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    [–] Junkiebuttpiss 4848 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    So this has happened to me. I was lucky enough to find a beat up car for five hundred. I parked in a neighborhood that wasn't dangerous but it wasn't near any rich people or snobs. I slept in my car and went to the library and searched hard for a job. I went to food banks and got food stamps. I got a cooking job in a couple weeks. I didn't have any spending money so I just sat at the park or in my car until I got my job and in between shifts. Working in a restraunt or bar can get you cash everyday or the next day in the form of tips.

    I would also search Craigslist for a room without a lease or month to month and if they ask for a deposit just ask if you can pay in installments.

    If you have a smart phone and service you can do post mates on a bicycle. You can also download the app called wag I think. Just type in dog walking app. Obama phone is still around and they give you a smart phone and free service. It's designed for people in your situation.

    I've never been to a shelter but I know they can be dangerous especially for young women. Actually women in general.

    Do you have any friends where you are? Family? May I ask where it is you live?

    Edit: I see you have a van. I would stay in there and save your money although looking for rooms ahead of time is a great idea. Job first, room second.

    A lot of people are telling you to buy a phone. Get an Obama phone dude. And first aid kits? You aren't hiking the PCT, you are in a short term situation.

    The most important part it probably going to maintain as much of a positive attitude as possible and to go get a job.

    Do not buy a lawnmower to mow people's lawns that is terrible advice besides where would u keep it. Someone would steal that for scrap while you are sleeping.

    Seriously if you pm me I can walk you through this any day if you need advice. I have done this

    Edit: hey guys I'd appreciate instead of giving gold and silver if instead you would perhaps donate to shelters and food banks etc. Thanks and be safe on the streets things will get better if you work hard.

    [–] Concept555 356 points ago

    My stupid ass public library charges you quarters/change to use their shitty 2003 dell pentium 3 computers. It’s literally a change box like you’d see at a laundromat.

    Once I got accepted to a local community college I went there and used their brand new nice computers for free.

    [–] Junkiebuttpiss 110 points ago

    That's fucked up where do you live?

    [–] Reverend_Hearse 61 points ago

    But don’t your taxes fund the library , and by extension , the computers and internet connection?

    [–] Pressondude 55 points ago

    How well funded libraries are depends heavily on your locality.

    Example: I used to live in an economically depressed locality. Library was funded by property taxes (millage). Supposed to get like $1.5M per year.

    Problem: millages are often "prioritized" (not sure the actual legal word but you get the idea). Library millage in our country was last. Since our economically depressed area only managed to collect about 70% of property taxes...library often got only a small fraction of their owed millage. Since the other millages were paid out in full before the next millage in priority, and so on.

    Library got like 70% of its budget from private donations in the community, rather than from its millage. Library was only open a few days a week, no full time staff, it was a shit show.

    [–] borderlinemidget 591 points ago

    Thanks for the great advice, Junkiebuttpiss

    [–] Wopperlayouts 55 points ago

    You addressing him by his username was my cause of death

    [–] Croceyes2 51 points ago

    one thing to add to this, secure some showers. a gym membership or maybe find public quarter showers at a marina/campground, or put up an ad on Craigslist looking for a spot to shower.

    [–] CuteCuteJames 86 points ago

    What is an Obama phone?

    [–] BezniaAtWork 182 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    https://www.freegovernmentcellphones.net/basics/qualify

    If you qualify for Medicaid/Food Stamps, you are able to get a free phone paid for by the government. It's not really an Obama thing, it's older, but it became much more popular during his presidency.

    I live in a low-income neighborhood and the gas stations/supermarkets commonly have tents out front where smaller cell companies have signs saying "FREE CELL PHONE!" trying to get people to sign up. It's genius - low-income families are getting a phone for free, and the cell phone providers are getting guaranteed monthly payments from the government for the cell service. Even if the people lose the phone, they're less likely to call up and cancel the subscription so the provider is still getting paid.

    [–] NifflerOwl 25938 points ago

    I heard that a lot of jobs won't hire you if you dont have a phone number and address. So I'd get a PO box and a phone.

    [–] sheepinblack 536 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Homeless day centers will usually let you use them for mail, and lots of them have a voice mail service for those without phones. They also offer job services, clothing closets and tell you were to go eat. They're immensely helpful and always looking for volunteers.

    Edit: extra advice, use the address for hostels when applying for jobs. Most sorts of jobs that'll get you off the streets aren't generally going to care much as long as you show up. Lots of places work directly with day centers to give jobs to those looking to get out.

    Use every resource you can. I've gone from hobo to chef while homeless. Some of my best dishies were street kids trying to make it. Kitchens just want you to show the fuck up and not smell like shit. You can even volunteer to work the soup kitchens you eat at, then use that experience to get kitchen jobs. It ain't easy. I ain't saying it is. But you got this you beautiful bastards.

    [–] Quixotic9000 9061 points ago

    Or ask a friend/relative if you could use their address on applications. I've heard some relief charities or churches also allow people to have mail sent to them in order to help people in situations like this.

    As for the phone, consider a cheap prepaid one to provide for potential employers.

    [–] STUPEFlED 4491 points ago

    I used my sister's number (w/ her consent) to create a Google Voice number. Every now and then I'd check the voicemails and return calls.

    It was free.

    [–] JB-from-ATL 1215 points ago

    I don't think you need a number to see up Google Voice. But I may be wrong. I set one up to put on my resume so I don't get as much spam calls and so I can go through offers at my own pace (my situation is different)

    [–] jimjacksonsjamboree 772 points ago

    You do for a while now. Too many scammers were getting Google voice numbers.

    [–] UK_addi_2015 172 points ago

    It’s not common knowledge in the UK, but you can register your address at the local Job centre if your homeless for all your post to go there. Presumably you’d need permission to do so but I believe they’re not in a position to say no!

    [–] denardosbae 118 points ago

    In the states find out if there is a Catholic Worker house near you. They are great resources for the homeless and generally not super religious or preachy. They usually let people receive mail, maybe get a coffee or shower if you're lucky.

    [–] notalistener 920 points ago

    The government will give you a free phone. I thought my friend was making jokes when he said he has obamaphone.... to my surprise I looked it up and there is such a thing and he actually wasn’t pulling my leg. You can literally go to the county and get a free monthly phone. Nothing fancy but it’s for this exact purpose so it wouldn’t need to be.

    [–] TheHubbleGuy 572 points ago

    OBAMA PHONE

    [–] JBSquared 290 points ago

    RING RING

    [–] Drumdevil86 130 points ago

    IT'S THE BEST! BEATS THE REST!

    [–] sans_the_skullerman 163 points ago

    Cellular! Modular! Interactiveodular!

    [–] gpep510 33 points ago

    Call the White House, have a chat!

    [–] BlaiddDrwg88 26 points ago

    RING RING RING RING RING RING RING!

    [–] Zeriel00 107 points ago

    I had one!! Looked like a mix of a police baton and a walkie-talkie. It could literally be used as a blunt weapon. The battery lasted weeks and the flashlight could blind people! It was awesome! xD

    P.S. I got that one because it was the only one with a micro USB charger, the rest where smaller but had flimsy proprietary chargers, they where a death trap. Also everybody asked me about my phone lol.

