Recovering From Homelessness


Getting back to a normal life.
We hope we can help you get back to your normal life. To transcend your current situation, your are going to have to work hard, and find a little discipline. Although things may feel insurmountable, it is quite possible to succeed. Most people do get back to having a roof over their head. Your motivation will be the major determining factor in the outcome.

Who’s Homeless:
There are approximately 565,000 people homeless in the U.S. as of 12-2017. The face of homelessness is deceiving, about 20% of the homeless have mental or drug challenges. This is the most visible demographic. Many of the other 80% actually don’t want to be seen and work hard to remain invisible. They consist of the “working homeless”, temporary homeless, sofa surfers, & homeless by choice.

Conserving money:
You will need to save every possible penny. Here are some suggestions: Get a cheaper phone plan, cook as much of your food as possible, no restaurants, no concerts. Use a food bank, apply for food stamps, use Dollar stores. Find cash assistance programs. As you obtain money do not keep it with you, put in a bank. If you are living in an area that has severe winters, that will use up more resources to stay warm such as fuel and hotels. You may consider moving to a warmer climate.

Your Location:
Getting assistance will be essential Some geographical areas are easier than other other to do this. Some states offer more and better programs to help you reintegrate. A move to a more hospitable area may be a consideration. If you are living in shelters you may only have to move to a better neighborhood that have nicer shelters with more services.The neighborhood will reflect who is using it and how it is run and funded.

Your Appearance:
How you look (and smell) will determine if you get that job, handout, ride, or place to stay. You will likely be treated courteously if you have a good appearance which will help with feeling good about yourself.

State of Mind:
Unwinding the vicious circle. Being homeless leads to depressed states. Depressed states lead to inaction. Inaction furthers the depressed state. Many people resort to drugs to temporarily escape this state which leads to another downward spiral. Breaking this chain can seem daunting.

Your mental health will play a vital role in weather you succeed or fail. If you are challenged with a disorder such as PTSD, depression, or other debilitation, get help with that. The severity of the condition will also determine the outcome. If you are mildly depressed, or are affected occasionally by a disorder, that may not be consequential. Most of us go through periods of our life where we are challenged, and most of us live with some kind of neurosis.

Substance Abuse:
If you are dependent on drugs or alcohol you will need to assess that. Many people function pretty well in society with a substance issue. There are working alcoholics and maintenance drug users that hold down jobs. It won’t work if you are strung out. You will have to go through rehab and should be clean before you attempt reintegration. No mater what you should try to get off of substance abuse, it will vastly improve your life.

The Plan:
A good first step is to make a plan. The plan may change along the way. That is OK. The main thing is to start thinking about it. To execute the plan start by taking inventory of what you posses. That is education, job skills, people who will support you, what money you have, what material possessions you own, which organizations will help you, anyone you know who will give you a grubstake.  If you are gregarious and get along, consider that an asset. Aim for something reasonable. Write down the steps it will take to get you there.

You will need a phone, a mailing address, descent looking clothing, good hygiene, transportation (it can be public transportation, bike, cab, vehicle, etc), and a resume,

Think realistically about what skills you have. Write down all the jobs that you feel qualified to do. This may include the not so obvious. You may have a knack for cooking, but never thought of yourself as a chef. You may enjoy tech but never considered becoming proficient at it. Look at the job marketplace. Does any of your skills match up with the in-demand labor? Many people have marketable skills that they no longer want to use. They were burned out from doing them. That may be your ticket back. People usually succeed at what they are familiar with.

Fortunately the technological revolution which is causing much of the upset in the economy also provides the tools to understand and work with it. There are many free training programs available. If your old skill set is no longer in demand, learn something new. A good way to learn something is through apprenticeship. Be practical and go after something that you have an aptitude for.  
Learn a new skill online taught by professionals Skillshare
You can find free education in this section: Education

Getting a Job:
Most people are passive about obtaining employment. They submit resumes, go to job interviews, and hope for the best. An example of pro-active job hunting could look like this: if you have some carpentry skills, try going to construction sites and ask for a simple job such as cleanup. Offer yourself at a low rate to get in the door. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Arrive early to the job. Work hard and diligently and you may end up pounding nails and getting better pay.
You can easily make a free resume here: 

Low Tech Self Employment:
An example: Becoming self employed cleaning gutters or washing windows. Two things homeowners always need, but do not like doing. The tools you need is a vehicle, ladders, spray bottle,  bucket, squeegee, and some gloves. The vehicle is the largest part of the investment, you may already have one that will do. You will have to look presentable, and have to knock on doors when people are home, probably in the evening. A certain percentage of those homes you solicit will hire you. Start low in your asking price (not too low, people won’t trust that) and adjust to what people are willing to pay. Have a flyer to hand out with your rate and maybe a couple of testimonials from satisfied customers they can check up on.

Thinking about this, you will find many practical ways that you can make money. A lot of it will depend on your ability to stick with it. It is also very easy to come up with impractical ideas that will waste your time and resources. Check with your friends and seek advice from professionals about your idea. There will always be obstacles and  laws that can dampen your ideas like state contractor licensing. You want to learn about the rules so you are not punished for breaking them. However you can often find jobs that are not covered by licensing in your area such as handyman, or mobile car detailing, or house work. I know of an industrious women who has managed to buy her own home just by doing house cleaning.

The Free Lance Economy:
Many people that have abandoned the system and have become “Free Lancers”. There has always been a class of free lancers such as  lawyers, accountants, therapists, masseuses, street vendors, consultants, writers. The difference today is they account for 40% of of the workforce. New classes of free lancers now exist such as Uber drivers, coders, web developers, home organizers. Many of the new entries in the “free lance economy” did the same job before for companies. With the maturing of the internet, apps, and software it is now a viable choice to be on their own. The good news is you do not need extensive education to make a descent living. Many people have natural abilities that can be used. If you are good at making websites you can sell that service online. You can work from anywhere, even in a vehicle.
Upwork,Online labor marketplace, work from anywhere
The Balance How to work & finance site: