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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tips on Being Homeless or Just Dirt Poor

Whether you are technically homeless or just dirt poor, finding food and water or other amenities like heat can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips from the pros – people who have been there and know something about how to survive.

- Check out events like church gatherings, Sunday morning coffee and donuts, open houses or special museum nights. Usually they have free food. Free samples at grocery stores and markets are also an awesome welcome.

- Friends who haven't seen you in a while will occasionally offer to buy you lunch or coffee. Yeah, it feels like a humbling guilt trip, but it's because they care about you. Obviously don't ask, but if they offer its okay to say yes.

- Can’t afford the gas or electric? Use blankets and layers of clothing instead of heat. Hot drinks work nicely too. Also, for about $20 at, Lasko makes a Ceramic Personal Space Heater that will keep you toasty warm for pennies a day.

- Some grocery stores have a "damaged food" shelf. Here there are dented cans or apples with bruises, but otherwise fine food which is sold for cheap.

- Some restaurants have "meal deals" where you can buy a combination of items and get it all at a reduced price. The food will last you several meals.

- Bulk up on inexpensive carbs like pasta, couscous, beans, rice and lentils.

- Shop for fruits and vegetables in season. You probably don't need watermelon in December!

- Stock up for the day with sugar, ketchup, honey, napkins and cups . . . anything like that’s in the condiment stand in a restaurant.

- Shop independent thrift shops, The Salvation Army and Goodwill for clothes. Hand-me-downs from family and friends are awesome too!

- Get your water at a friend's house or a fast food soda fountain instead of buying bottles.

- Shower at a friend's house or occasionally check into a gym by getting a day pass – some offer them for free just to try out the gym. Go work out for a few minutes and then use their shower. Many already have soap and shampoo in them as well.
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Donate! to the poor homeless at or post checks to - Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc., P.O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042. All Donations are Tax Deductible.


Anonymous said...

I've honestly exhausted all my resources. Even if I find a friend (well, don't have any) to stay with the unemployable issue is still horrendous, and I can't fight anymore.

I'm a single (and very alone/vulnerable) femme. 5'2" and getting smaller all the time. I've no car; duh.

My question: I've been there when my times were far more sheltered, but how is ventura, Oxnard, Santa Barbie beach for the homeless...esp. the gals? Is being beach bound unlawful at nite? I've looked into home less residential/volunteer programs but they are all booked, at least into Sep/Oct. I saw one in San jose but they are, naturally, full til Fall.

Does ANYONE know of any shucked aside out there groups, "families" of homeless I may find an umbrella with? Maybe not likely, if anything I will get attacked or hurt, but anyone other camps, homeless folk that gather somewhere?

Do those boardwalk/beach side entertainers etc. need any permit or are they just left be by law enforcement?

Anonymous said...

In Ventura County call 211 and ask questions like these that you have. The operator has the name, addresses and phone numbers of where to find help for shelter, meals, women's homes, etc. The number 211 also works for the same in many other cities and counties around the country.