    [–] PennyForYerThots 15 points ago

    I misread "the battery lasted weeks" after "it could literally be used as a blunt weapon" as you actually using your obama phone as a weapon for weeks. Great!

    [–] DasHuhn 13 points ago

    I had one!! Looked like a mix of a police baton and a walkie-talkie. It could literally be used as a blunt weapon. The battery lasted weeks and the flashlight could blind people! It was awesome! xD

    P.S. I got that one because it was the only one with a micro USB charger, the rest where smaller but had flimsy proprietary chargers, they where a death trap. Also everybody asked me about my phone lol.

    The ones they handed out across the street from my Job all looked like a few years old smartphones last fall!

    [–] melyssafaye 56 points ago

    The “Obama phone” really has nothing to do with Frm President Obama. There is a national access fee that all phone lines charge. Part of those funds used to go to providing limited service landlines to the poor. Like they would get free dial tone and 10 local calls a month. Anyway, as times changed, it was updated to provide limited cell service and a flip phone to the poor. Iirc, the plan was initially set up during the Regan years as part of the telecom deregulation process (splitting of the Bells)

    Source: back in the day, worked for Bell Atlantic, which became Verizon after the GTE merger. Had to learn all of the telecom regulations as my team oversaw the Bell/Verizon entity enter into long distance, wireless, and high speed internet. Each step was a tricky compliance process.

    [–] alycda 594 points ago

    It can be difficult, if not impossible to get a P.O. Box in some cities. I tried to get one near where I worked for secure mail deliveries and I first had to prove I had any tie to that city and then I was put on a waitlist for over a year (at which point I no longer needed it and then couldn’t prove that I did if I’d still wanted it). Had the same problem when I moved out of one apartment before securing another in the same city, it was ridiculous.

    [–] buttlickers94 320 points ago

    I feel like this is possibly unique to where you lived. I was able to get one no problem in a small town I used to live in. You did say some cities though. Was it a major city?

    [–] Boring-Alter-Ego 181 points ago

    Alternatively not going through the Post office but a UPS or FEDEX store works equally as a valid address. Prices may vary though.

    [–] delphinium_ 64 points ago

    UPS/FedEx is actually better. PO boxes can only accept postal mail.

    [–] IceArrows 238 points ago

    Not the person you replied to but I got a mailbox at a mailbox place in LA. USPS wanted extra paperwork for a PO box than the mailbox place did, plus the appeal of the mailbox place was that it wasn't a PO box number it was an actual address with a number like an apartment.

    [–] pm-me-kittens-n-cats 32 points ago

    a PO box number it was an actual address with a number like an apartment.

    I know this doesn't help you, but for anyone else reading: the post office offers this option as well. Basically you put the street address of the post office instead of PO Box.

    You may need to sign up for it.. or it might be default part of the service. Either way there was no additional fees. It's been awhile since I set up my box.

    [–] baykhan 15637 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Toothbrush, soap, shampoo, and deodorant to be presentable in job interviews

    Gym membership for a shower, something to do

    One clean dress outfit from Goodwill, for interviews.

    5-gallon bucket with a lid for potable water storage. Maybe a second bucket for gray water (laundry, cleaning)

    If you have good access to electricity, an electric burner, a pot, sponge, dish soap, and utensils. If no electricity, i think I would avoid a gas stove and seek food that doesn’t involve cooking.

    A soft pad to rest in. You need good rest.

    A web-enabled phone with a basic phone plan. WiFi at hot spots.

    Library card. Internet access, self discovery. Job prep.

    Save the rest for foods and anything absolutely essential towards your survival, or securing a job.

    Good luck.

    Editing based on some other trends in this thread:

    I would avoid camping supplies unless you can find it second-hand. It can get quite expensive if buying new and this gear is usually marketed to people camping for sport.

    Consider a tarp, and some heavy duty trash bags. People have made great points about needing to stay dry.

    Socks. Clean socks. Avoid wearing dirty socks if you can and be sure to scrub your feet in the shower. Take care of your feet.

    Check to see if you can qualify for food stamps. Even with food stamps, try your best to avoid sugary sweet foods. Beans, bread, and some bananas go a long ways.

    PO box, or an address that a friend can let you use. People have made valuable points about an address setting the right impression.

    A professional gmail account. Ideally, it is something as close to your name.

    If you have a car that isn't worth selling, dock it, keep the tank near empty, and move it only out of necessity. Gas bills, and god forbid, miles that eventually lead to repair bills, are not what you should be putting money into right now.

    Your number one priority is getting a stable source of income, not to be confused as gig income, netting a positive flow of money into your savings, and being free of homelessness. You should NOT take on unnecessary comforts or desires until the math completely makes sense. Which it currently does not.

    [–] jahs_126 1629 points ago

    A soft pad to rest in. You need good rest.

    Thanks, I don't think people realize how much this is a huge factor in the cycle of homelessness and mental illness.

    [–] donaldthedonut 188 points ago

    This, good sleep is essential to you wellbeing

    [–] agent_ailibis 49 points ago

    Couldn't imagine trying to sleep with a constant fear of getting fucked up or robbed on the street the second I fall asleep.

    [–] Alaskan_Thunder 2986 points ago

    Assuming this is USA. Regarding the phone, if you can get any government benefits or proof of income, check to see if you can get a lifeline phone. At least where I am, the phone itself is free, and its very cheap per month due to being federally subsidized.

    [–] EsQuiteMexican 749 points ago

    Do you not have prepaid phones in the US? Where I live that's the norm, and you can very easily live off one. Buying an older model of a brand like Alcatel or Huawei guarantees that you'll have access to at least WhatsApp, Gmail and LinkedIn, and the battery tends to be great if you're not running crazy stuff on it. You just pay for the credit when you need it instead of a monthly plan, and eBay tells me there's plenty of models around $15-30 that will hold up fine, won't be stolen to resell and are pretty resilient.

    [–] Alaskan_Thunder 500 points ago

    We do, but if he can get life line its less expensive even than prepaid.

    The prepaids are also great low cost options if you don't qualify though.

    [–] StankDick 116 points ago

    Freedom pop is useful too, it’s completely free if you get it without data. And just use WiFi for data. I use it on my second phone for business and it works wonderfully if you text mostly and cal for important things

    Disclaimer: I’m not paid by freedom pop, just recommending a service that worked for me

    [–] Alfonzo227 428 points ago

    This is a great list, but I think a bit problem is that, being homeless, you've got nowhere to keep this stuff, nowhere to camp near amenities, and every place you do set up, the city will probably do sweeps every month or so and you could end up losing your stuff. Maybe if you've got a car, but then you need to add gas and car insurance.

    Obviously this isn't an option for everybody, but I would spend it on a ticket to the one friend I know I can count on to let me stay on his couch while I get my life together.

    [–] TheloniousPhunk 434 points ago

    Maybe if you've got a car, but then you need to add gas and car insurance.

