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Friday, September 28, 2007

Rad Guide to Living out of your Porsche

In most major cities, a full-time worker earning minimum wage can no longer afford even a one-bedroom apartment. As a result, more and more people are choosing to live out of their vehicles. They are known as the "mobile homeless." The problem is more complex when kids are involved. The children must be rehearsed to tell anyone who asks the question, “Where are you living?” to answer with something like, "We’re staying with friends!"

Because mobile homelessness is illegal in most cities and the fines are hefty, it is not always the rent savings one would think. The city of Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle, passed an ordinance a few years ago imposing penalties of 90 days in jail or fines of up to $1,000 against people caught living in their cars. Peter Van Giesen, a code enforcement officer for the town, said that up to 20 cars a night were found with people parking near a park. "Most of these people were trying to find work," Mr. Van Giesen said. (see

Radified is a "mobile homeless" blogger living in Laguna Beach. He refers to his group as “mobile hobos.” He is known for his street-smart wisdom in the book, Rad Guide to Living out of your Porsche. (see He prepares the working poor to live out of their cars in Southern California’s unaffordable housing market. Essential to the lifestyle is living out of an old VW Van, preferably from the 60's but you receive bonus points for living out of a Porsche. A cell phone and wireless laptop is a must. Extras include having a list of all coffee shops with free wireless access and carrying a Bible. He encourages "mobile hobos" to take comfort in knowing that Jesus was a homeless guy. "And Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no where to lay his head.'” (Matthew 8:20)


LS said...

I know a lot of mobile homeless who live by Echo Park. I walk there twice a day and have gotten to know most of them. Some have been outcasts (like transgenders) who have been able to make a community friends at the Park. I really enjoy seeing them and always look forward to talking to them. I get alot out of our friendships and miss them when they are n't there. Sometimes one of them suddenly leaves, like Carlos who lived in his car for a few years and I have been really upset as I worried that something happened to him as I know he wasn't working or looking for work. I pray for them daily at mass. God Bless them!

LS said...

Another type of mobile homeless are people who are going through divorce or separation. One of my friends' husband lived out of his truck for 6 months and found an industrial area near Sylmar that had many people in this situation. It haunts me just to think about it.

markee25 said...

We must constantly reach out in concrete and practical ways to those in need. Homeless people in California, particularly in L.A. made me realize the growing poverty amongst those who struggle to make ends meet. Those who have no fixed abodes reminded me of the people in the New Testament church, gospel stories, et al.
My prayer goes out to these people. Mark Escobar, cs

Anonymous said...

L.S., thank you for the great observations that you bring to all of us HIA bloggers. May we be so blessed to tune in to the world around us as you do. May we experience your unconditional love for the despised and rejected. Possibly then we will have a true vision of both the historical and eternal Jesus.

Also, Markee25, much appreciated is your connect to the homeless men and women in the Gospel stories. The disciples and later the apostles were just a band of homeless outcasts that did not fit in, Weren't they?