What if you’re homeless?

It’s All up to You

I couldn’t imagine being homeless and poor.  I’m thankful that I never had to live my life on the streets.  Being homeless never occurred to me, however, I always did wonder what I would do in this rare event.

The first step I would do is evaluate the exact reason for my downfall.  Was it a bad financial choice?  A string of bad lucks?  Or poor money management?  I believe that figuring out the the core problem is essential in trying to change your lifestyle.  When many people try to get out of debt, many of them fall back into the same place.  Surprisingly, credit card companies favorite customers are people who just got out of bankruptcy.

Next, I would put all my pride aside and reach out to all my family and friends.  Your family and friends should be the last people on earth to judge you.  It may be difficult to ask for help, but sometimes it’s the best option.  Many people who I have helped get out of credit card debt were nervous to talk about their situation.  It’s not the easiest topic to talk about with a complete stranger.

Lastly, I would do whatever it takes to put food on the table.  Again, it’s time to swallow the pill and let go of your pride.  It doesn’t matter if it’s at McDonald’s or washing dishes at a restaurant.  No job is too good for you.

No one except yourself can get you back on your feet.  Your friends and family will be there as a stepping stone, but they are not there to make everything go away.  No matter what the situation is or how bad it is, one must always look forward and do everything they can TODAY.  Whether it’s collecting aluminum cans or washing car windows, being pro-active is the most important factor.  Positive thinking might be the only thing that keeps you going through the most difficult times.

Kevin is a co-founder of www.debteye.com, an online financial tool that makes getting out of debt worry and stress free. This tool will allow you to track and manage your finances all in one place. Go to www.debteye.com to see how we can help you get out of debt!

My thought on the topic is pretty similar. I have daily exposure to homeless people and I know it is extremely difficult to get out of that situation. I would have to depend on my support network to help out at the start as well. Many homeless people do not have anyone to turn to and life on the street just wear them down. It’s tough.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

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19 thoughts on “What if you’re homeless?”

  1. My friend is always on the verge of being homeless. She has horrible luck. It is one thing after another. She tries as hard as she can. She lives in a cheap motel. Has to scrounge for food and clothes. She has jobs but they take advantage of her. Make her use her last penny for gas to get to work then send her home for the day and say oh we dont need u today. She is always looking for a better job. She is sick because she has no coat and it is cold. I am trying to get her a coat and send it to her. She had no car but someone donated a real old car to her but just her luck it is smoking 2 weeks later and nno money to fix it. Prior to getting the car sher walked to every business within walking distance and applied for work. She too a cab to work paying 25 dollars just to get sent home, Her last paycheck was 30 dollars. When she applies for aide they say she makes too much money. When she tries for unemployment they say she did not make enough money. She can’t win!!!!!!

    • Sorry to hear that! It’s so hard in this economy. Hopefully she can pick up some season job for now and then find a more stable job later.
      As long as the economy stay bad, it will be tough for many people. 🙁

  2. Besides being unrealistic and useless, this article shows that there are some people who need to get educated. (not book educated, either). For a lot of people, (I know this will come as a shock to a lot of you), their families are their greatest enemies. That’s not an option. For another thing, what if you were disabled? (for a lot of you, this also would be rocket science); what if you couldn’t work? Why wouldn’t you be depressed and anxious if you were homeless? Gee, I don’t know, constantly facing the threat of being beaten, raped, murdered, tortured because you’re on the street (and sometimes it’s the police doing the beating)? Even a fool is considered wise as long as he keeps his mouth SHUT. You obviously (going by the evidence you’ve provided) don’t have much of a clue of what you’re talking about. You’re part of the problem.

  3. i would like to help answer the question of what caused the downfall. i am currently living with a friend but i was homeless for five years and still very much feel like i could be back in that situation at any moment.
    i have been around 1000’s of homeless people over the past five years and i can honestly say the root of the problem with anyone that is homeless for an extended time, points to an anxiety and depression disorder. of course other mental illnesses may be present but i have seen this disorder in myself and every homeless person i have been around.
    drug use is not the root of the problem. alcohol and drugs is how many homeless choose to deal with their anxiety and depression.
    personally i didn’t use drugs to coup. my main addiction was gambling but again the addiction is how most homeless choose to deal with an anxiety and depression disorder.

    its because of this mental disorder that most homeless have no contact with family and friends (except other homeless friends).
    in my opinion if you want to end homelessness then it’s extremely important to treat these mental illnesses in children/teenagers before the problem leads them to cut off all contacts with the people that care.

  4. This is a question without an easy answer. Even after writing about this topic, it all sounds platitudinous.

  5. Very well-explained! People should be aware of these tips so that they won’t experience to be homeless and to live on the street someday. And I think, the biggest factor that may affect our lives is our credit card debt. Perhaps, we need to refrain from buying those unwanted goods or services so that we won’t be paying for our debts for the rest of our lives.

  6. I think you hit the nail on the head by evaluating what went wrong. Is this something that can be ascribed to a fluke or is it a lifestyle pattern that would need to change? Finding shelter and food would be a first priority followed by a regular source of cash to continue obtaining shelter and food.

  7. I agree, I think first one would need to figure out where they went wrong and change those habits and thought patterns. I know in my area finding a job can be difficult but it seems to me that a person faced with homelessness could offer to start off simply shoveling snow, mowing lawns, helping someone clean thier house. I feel for anyone in this situation without friends or family to help them out.

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  9. Great post. Don’t think I would do anything differently. Assess why, lean on support network, get any job. Might have to look around for shelters? Hope it never happens, but if it does, need to stay calm and be positive. Good message.

  10. I loved the video of Ted. Every time I see it I smile. I heard that he got a job but started to drink again. Now he is living sober free and may be doing a reality show.

  11. Evaluating the reason you got there in the first place is always a good place to start when you want to change. I watched that reality show about the homeless man who was given a large sum of money. He ended up right back where he started because he didn’t change the habits that mattered most.

  12. My first priority would be to get a job! Anything would build some confidence! My next step would be to keep my expenses low so I could save to get out of this situation.


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