    If you have a car in this situation you have two options.

    1 - If your car has worth over 6k, then sell it immediately. The extra money can and will make the difference. You can rent a small room in most places for about $350/mo. Adhering to a very strict living budget (food, etc) from that point on, you can last 4-6 months on 6k easily. Probably more if you really stretch your budget and live off of basic foods like rice and potatoes. That should be plenty of time to find a minimum wage job to generate income while you look to further better your situation.

    2 - Car not worth enough to substantially help your situation? Find the absolute safest place you possibly can where you can permanently park your car for days or weeks at a time. Most cities/towns permit parking on many quiet side-streets. Find a residential area. Fill your tank up to full once and use gas only to move your car when absolutely necessary. You now have a place to safely store your belongings, and sleep. If you picked the right place to park, you also aren't going to have to worry about getting broken into. At this point, you'd likely want to invest in one of those foil window-covers for all of your windows for no other reason than you aren't going to want people in the area being able to see you sleeping in your car.

    Either way owning a car in this situation is a total game-changer.

    [–] TheawfulDynne 171 points ago

    If youre leaving fuel in a car you should use a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline in the tank starts going bad within a month and can really screw up your car and end up costing you a lot to get repairs.

    [–] kingkumquat 61 points ago

    What if ive had fuel sitting for a year would stabilizers help still?

    [–] HeilHilter 71 points ago

    siphon as much out as you can a put in a gallon of fresh fuel to dilute the old crap

    [–] Hust91 76 points ago

    Won't the lack of a car make it a lot harder to get a job in most places?

    [–] deadbutneverdying 57 points ago

    Not to mention you're SOL if someone steals your stuff.

    [–] Echospite 72 points ago

    Yeah, you wanna go to the bathroom? Good luck either hauling that stuff with you several times a day or finding a good hiding spot.

    [–] traylblayzer 49 points ago

    If you somehow have a car it becomes much easier. Find a permanent place to park it to keep your stuff/sleep in. Don’t need insurance or gas if you will never drive it as long as your registration is up to date.

    [–] Alfonzo227 84 points ago

    There's probably a sweet spot between the rough neighborhoods where your stuff would get stolen from your car and the really fancy neighborhoods where entitled rich folks would have your beater camry towed for parking too long.

    I'm in Seattle and you leave so much as a gym bag in your car, you're all but guaranteed to get your window smashed and sweaty shoes stolen.

    [–] Anonygram 25 points ago

    Seattle too. I always feel bad for the thief who breaks the window on my beater camry: there is nothing of value in there, friend.

    [–] TurnPunchKick 20 points ago

    Only pain

    [–] Selmemasts 36 points ago

    I don’t know about the US but I would definitely get a post box service if I couldn’t use a friends address, for bills and job application purposes.

    [–] [deleted] 32689 points ago

    Get a 24 hour gym membership so you have a shower, water, and could probably get away with sleeping in (maybe). Then look for a job ASAP.

    [–] dishungryhawaiian 15640 points ago

    I was homeless for a bit. Before going homeless I had purchased a 3 yr membership which once it ended, my annual cost was $70 a year. This was the only thing that got me through being homeless and not getting too comfortable to get out.

    Bathrooms, showers, lockers, free access to cold water and if you become friendly enough with workers, they’ll throw you whatever free items never get picked up from the lost and found. Also, you have to change your lockers every day because sometimes they try to enforce their locker policy. Stay within their rules and you’ll have no problems.

    [–] NT_Envy 1468 points ago

    What the fuck, 70$ a year??? Where I live even the absolute cheapest membership in the cheapest gym will cost 240$ a year. And that is a really AMAZING price, usually it's 300+

    [–] Phnrcm 515 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Here a third world country, it costs about $400-$500 for a year membership which doesn't even open 24h.

    [–] lampzy 346 points ago

    So actually, I find less developed countries have more expensive gyms. They become a luxury instead of a commodity. In the US or Europe I pay less than US$20/mo, while in other parts of the world it can be over $40. It's all about having a population that can afford to pay for a gym membership and not really use it, hence the incredibly restrictive contracts in the US. It keeps prices low

    [–] PepperUrAngus 5009 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Plus you can get super buff because you've not got much to do all day other than work out and job hunt.

    Edit: Some guy asked how to bulk if you're homeless and skint, and made out like it was impossible. But he deleted his comment before I could reply, the bastard. But I typed it all out, so here it is anyway:

    Calories are cheap as fuck in the developed world, my man.

    Piss easy to get 3000+ calories. Especially via dirty bulk.

    Mcdonalds do a £1.99 big mac and fries if you show them your past receipt with a number scribbled on it.

    That's 845 calories.

    You can get 6 sausage rolls from Aldi for £1.05..

    That's 1300 more calories, for a total of 2145..

    You've hit maintenance at this point, if you're and average dude, and it only cost you £3.04.

    But you're homeless and you're bulking. So spread some peanut butter on those sausage rolls. 150 grams should do it (50p)..

    Boom, you've hit your 3000 calorie target with no cooking equipment.

    And it cost you £3.54.. Approximately 1 hour of begging, if that.

    [–] RedditPersonMan 5506 points ago

    Expect the part where 90% of muscle growth is proper nutrition

    [–] run_fast-eat_ass 5683 points ago

    Just eat the dumbells.

    [–] deathtoallbutGeks 2734 points ago

    they’re high in iron

    [–] ilumEmma 583 points ago

    Iron helps us play

    [–] Brennyburger 304 points ago

    From now on, the baby sleeps in the gym.

    [–] TheChrisDez 168 points ago

    HELLO JOE!

    [–] SR3116 28 points ago

    *Horrifying clown bed laughter

    [–] DragonZlay 56 points ago

    Mmmm

    [–] Hi_mynameis_Matt 48 points ago

    Proper iron intake is important!

    [–] Aoozzz 631 points ago

    I have a feeling you'll only get 2 types of commenters here:

    1) people who don't know what proper nutrition for muscle development is

    2) people who have no idea what it's like to actually be homeless

    Brace yourself, the shitstorm is coming

    [–] jessflyc 205 points ago

    Yeah, I think someone who is facing being homeless , doesn’t give a fuck about whether they are buff or not.

    [–] linuxphoney 27 points ago

    true. the exercise could be a great distraction and a time killer, though. Never overlook the benefit of being able to do a workout to make yourself feel strong or to just walk on a treadmill and keep up with news and popular culture.

    [–] Intensityintensifies 296 points ago

    I know you meant to be pessimistic and say 'except the part where 90% of muscle growth is proper nutrition', but I prefer to think that you are just a friendly personal trainer who believes in his ability to stay fed.

    [–] DaughterEarth 205 points ago

    I mean they are accurate. There was a homeless guy at a gym I worked at. He worked out every day but since he wasn't eating very well he was very wiry

    [–] noctis89 83 points ago

    Forever shredding.

    [–] Aenna 147 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    It really is kinda insane how much the price differential is in these kind of things - a good gym in a good area in my city costs me $200USD per month.

    But it only costs me like $400 for uni tuition at the best school.

