The Second Phase of Homelessness: Survival
At this point, the person has been on the street a little while now. They know the routines: Where to go for food on Monday, where to get clothing on Sunday, and other basic necessities. This person is starting to get in a routine of being homeless, which is not a good sign. This is also the place where people start to learn about some of the other ways to survive on the street, and not all of them are legal. Most of these survival techniques are learned by watching other people or having them done to you personally. The person in survival mode will often tell you what you want to hear. They have been on the street for a little while now and know what you believe and makes you happy. They might sound like they just got back from a church service.
When you talk to them they will sound like they have it all together and you might have trouble understanding why they are out on the street. Trust me; they have lots of uncertainty in their lives they just need to hide their true feelings because other people can use the information to manipulate them. You learn to adapt to the circumstance when you are in survival mode.
'Homeless' can also become a full time job. If you live in the woods in a tent, you can’t keep too much food because of raccoons (these animals will never starve and if you have food in your tent they will find it, tearing your tent apart to get it. One guy told me about a raccoon that used his claw to put a long slit in his tent while he was in it then looked in). In the morning you head out for food. After you eat you head back to your tent to make sure that nobody has stolen or destroyed anything you own. Most of the crimes committed by homeless people are against other homeless people. After you check out your tent you go to do laundry or take a shower somewhere. You head back to your tent again to make sure everything is good with the place you are going to sleep tonight. Finally, you head out to dinner and back to your tent to sleep again. You just spent your whole day being homeless as a profession. The longer you stay in this cycle the harder it’s going to be to get out of it.
To see other Blogs in this series, click "Phases of Homelessness"