has been a few years since I saw those relatives who do the Elk thing.
To do what they do you have to be an Elks member. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to join several clubs/organizations that allow members to park and stay in the parking lot or whatever for a limited time?
If you stay in one town you would likely need multiple club memberships to rotate through them without being too obvious.
Maybe if times are tough enough and you did not abuse the practice you could use that method of parking and living in a vehicle.
However, you will need to be able to afford the gas and able to afford any needed repairs that arise so as to stay mobile.
Long-term parking is best… especially if there is doubt about vehicle reliability and/or affording needed repairs.
A local American Legion post has a large parking lot and a park-like area with covered picnic benches and charcoal or wood-fueled grilles for cooking. I have seen RVs parked there for a couple days at a time. They are likely American Legion members who are from out of town and visiting the area or just passing through. Show your membership card and nation-wide organizations will, apparently, roll out hat “red carpet” to welcome you.
There are so many variables and possibilities I could never think of all of them.
Hopefully this post will act as a catalyst to make you think.
Hmmmmmm…. how about a YMCA membership? They have locations across the USA and I believe some to all have showers, etc. Maybe a membership there, if affordable, may be a good idea?
From the Salvation Army Web site: Housing and Homeless Services
Well, that isn’t very helpful in determining using Salvation Army facilities to assist with your vehicle living. Check out your area or the one you may relocate to if homelessness strike to determine what resources in that area may be useful.
Locally, there is a Veteran’s Shelter that is a daytime drop-in place where you can relax, take a shower, eat a meal, watch TV, get a load of laundry done,receive a phone call or even take a nap.
But, it is daytime and Monday-Friday use only.
Those are valuable services!!!!!
A church located across the state funds the affair. Those kind-hearted folks do not check to ensure that only military veterans are helped. Non-veteran homeless are also helped.
The “veteran” aspect of the place is done to help keep the vile, scum, filthy, anti-human wealthy folks and their lackeys; local politicians and law enforcement, etc. from bothering the place as they have done in the past.
Some well-paid disgusting educational system bureaucrat got her panties in a knot and told the local newspaper and broadcast media of the danger presented to her school’s students because of the homeless folks using the facility a couple blocks away from her precious school.
Did the dame share any actual incidents of a homeless person actually bothering a student in ANY way?
Well…..no… but, she was concerned!!!!!!
Hey you skanky filthy freak… how about my concern when your lard-laden putrid body is driving down the street above the speed limit in a vehicle that can easily kill dozens of pedestrians and your attention is devoted to your fat lips spewing your garbage into the cellphone clamped to your bloated, obese misshapen ugly head?
Maybe your drivers license should be taken away and your car sold to help a homeless veteran down on his luck due to no cause of his own?
Class war, folks. It is alive and well in the USA.
THINK!!!!!! THINK SOME MORE!!! ENVISION FUTURE POSSIBILITIES!!!!
Then prepare for those possibilities. Learn about local homeless resources NOW!!!
While doing so, and if things are going good for you, how about tossing the helpful place a few bucks or donate some used but usable clothing or perhaps an old back pack or student-type book bag.
You never know what is not needed by you may be of great value to a person down on their luck!!
Good luck to all of you and let’s hope for the best for all of us!!!!!