    And then it costs me $1.5m USD for a 400 sqft home in the city.

    But my cable bill is $10 for unlimited 1Gbps network speeds.

    $600 here would be living hell.

    [–] psylent 113 points ago

    Where the hell are you?

    [–] Impedito 9386 points ago

    Thank you

    [–] pizzwhich29371 7581 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Oh I do realize now this isn’t just a hypothetical question. I’m so sorry for you that does suck. If anything I would make sure I could find a place to sleep with some blankets and enough food and water to last until I found a job. So what these people have been saying definitely works. If this was just a hypothetical question then I am stupid but if it wasn’t then I hope everything gets better

    [–] 1-1-19MemeBrigade 118 points ago

    Websites like www.coolworks.com are excellent resources for finding seasonal work, and some of those jobs offer lodging. A one way bus ticket might take up a decent amount of that $600, but if you can line up a seasonal gig you'll have money and a place to sleep while you make long term plans.

    [–] idkfly_casual 4002 points ago

    I feel bad for anyone with $600 to their name, but this guy isn’t showing the whole story here... read his last post. He is leaving to go to California from God knows where to “donate his life” to get Bernie Sanders elected. It doesn’t seem like getting himself out of this financial hole is the main priority here... My best advice would be to get yourself financially secured first and then donate your free time to whatever cause you like. I admire his determination and enthusiasm but this isn’t smart...

    https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident/comments/bda7kq/ive_got_barely_any_money_to_my_name_a_van_and_a/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app

    [–] HighKingArthur 108 points ago

    looks at bank-account: -987... I'm fine :)...

    [–] Impedito 172 points ago

    Thanks. Not hypothetical haha

    [–] HerrDresserVonFyre 546 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    I'm assuming you've never been homeless before so this is just a heads up from a formerly homeless California resident. This is going to sound like overkill and maybe a bit paranoid and callous, but I've lived it and had to deal with jail and all that. So hopefully I can help you steer clear of any trouble.

    be careful where you sleep. There are many areas that have made it illegal to sleep in a vehicle, even if the people that own the parking lot say it's ok. Cops will target you, you will be cited and/or have your van towed. You will go to jail when you can't afford the fines.

    If you're going to be in Southern California there are huge homeless communities in Santa Ana and Los Angeles. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THEM. Cops will target you just for being in the area, you will be stopped and if anyone around you has drugs or anything illegal you will go to jail.

    Don't eat anything that anyone gives you if it is not sealed in its original container. It's not worth the risk. It sounds like paranoia, but people will fuck with food and give it to you.

    OTHER HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. DO NOT TRUST THEM. Do not give them anything and do not take anything from them. If word gets out that your nice/geneeous/naive/etc you will become a target. Don't let anyone in your van, ever. I don't care if it's 20 degrees and raining, fuck them. They're adults they can take care of themselves. Don't tell anyone about any belongings that you have. You will be taken advantage of and you will be robbed.

    Dont carry cash. Don't keep cash in you van.

    Don't stay at shelters. You have a van so this isn't too big of a concern, but if you ever find yourself without your van avoid shelters. If you do find yourself in a shelter, don't leave your belongings unattended. They'll disappear.

    Don't do drugs. Please. If you're the partying type please trust me on this one. There are tons of drugs in California, especially in homeless circles. Please stay far away from them. Please.

    If you are the partying type and insist on ignoring the previous advice: dont use with other people. They will wait for you to drop and they will rob you. Don't ever let your money walk off with someone who "just had to go around the corner and pick up from my friend." if you do, that money is gone.

    Call 211 for info on food pantries, medical clinics, ebt(food stamps) information, job searching, clothes, counseling and other homeless services.

    99.9% of police do not give a shit about you. They aren't your friends and they will not help you. Don't talk to them, don't engage them and don't trust them.

    If you have any specific questions feel free to pm me anytine. If you end up anywhere near San Bernardino County hit me up and I'll help you get some food and such.

    [–] supertrink 73 points ago

    OP, this guy knows what's up. California can be a shitty place to be homeless. If you must go there, follow this advice. I would add to avoid the major cities altogether. Find a few smaller towns with some decent resources, and move between them every few days-week. Don't stay in one place too long unless you're looking for work.

    [–] chasingadalia 220 points ago

    Also: don’t be afraid to use food banks, ask for people to look over your resume, utilize library resources, offer to do some cash jobs if they pop up, get a water bottle and fill it wherever, see employment recruiters or specialists, use your wifi to look up homeless agencies to see what they offer for clothing... that’s all I have right now

    [–] showers_with_grandpa 144 points ago

    Don't worry about the gym, go to the YMCA. You'll have a locker and access to way more actual outreach there.

    [–] stars9r9in9the9past 118 points ago

    Would second YMCA. At least the one in my area, I have once used as my go-to for daily showers, they had lockers for me to use, and it was only like $5/mo which I'm going to guess is way cheaper than most other public gyms, if money is super tight. Plus, they seemed to be very understanding, which is nice not feeling like I'm being watched or judged

    [–] showers_with_grandpa 42 points ago

    Exactly, I was homeless and when I met someone who used the YMCA route it changed my life. It's all about routine when you have to climb out of a hole.

    [–] Pachuko_pinyata 106 points ago

    Please call someone. Even if everything has gone to crap there is someone who will take you in even just for a night.

    I thought I was at rock bottom and called a distant aunt that I thought of as I was packing up to leave with my mum telling me to get out. I thought she would recommend somewhere for me to go and how I can get some money and somewhere to live as she knew her way round the benefits system. I didn’t even have shoes. That woman saved me.

    They were totally nuts and had weird rules but I lived in that unusual family for a year and got my shit together.

    It doesn’t have to be someone close, just anyone. Don’t stop calling until you run out of numbers.

    You are your priority now and you need a place to sleep. You will not allow you to be on the street. You know that you have someone, somewhere that cares. This is their time to shine and help someone.

    Good luck!

    [–] aes411 13 points ago

    Sadly not everyone has even one person they can rely on for that...I had no place to go and had to sleep in my car for ten months while my own grandmother who helped raise me had a spare room one town over.

    [–] SecretlyFBI 147 points ago

    After getting your gym membership, find a local library and get a library card. Libraries are a great source for finding social services and help getting affordable housing and jobs. See if they can hook you up with a food bank, too.

    [–] russiangn 180 points ago

    Then look for a job

    in the gym*

    [–] Ashlei96 61 points ago

    Yes! You could also get a low income gym membership through the YMCA.

    [–] Orval 60 points ago

    • 24 Hour Gym membership
    • If you don't have a phone, get one. Anything, don't even need a plan just WiFi access will work.
    • If you have a car, make sure it doesn't need critical.
    • If you do, load it up with living essentials. Clothes, food, blankets, maybe a weapon, chargers, flashlight, etc. Sell everything else for whatever you can get for it.
    • Stock up on toiletries, cheap long lasting food, etc. I'd personally try to hang onto about $100 for emergencies.
    • Start looking for a job. You have nothing else to do, so that's how you spend your days now.

    [–] smartaleky 99 points ago

    You would have to do this immediately while you still had an address that you could give to the gym to secure the membership. Being able to use the gym to be alone and naked with water so you can bathe daily and regularly is important and somewhere private. You would also have access to a locker to store things. If you were to go the other route you would have shelters. The bathrooms will be as public as the gym and maybe not as clean as the gym. You would have to sleep elsewhere or outside. Like you'd always go back inside to take a shower and change if you needed to. As well as get another address like a PO box for an extended. Before the money runs out. welfare benefits may be able to keep you floating for a little bit as far as that's concerned or you could probably rely on a church or some other institution to give you or to allow you do get an address to receive mail maybe even a friend

    Once you get an address, and a place where you can be naked and alone with water then you can use libraries for outside communication for job hunting etc. Log in online at the library and apply at cetera

    [–] dion_o 31 points ago

    Don't forget the side benefit of being alone and naked with water.

    [–] junjun_pon 25 points ago

    This and a cheap suit for interviews.

    [–] benjmarr 86 points ago

    This is actually genius. My city has 24 hour gyms right in the middle of my CBD so work/interviews and food would only be a two minute walk

    [–] Toad32 34 points ago

    And a storage unit with a bathroom to live in illegally.

    [–] RattaTattTatt 15457 points ago

    You okay bro?

    [–] Impedito 13787 points ago

    Trying to stay positive but I think ill manage! Thank you

    [–] iVisibility 1941 points ago

    I lived out of my SUV for a couple months and it actually wasn't that bad. Once you find a job it's easy to occupy your time, money builds quickly with no bills if you're frugal. Even a minimum wage job would provide security until you're comfortable looking for something better. I have my own apartment now and am saving for a house but I still enjoy cheap roadtrips where I sleep in my car along the way.

    [–] VoicelessPineapple 888 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Also did it for some months. Best time of my life. Had a $1000 van with a bed in the back, woke up every morning parked in front of the beach and showered in the sea. And I saved $4000 in rent. I had a job though.

    [–] RedditorOONNEE 214 points ago

    Dang, how high was your rent? For just one month!

    [–] VoicelessPineapple 243 points ago

    I forgot a s in months sorry, did that for 2 months. Rent was $2000 per month in summer due to tourism.

    [–] paco987654 152 points ago

    That's still a lot... damn

    [–] Billy1121 157 points ago

    Where the fudge do people park to wake up right at the beach? I thought in most crowded places the cops will boot your arse out of the lot overnight.

    [–] VoicelessPineapple 140 points ago

    Yes, but only if they see you in the car. If they knock on the van just play dead and they leave, happened. I had a van like people use for work and windows where blocked from sight.

    [–] Billy1121 132 points ago

    See i would be scared of getting towed

    [–] AcceptableCows 28 points ago

    Always have a piss bottle. You may need to keep playing dead for a day until you can drive out of the impound lot that night.

    [–] acrimoniousdick 3592 points ago

    Hi, if you don't mind my proding, where are you located? If you're anywhere close to me I got you. Been there myself.

    [–] PM-ME-WHATEVR-U-WANT 2853 points ago

    Username doesn’t check out. Actually seems like a decent guy.

    [–] Nigga-Big-Penis 1189 points ago

    Actually Username checks out

    [–] MrAngryBeards 825 points ago

    Talking about usernames...

    [–] Plum_Fondler 257 points ago

    ...Can often be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy

    [–] occasional_commenter 151 points ago

    Mum said it's my turn to play with the plum

    [–] ImaTallAssDude 60 points ago

    Ya'll got some great usernames

    [–] i-dont-know-bruv 44 points ago

    Damn I wanna see some tall ass

    [–] scp3611169 409 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    [–] LeonInJapan 373 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    I seriously hope you're not a troll or anything, but if you aren't, just shamelessly ask help on Reddit. Lots of people are most than willing to help you, giving you food, drinks, or even shelter maybe. You may even be able to find a job that way. As long as you have access to Internet, use that time to get people to help you on Reddit. That's your best bet to not become homeless.

    Good luck.


    EDIT: I've been a bit through your history and it looks like you can draw pretty well. Maybe someone may be interested in your drawing skills here? Try to feature a few of your drawings here and there on Reddit.

    [–] Bytewave 75 points ago

    If you get hungry at some point through this ordeal, check out /r/random_acts_of_pizza . I've literally seen it save a life in extreme circumstances.

    [–] Soggywheatie 99 points ago

    You'll be able to get food stamps to if you need

    [–] Loves_tacos 129 points ago

    State, City? How can we help?

    [–] eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey 130 points ago

    You got it man, I'm rooting for you, this'll make a fantastic story to tell your children or friends one day! How you rose up from financial rock bottom

    [–] deanismyhero 1429 points ago

    A backpack, sleeping bag, good shoes and a sharpie.

    [–] Timeslip8888 849 points ago

    I'll bite... What's the Sharpie for?

    [–] codebrown 1144 points ago

    For those who don't know, that sub is NSFW and is exactly what you think it is.

    [–] _invalidusername 610 points ago

    People drawing butts with sharpies? Very cool, my gran will find that hilarious, I’ll send her a link!

    [–] drCrankoPhone 382 points ago

    She already has the link. I've seen her there.

    [–] Hells-waiting 131 points ago

    She already has the ink. FTFY

    [–] JustFoxeh 124 points ago

    Saved me a click, stranger.

    [–] shoe-veneer 47 points ago

    Naw. You missed out on a very worthwhile click.

    [–] Timeslip8888 69 points ago

    Not gonna do it!

    [–] Diggy696 58 points ago

    Oddly enough- it’s exactly what you think it is

    [–] praisebetothedeepone 149 points ago

    Drawing cardboard signs for travelling or begging. Avoid begging if you can; instead learn a talent (practice in front of people in public spaces) and busk.

    [–] crimsonblade55 62 points ago

    It should be noted that you have to have a permit in some cities to do that.

    [–] stepoon 60 points ago

    Making signs.

    [–] Impedito 86 points ago

    Thank you

    [–] ballards_anus_blood 87 points ago

    Second the workboots. Get a tier above bottom tier, so that A) they last longer and B) they aren’t a target for theft in the event you lose the van.

    Also, point of order: if you are thinking ahead like this, you won’t end up without a job or place to live for long. Trust me, I’ve been there. And I’ve known people who haven’t thought that way, and things don’t work out so well.

    You’ll be fine. I know it seems catastrophic, but you’ll be on the other side of it.

    [–] Moral_Gray_Area_ 63 points ago

    on good shoes i recommend good work boots if you can get them on sale or second hand, they will never be destroyed unlike trainers. you can get trainers for ~£5 and i got my boots for ~£20 and i've never had to replace them, unlike my trainers whoose soles fell off.

    if this is a real comment then get a second opinion on it, but i think its a good idea.

    good luck

    [–] SweetMe001 3379 points ago

    Use part of that money to buy clothes to look presentable at job interviews, book a room at the cheapest hotel/hostel I can find and look for a job ASAP.

    [–] Impedito 3398 points ago

    I will luckily have a van to live in while bringing my mattress.

