How long could you survive homelessness?

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  1. kallini2010 profile image80
    kallini2010posted 11 years ago

    How long could you survive homelessness?

    I cannot even imagine myself being homeless. But what if?

  2. Nellieanna profile image70
    Nellieannaposted 11 years ago

    It would be horrid, beyond belief.  But I think that my experience being at the ranch as a youngster in the Great Depression years and knowing my parents' rugged, virtually homeless (except for living in a tent as Dad drilled water wells across uncharted wilderness) history out there, till they managed to acquire some land and built a house on it with their own hands, and seeing them "making-do" during their very challenging days might make it somewhat easier for me to arise to an extreme challenge like that, more than I can imagine it being feasible for those who've never faced any denial beyond not having the latest iPad off the assembly line. 

    The hardest part of it I can imagine would be being homeless in a city with many other homeless people, and all the crime and danger that must surely involve.  But there would be nothing "easy" about it anywhere. 

    I can honestly say that it could  happen to anyone any time, though.  Certainty and security are not 'givens' in life, ever, and in times such as these, probably less so.

    Other than being unable to imagine it, what do you think you would do, I wonder?

  3. davenmidtown profile image69
    davenmidtownposted 11 years ago

    Would not the answer be dependent upon what one considers a home?  Nomadic tribes have survived for centuries without a permanent home.  Being homeless in modern society its a great deal more difficult because there is no place to go... really... If I did not have pets I think I would wonder out into the wilderness (such that it is) and build a life... not a challenge I really want to take up but when is homeless a choice these days?

  4. Faceless39 profile image90
    Faceless39posted 11 years ago

    It's hard to say, but I'd like to think I could do it for as long as it took to get out of it again.  We never know what tomorrow may bring, and we never know what lessons life might have in store for us.  Good idea not to judge.

  5. lucybell21 profile image67
    lucybell21posted 11 years ago

    I'm not sure. Right now if that did happen to me I have places I can stay, including my job, which I am a cook and weekend overnight aid and have my own staff bedroom, but if I really had no place to go.. humm.. I could as long as I had a job, or public assistance, the YWCA here in my city.

  6. Mr. Happy profile image70
    Mr. Happyposted 11 years ago

    I lived in the park for roughly a month, with many homeless people as part of "Occupy Toronto". Some of them had been on the streets for years ... you learn to make do - not that I want You to learn, just saying ...
    Subway vents for heat, food wherever it is offered for free, etc. ...
    Not fun though.

    P.S. I passed by the park last Saturday morning, on the 31st and met two homeless guys. One was bare foot, walking around ... it was just after eight o'clock in the morning: cold and wet ...

  7. Wayne K. WIlkins profile image65
    Wayne K. WIlkinsposted 11 years ago

    Not long... I don't know how people can, it takes a lot of courage and skill. It's also disgusting that the government could sit back and watch people suffer frome homelessness...

  8. profile image0
    rorshak sobchakposted 11 years ago

    I would take it day for day. Although I think the worst part of that would be that I would feel so alone.

  9. thumbi7 profile image63
    thumbi7posted 11 years ago

    It is a very difficult question to answer. I cannot even think of putting myself in that situation. I pray that none of us have to face that situation ever.

  10. Doc Snow profile image89
    Doc Snowposted 11 years ago

    I sometimes wonder--it's definitely a scary thought, and not an impossible one:  it does happen to people who have every reason to think they are secure.

    Yet I've spoken to homeless folks who were not unhappy, though (with only one exception) they certainly didn't call themselves satisfied.  Homeless need not mean hopeless.

  11. profile image0
    mikeq107posted 11 years ago

    Actully I have given this a lot of thought over the years...Used to work with homless people and Cynthia still does....Its some thing a lot of people Fear....But the best thing is to follow that fear all the way to its end...So You Losse your Job...then you cant pay the bank ...then your out on the street or in your car or if your lucky living in a friends garage or basement...Ok you have no sleep at the local homeless homless sleep under the bridge by the least you can wash in the river and beg for money from passing strangers....people live like this from birth in India etc....

    I personaly would spend my last few dollars on a plane ticket to Maui...there you can legaly sleep on the beechs...the temp is 85 average all year round...Met lots of homeless people there last trip out....warm weather...and plenty of fresh fish and fruit growing every where...

    Oh I was homless before for about 3 months and God provided one place after the next...never went hungary and had a wife and 2 boys...forgot all about that till just now...I just chosse to trust God at that time...met some great people...but never ended in the was a faith growing experiance I`m very thankful to have gone through.....Great question which I,m sure latley is on a lot of peoples minds....

    So everyone head for Maui ..LOL

    Mike :0)

  12. WD Curry 111 profile image57
    WD Curry 111posted 11 years ago

    The homeless problem in America started when Ronald Reagan cut federal programs, opened the doors of mental health facilities and cut the patients loose, and closed the doors behind them. While it may be better for the private sector to foot the bill (like Raygun said) there was no effort to transition or establish private efforts.

    Oh yeah, the question. I live in Florida, and could survive indefinitely and fare well. It helps to know how to fish and forage. There is the natural environment, and then there is the dumpster behind Hooters.

  13. CloudExplorer profile image78
    CloudExplorerposted 11 years ago

    I've done it many times actually, but I don't know how long was the longest survivor of homelessness though.  I seen many homeless folks in New York, and for many years on the trains.  I guess it all depends on where your at as a homeless individual, because New York City has many places where you can shield yourself from the elements. There's also many ways to acquire money in the city as a homeless person, so I guess the issue of longevity would have to depend on the area and conditions of the living environment. 

