1. When you know you are about to be homeless, you should take as little as you can, but as much as you need - no more than one bag per person.
2. Get with all of your children and decide what clothing they will need. They will need mostly warm clothing, but also have the ability to dress up or down in layers, depending.
3. Gather up all the storable foods you can find in your home if you still have a home. Don’t take foods that require refrigeration.
4. Foods that are good to take are canned beans, soup and canned meats, canned Spam and potted meat. Vienna sausages and canned ham that is cured and doesn't have to be refrigerated are good, too. Bread should be kept for sandwiches.
5. Have games ready for those times when the kids get annoyed with each other and bored with riding. For faith and encouragement, have some Christian CDs to play in the car, assuming you still have one.
6. Rest areas are a good place you can stay for a little while. If you get to know the park ranger, he may let you stay indefinitely. One family I heard of stayed a month in a park.
7. Make sure you always have enough gas. You do not want to run out of gas in a strange area, especially at night.
8. Stay close to truck drivers. If you are in trouble, they will look after you. They stick together in most situations. It is like travelling with family. They know what it is like to be homeless – they live on the road most of their lives.
9. When you arrive in the city you wish to live, find a place to rest. For instance, sleep in the parking lot of a well known superstore.
10. Large parks with lakes are great places to camp out. Of course, they usually charge you a fee. Park rangers can be unkind, but with any conscience, they may come around and be your ally.
11. Have some way of cooking. Don’t make huge bonfires; it draws attention – just very small fires to get the job done for you and your children.
12. Don't be too loud and let your children run around without supervision. It draws attention and you become more of a liability.
13. Remember, being homeless draws attention from city officials, too. The Family Services people may come and check on you. Make sure you have school books and impress them with how well you are homeschooling your children.
14. Acquiring a job can be difficult when you have only freezing cold water coming from a lake or a gas station bathroom. If bathing outdoors, it can be dangerous. Not only do you have to watch out for wild animals, but strangers wandering up, as well. This is why it is never a good idea to go to the park bathroom by yourself.
15. At night, there are wild animals that prowl in most remote places where there are woods. In this case, have family members take turns doing watches in the night. It is commong to see wolves, foxes, bears and mountain lions. They are looking for food and leftovers. Always seal and store food in the car at bed time. Have the night "watchman" use a powerful flashlight to ward off animals. Don’t flirt with deer or other “cute” wild animals, they will bite and charge you!
16. Remember, it is better to be homeless in a small town. People tend to be more helpful. You need to find out where they have places to help people in your situation.
17. Get a job where you can. That doesn't mean a bad job or indecent job. This means if a fast food restaurant is where you have to work, do not be ashamed. Do whatever it takes to feed your family without lowering your standards.
18. The one important thing to remember...."never lose your faith". Jesus and his mother and father(there was no room in the inn) were homeless too, they understand what you are going through. Pray, and the Lord will come to your aid. Believe in miracles!
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