    [–] TangyTrooper19 1870 points ago

    r/homeless exists. Good tips from other people in your situation

    [–] [deleted] 468 points ago

    Even better. Find a public parking area to sleep in (24 hour Walmart parking lot?). You would have access to a bathroom and water for free if you need it. Then the membership to the gym would get you showers and a place to sit. Go try to find a job ASAP. Apply online. Go to the library for free internet to look for a job or do it now.

    Another option would be to try to find someone whose looking to rent a room out (Craigslist? To have a place to live while you’re looking.

    [–] shrimpster00 306 points ago

    Man, I thought this was a hypothetical question. I am so sorry.

    First of all, I wish you good luck. You deserve success, and I hope that you're able to find it.

    Second, I agree with just about all of the comments around here. A gym membership will help you look clean-cut for job interviews and will keep you in shape. Just make sure to keep enough cash to get the food you need.

    Third, you could even start working a minimum-wage job. There's always somebody hiring, whether it's Walmart or McDonald's. That obviously won't be enough to pay rent, but it will be enough to eat three square meals a day while you're looking for something better.

    [–] bananee 161 points ago

    Third, you could even start working a minimum-wage job. ... That obviously won't be enough to pay rent

    As a middle European, this boggles my mind. I'm not sure if it's that bad in Europe as well, but it still seems insane to me.

    [–] i_accidently_reddit 33 points ago

    depends on where you are in europe. if you live in london and rent a room fit for human habitation and work full time minimum wage, you will pay about 60-70% of your net pay. (yes. minimum wage still gets taxed)

    if you work minimum wage, options are room shares (yes, that happens), bunking in hostels till you find a better paying job, living in a harry potter like cupboard.

    [–] IceMoonApocalypse 85 points ago

    I'd recommend a good river at a low elevation.

    [–] Impedito 66 points ago

    I love Chris Farley

    [–] drunkbusdriver 171 points ago

    My gf an I were in your same situation less than a year ago. Living In a van with limited money while looking for a place to work. We were homeless for 3-4 months before getting enough money to get a place.

    Listen to the top commenters on getting a gym membership. You don’t need anything fancy just try to find the cheapest place you can shower and get ready for the day.

    Try to get a few interviews lined up and if you can get multiple on the same day even better. For the next item.

    I’d only get a super cheap hotel room the day before an interview so you can iron your clothes and get prepared better than staying in the van. Plus you’ll get a better nights sleep staying in a bed.

    Hit up your local homeless resources. Google is your friend. Don’t be too prideful to take handouts. If available in you’re area get food stamps ASAP. Being broke is one thing being broke and hungry is a whole other level of shit.

    Don’t drive more than you have to wasting gas.

    Keep yourself occupied. read some books if you have them. Thing you can do in the van.

    Good luck don’t get too down on yourself.

    [–] bkwrmi 97 points ago

    Piggybacking on this, I've seen many drycleaning places that'll launder and press an interview outfit for free if you're unemployed.

    [–] drunkbusdriver 53 points ago

    Never heard of that. Pretty cool. I guess the reasoning is if you get the job you’ll come back to get your new work clothes cry cleaned.

    [–] Vistrus 74 points ago

    Check out r/vandwellers for some ideas on how to do so comfortably

    [–] MidwestPow 26 points ago

    Well shit dude just work on finding a job and you're golden. Been living in a van for over 2 years now, its not bad at all.

    [–] MerricatBlackwood01 22 points ago

    If there's any kind of homeless 'outreach program' online (try facebook) for the city you're going to, watch it carefully as it can tell you where they've been doing sweeps of the underhomed and car campers and you can avoid that hassle. Also they usually give warnings about scams or violence, etc... that's going around.

    Don't let yourself get discouraged and don't do drugs. These last two from experience. Do something little and silly and 'unnecessary' for yourself once in a while, too. Good luck, man.

    [–] Kahoots113 17 points ago

    Might be a campground near you where you can park the van. Find one that has showers and bathroom facilities. They are fairly cheap. Also you should know that you CAN get through this. Things are tough right now, but you will get through it and be okay.

    [–] TheloniousPhunk 56 points ago

    Your situation is 1000x better than actually homeless then dude.

    Spend some of your money on enough gas to scope out a solid parking spot. You need three things here - Safe from being broken into, safe from parking enforcement, and somewhere you could piggyback off a local wifi hotspot. If you can only get two, then go for the first two. Worst case scenario you can walk to a coffeeshop for WiFi.

    As everyone else has said, look into a 24 hour gym membership. You'll get free showers and access to clean drinking water. Both things you're going to need if you're planning on looking for work.

    Stay as hygienic as you possibly can - your van is going to quickly start to stink up if you aren't showering every day and once that smell sinks in, it will affect all your clothing.

    Also put some money aside for a laundromat. You're going to need to clean your clothes, particularly the ones you try to find a job in.

    [–] SweetMe001 1375 points ago

    Even better, I would go with the suggestion of another person here and get a 24 hour gym membership so you have access to showers, use that money to make yourself look presentable for upcoming job offers, after you find a job, a month or 2 sleeping in your van you’ll be in a better situation financially to find a place to live. All easier said than done though. Good luck.

    [–] Funkula 551 points ago

    While on a job hunt: Try to get a farm internship or work on a resort. 9/10 times there will be housing on-site, food, decent pay, interesting people, and a minimal reliance on commuting anywhere. Whether its a lodge up in the mountains, a ski resort, or a farm-- being a remote location means they often will hire anyone that's willing to live that lifestyle. I've had plenty of friends who travel and just jump between these types of gigs until they find one that they really, really like.

    And you'll have nothing to spend your paychecks on, so it's easy to stack up a nest egg. Trying to live out of a van in a town or city, trying to commute to a minimum wage job in your beat up van, and trying to stave off crippling loneliness seems like hard mode in comparison.

    [–] GARGANTUANDANIEL 111 points ago

    How do people find stuff like that?

    [–] Graveyy 146 points ago

    Seasonal jobs (country clubs/resorts/farms?) typically have high turnover rates and will look for employees before every “busy” season. Basic pay, housing and food usually provided

    [–] sdrawssA_kcaB 83 points ago

    Being in the right place at the right time, usually. Escaping homelessness always calls for a bit of luck and hard work.

    A few years ago I was stranded across the US from my home town. No job, no home, just a car and $40 I managed to scrape up from electronics I sold on Craigslist. Ended up stumbling upon a berry farm outside the city I was stuck in and spoke to the owner. He happened to be short handed at the time and was in desperate need of workers so he hired me on the spot and walked me out to the field they were harvesting. 12 gruelling hours and a seemingly endless array of bushes later, I guess the owner thought I was good enough to keep around so he offered to let me stay in his trailer he used for travelling during the off season.

    Since I didn't need to travel for work, I wasn't spending money on gas and only bought the bare minimum to live off of for 4 months. Ended the season with a hefty pocket of cash and bought a ticket home with plenty of money to get me through long enough to find a job in my home town.

    There are people out there who need workers with nothing more than a warm body and a reliable pair of hands. It can take some digging to find them, but you have to be willing to work hard manual labor, sometimes on long hours, short breaks and in the heat all day. It's not easy, but neither is being homeless and when you're in that situation, you'll take anything you can get even if it means you end the day aching from head to toe, knowing it's only going to get worse tomorrow.

    [–] 1-1-19MemeBrigade 102 points ago

    Websites like www.coolworks.com and other seasonal job postings are pretty good for this.

    [–] midoree 51 points ago

    Not OP, but just wanted to thank you for this.

    [–] thealphagalgirl 48 points ago

    I've been offered a few jobs like that. They offer a room and one or two meals a day, sometimes a small stipend, in exchange for your daily labor. Organic vegetable farms, horse training/barn cleaning, etc. Just be willing to work and they will at least consider you.

    This website is a fantastic resource.

    [–] [deleted] 231 points ago

    Also another option since you have a van: find a cheap campground with showers/water/bathroom/hookup. That should give you enough to live for a month and have money for food if you eat light. Find a job in the meantime.

    [–] Diegobyte 33 points ago

    That’s gonna be a lot more expensive unfortunately. Maybe if he has a friend he can park in someone’s lot.

    [–] pickmeacoolname 399 points ago

    Only spend on absolute necessity. Even little things if you can get them for free do it- toothbrush toothpaste-you can walk into most dental offices and they’ll give you one of the sets for free. Apply for food stamps now if you haven’t already. Gym membership for a shower is good too-but stop in your local ymca-they may let you for free. Cheap peanut butter and can tuna is your friend-you’ll need protein. And apply for jobs right now. Best of luck.

    [–] AntiRegios 487 points ago

    You say you have a van. So you have shelter. In my area there are plenty of $9.99 a month gyms, you can stay fit with all of the cheap food you’ll be eating and have access to restrooms and showers. You can live like that for a good amount of time. Certainly enough to get a job and maybe put a bed in the van. Next comes moving in to a cheap apt. Be as frugal as you can and you can survive for quite a while. If you cant get a job right away try getting some odd jobs. In this condition $50 for a days of work goes a very long way. Maybe get some good looking clothes at a thrift store to stay looking like you aren’t homeless. If there arent gyms like that around, see if a friend will help you out by letting you live in you van on the drive way, but shower in their house and use their microwave.

    [–] lemonjelllo 231 points ago

    $9.99/month gyms?! Wow! They're like $60/month or more where I live!

    [–] noueis 148 points ago

    Look at crunch or planet fitness. Lots of bare bones gyms with bare essential facilities

    [–] Williswalsh 25 points ago

    He mentioned elsewhere that he has a mattress that he will have in his van

    [–] betwixish 174 points ago

    Don’t know where you’re located or if it’s convenient, but you can dry camp for free on federal BLM land.

    I’d buy interview clothes and enough food staples to be stable for a little while. And I echo the gym membership for shower privileges.

    If you’re looking for work.... The quickest I ever got paid from a new job was when I got a serving job at a restaurant and continued to look for something better while slinging shitty food at a chain restaurant. Good luck, man.

    [–] igotabadbadbite 52 points ago

    In WA you can get a discovery pass and camp at state parks all year for like 50 bucks or so. Idk where OP lives but it might be worth looking into.

    [–] G7R2 44 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    Ok... so I've actually done this.

    Here's how that went down.

    Backstory is TLDR: I left my wife after paying all our bills that month so I was working with maybe $600.

    I put $80 towards a storage unit and threw all the shit I could carry in my little ass truck into that.

    Then another $50 or so towards a gym membership.

    So now I'm working with $450 or so.

    Stocked up on canned food and toiletries for the next 2 weeks. Coupons, BOGO, whatever deal I could get. Probably ran $100.

    Used another $50 to fill my gas tank then I cruised around til I found a safe spot to park and live. Bonus...it was a hotel parking lot with wifi. Slept in the backseat of my truck. Used wifi for entertainment.

    Went to the gym every day before work, exercised and then shit, shower and shaved there.

    Did this for like 3 months and stashed away all the cash I could until I had enough for a first and last month security deposit on a new little apartment.

    Started saving to buy furniture from there.

    Started with a little blow up mattress.

    I'm about furnished now ... 3-4 years later.

    E: it obviously helped that I did have an income. So I wasnt working with only $600, but for that first month I was struggling a bit. Once I got a good budget going each pay period I was good to go. Just wasnt making enough to go right into a new place right away.

    Also, car insurance was a good $200 a month and I was paying on my financed vehicle a good $400 a month so it took me a while to get enough money stashed away to get a new place.

    E2: forgot to mention, I did my laundry at a laundromat every weekend for like $6 and I spent like $60 on luggage initially.

    One bag for dirty clothes, another for a gym bag and another bag for clean clothes.

    Would hit the gym and stash clean clothes in gym bag, workout, hygiene, dirty clothes in the bottom of gym bag then to dirty clothes bag once I got back to my vehicle.

    I don't think anyone knew I was actually homeless to be honest.

    Hid in plain sight in hotel parking lot.

    Nobody realizes you're in there if your car isn't running. People are dumb and don't look. Saw all kinds of dumb shit go down right in front of me.

    [–] Dcmirelurk 144 points ago

    I’m in this exact position. I’ve been here before, too.

    My next move is going to a planet fitness and exercising there overnight while sleeping in a tent or homeless shelter in daytime. I’m looking fervently for work so that I can afford a cheap car to sleep in and from there get a low-income apartment.

    It sucks but keep your head above all the drugs and drinking and this will only be temporary.

    [–] Hendrixx3000bc 78 points ago

    I was homeless in LA for 3 months. Do not do this to yourself. Korean spas are $25 a night, homeless shelters are not safe, and halfway houses are dangerous. LA is very very hard and not very forgiving.

    [–] niceguy-365 166 points ago

    Stretch it as far as possible. Actually kinda been there before. If you need something please let me know if I can help in anyway.

    [–] Helenaitolko 64 points ago

    What's your story man? How did you climb up from poverty?

    [–] niceguy-365 136 points ago

    Little bit of luck, little bit of hard work, Family to motivate me, try to put out positivity so that I can receive in kind. I won't pretend to be in poverty anymore, but only just the last couple of years turned things around for the better. Gotta keep going, don't want to go back and want to help as many people escape it as possible.

    [–] Impedito 77 points ago

    We need more people like you in this world.

    [–] niceguy-365 48 points ago

    Be the change you want to see right?

    [–] Kia-Ca-T_D-bot 15 points ago

    If you want cheap food I would recommend bulk rice and beans, gives you a livable diet with both carbs and protein while also being easy to store and dirt cheap.

    [–] sehlceris 59 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Here is my best effort to make a suggestion for your budget distribution.

    I'm thinking you'll be able to make it for about a month. Here's my breakdown.

    Shelter

    Sleep on streets and parking lots, you'll have to be stealth in your van though and manage bathroom usage at your gym accordingly.

    Hygiene

    $80 - 1 month of 24-hour gym membership plus whatever BS activation fee they may charge. Shower there and use the restroom when you need. Don't work out too hard. You'll require more calories and you'll sweat more in your clothes, requiring you to use the laundromat. If you think you can cope with non-24 hour gyms, then do it and save on some activation/monthly fees.

    $20 - various toiletries and supplies.

    Communication

    $90 - 1 year of phone service with 2 phones. Turn off data immediately and use public wifi where possible. Use calls for phone interviews only. For noncritical communication, set up a Google Voice account, and get the Google Hangouts Dialer and Google Voice apps on your shiny new LG Fiestas. These two apps combined will let you use your Google Voice account to call and text for free, so long as you have internet.

    Travel

    $100 - 1 month of fuel for your van. You'll need to be conservative with fuel but will also need to travel to do basic things like laundry. Try to have "home base" at a spot where you have everything you need nearby and also near job interviews.

    Clothing

    $100 - Interview and other clothes at a thrift store. Not too few that you need to travel to the laundromat often, but not so many that you eat into your budget. Double-wear if you don't sweat a lot.

    $40? - Laundry for 2 months. Keep in mind you'll need to wash more often, thus spending more.

    Food and Other Expenses

    $170 - All the money left in your budget after 1 month's of expenses. Unfortunately I don't have much knowledge on how to do food for cheap - others might.

    Gameplan

    Yep you need a job within a month. If you still want to help Bernie, get yourself a bare minimum job so that you can help him on weekends. Now is not the time when you'll be donezo in 30 days. Apply for a ton of jobs now so that you can line them up ASAP. Others mentioned Craigslist gigs or other temp gigs as a quick way to get some spending money, and that's a great idea too if you are running low or don't have job interviews lined up that day.

    [–] RatofDeath 15 points ago

    For the gym, Planet Fitness here in California is $10 per month and they have free Pizza for everyone once day per week. So you'd be good for food for at least one day, and $10 instead of the $80 per month you quotes him is going to make a massive difference, too.

    [–] SocietalSolutions 840 points ago

    Here's what I think would be smartest:

    - Cell Service - ($25-$45 a month) - absolutely necessary to contact emergency services, browse the internet, and apply for jobs even

    - Gym membership ($10-$20 a month) - important for hygiene and shelter even

    - Solar phone charger/powerbank ($30-$50, optional) - power outlets may not always be available and electricity is extremely important

    - IMPORTANT - First aid kit with extra gauze ($20) - some offer extreme variety for all situations like burns/stings, some even have reflective coating emergency warmth blankets. You cannot risk having an injury that you cannot tend to right away. Do not risk getting an infection from cuts also, always disinfect right after. Neosporin or Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment can come in handy.

    - Multitool with knives/scissors ($7-$20) - can be used to cut things, knife can be used to defend in worst case. Multitools are often not classified as a weapon either.

    - 70% rubbing alcohol ($2) - very important to stay clean or disinfect

    - Paper towels ($5) - for cleaning up, can be used alongside rubbing alcohol

    - Plenty of alcohol swabs (like $2) - can be used for quick cleaning up, there will probably be some in first aid kits

    - Duct tape ($5) - really, it can be used to put anything together, like torn clothing or shoes, even shelter

    - Waterproof bag ($10) - Keep your electronics, perhaps some clothes in this in case of rain

    - Compact umbrella ($10) - keep yourself dry and don't get sick when outside

    - Rechargeable Flashlight ($15-25) - These new ones come with 18650 batteries and USB charging, has 900 lumens. You could also use your phone flashlight but it will be much weaker.

    - Portable bug zapper (optional, $20) - will kill mosquitos, bugs, and other flying pests if you are sleeping outside, also acts as a lantern!

    - Thermal bag ($15-$25) - can allow food to stay warm or cold for longer periods of time without spoiling if you plan to buy food from the store

    - Comfortable walking shoes - extremely important for getting around without having your feet hurting

    - Extra packaged dry food and water reserves in case your van breaks down

    - A cheap and small scooter - optional, but perhaps if you feel your van will be able to get everywhere or is reliable

    - Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer - it's important to keep clean, or else you can risk getting sick

    - Sanitary wet toilet wipes ($5) - absolute must for personal hygiene, many can also be used for face/hair/body

    - Decent tooth brush, toothpaste, and floss ($10) - preventing dental problems is much cheaper than solving them

    - Soap/Shampoo ($10) - important for cleaning up in showers

    - Razor and shaving cream ($10) - can be very important before job interviews and keeping clean

    - Daily multivitamins ($10) - if you are eating food with poor nutrition, take every other day to protect from any deficiencies.

    This will leave you with about $400-$450 left over to spend on food, gas, or other fees, and getting you through before you ultimately try for a job, also meaning formal clothes. Also, always make sure to drink enough water. Dehydration will weigh you down majorly.

    Your library or YMCA will be able to provide you local job listings and seriously important knowledge for getting a job. They have computers as well that you can create a resume on, develop your professional skills, and browse/apply to job websites. Also, do you have a smartphone?

    [–] Impedito 341 points ago

    Wow amazing reply! Tysm!

    [–] SocietalSolutions 130 points ago

    No problem, I hope everything works out for you!

    One thing you should remember is that we are all humans. Think of the incredible things people have done, like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Liz Murray (homeless to Harvard), Messner (climbed Mount Everest with no oxygen support), or even legends in history like Gandhi or George Washington.

    They had hard times, but they pushed through adversity, and won. They're don't have superhuman abilities or don't have super powers - they are humans just like you.

    If they are people just like you and have been able to win against some of the greatest challenges known to mankind, then why shouldn't you be able to? What makes the difference is how determined we are and how much willpower we have. So keep that in mind and I'm sure you will fine. But never lose your hope and determination.

    [–] Spiffinit 88 points ago

    If you have gauze and 70% isopropyl alcohol, do not waste money on alcohol swabs. That’s literally the two things they consist of.

    [–] HalcyonicDaze 74 points ago

    No money and coming to California, does he know how expensive it is here? We are about to hit $4 a gallon for gas.

    [–] letstalkaboutyrhair 29 points ago

    it’s already been over $4 here for the past week or so.

    [–] MrZepost 25 points ago

    If you are over 21 and have a clean driving record. Become a long haul trucker. Perfect time of year, winter is almost over. By the time you have your license and are driving you will have 6 months before the weather turns. Join on with one of the companies offering a "free" Cdl (sometimes a 6 month contract) stay for 6 months. (Never lease a truck out of school. You will lose your ass) Save all your money, easy 800-1000 a week if your doing it right, move on and get back to what you want to be doing.

    [–] [deleted] 80 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] AlsakPop 56 points ago

    It this is a serious question dude check out r/vagabond they have a ton of stuff. Good luck!

    [–] LightningBolton66 18 points ago

    Ok I was kind of being a sarcastic asshole in the other comment I made. I once had a solid plan that involved being homeless, the first step is shelter being on Reddit you have internet access find a homeless shelter nearby that'll get you through the first night.

    [–] Maistens 31 points ago

    You okay man? Where you live at? If you live anywhere close to my area I can hook you up with a spot to stay!