    If you lived in the jungle I would have to say, for an entire life time, and people in the jungle don't necessarily need a home, they have adapted to the natural environment so there really isn't any issue, besides everyday life situations they face.  Now if you take a modernized person from a city and place them in the jungle area, they wouldn't survive a week there without utensils, tools of any sorta or knowledge of how to eat from its resourceful foods there.

  14. dipsmi profile image66
    dipsmiposted 11 years ago

    I wont be able to survive. I do not think I am that capable.

  15. Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image76
    Ian Dabasori Hetrposted 11 years ago

    As long as you have no home. That's how long you can survive homeless. No one in his right mine would want to stay longer on street as homeless if he has a descent home.

  16. kevins blog52 profile image64
    kevins blog52posted 11 years ago

    I thank God that I'm not homeless,and my heart and prayers go out to the ones that are. I'm for from having a lot of money mostly because I give of my self to people in need, Think for a minute on what I'm about to say" What if everyone gave as much as they could of there self's letting tomorrow take care of its self, now would there be any homeless people left, other then by choice?

  17. zzron profile image57
    zzronposted 11 years ago

    That would be a hard question to answer.  I think it depends on where you're at, how much money you have or access to money. Whether you know anyone in the area or not. I would think it would be different for different people and also, depending on your personality.  I believe a lot of different factors would determine how long I thought I could go being homeless.  I guess to answer your question for me personally  would be, I'm not sure.  Considering the above.

  18. xethonxq profile image67
    xethonxqposted 11 years ago

    I could probably manage about 1 week...and that would be with me mooching off of everyone I know and feeling like crap doing it. What a difficult, difficult thing to have to experience.

  19. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 11 years ago

    It depends on the conditions surrounding where you are living as homeless.

    Referring to the Thai monk LP Kasem, he had lived in the forest for a year and only bathed once in a year. He managed to survive in harsh condition of sun and rain during his stay in the forest while doing his sammahdti practise.

    I was trained in survival skills to know how to keep yourself alive in situation therefore I do believe I should be able to for at least a year.

  20. NiaLee profile image60
    NiaLeeposted 11 years ago

    i know very well about that
    it is hard
    it is freedom
    it is worry
    it is loneliness
    losing the sense of time
    almost feeling like losing the "humanity" realize
    you are coming closer
    to who you are and Life
    because you only have yourself
    your Life.
    how long? months to lead me to being my own self, to freeing myself from such a burden!
    It was the hardest and the best experience of my life.

  21. EyesStraightAhead profile image75
    EyesStraightAheadposted 11 years ago

    I just finished reading the book, "Branded" by Tim Sinclair. One of the suggestions in it is to become homeless for a weekend - to go and live with your city's homeless people and really understand what it is like to be homeless. The idea is that by understanding how they live, you would be able to more effectively meet their needs. I will be honest and tell you when I read that I couldn't think of a more horrible thing to do. I couldn't imagine one night of having to sleep in the cold, to find a place where I could lay my head down (such as a park bench or dugout). I wondered how I would shower or find food to eat. We all know that most homeless people are unable to find a way to the various food kitchens and resources available to them because we set them up in locations that don't move. Unlike Skid Row and New York City where there are agencies who have services that go out and bring food the homeless, in my city we have several soup kitchens in churches and schools across town or even in another town from where homeless people actually tend to stay. Therefore, instead of catering to homeless they end up helping only lower income families and those who go to get a free meal. This all said, I don't believe I would be very good at being homeless and would have to find a way out of the situation. It is painful and heartbreaking and something we need to do much better at stopping in our communities. In this day and age, there is no reason any person should not have a place to lay their head at night that is sheltered and warm.

    I shared a poem I wrote years ago as a hub in response to this question. I was about 21 and living in San Diego when I met a homeless man on the beach and learned his story...I was moved by his reaction to my poem and will never forget the wonderful relationship I had with him and how strong he was. I enjoyed knowing him and watching him grow and find resources. Sometimes we just need to reach out to others and learn about them...we find out we aren't so different.

  22. EyesStraightAhead profile image75
    EyesStraightAheadposted 11 years ago

    Have you encountered a homeless person and tried to remove yourself from his/her path? Does it bother you when you see someone standing on a street begging for money? This poem expresses what you may find when you look behind the outer layer of a person and search his/her soul. It is based upon a person I met when living in San Diego, someone who really taught me a lesson about how we are all bleed red. read more

  23. Jackie Lynnley profile image86
    Jackie Lynnleyposted 11 years ago

    I consider myself a survivor but this would be a really horrible thing knowing all you have is on your back and never knowing where your next meal is. It is something worth really thinking about to help us be more giving I am sure, but we should also be responsible to make sure the homeless actually get what we give.

  24. Capedium profile image59
    Capediumposted 11 years ago

    This question reminded me of the first the line of a poem I wrote,
    titled " A Beggars Tale"
    It reads...   
                       Let the world end
                       Good or Bad I will accept my faith
                       This suffering is too hard to bear.

    Honestly, I don't know. 
    What I do know, is that it is very tough

  25. GoldenBird profile image58
    GoldenBirdposted 11 years ago

    It depends where you are, and who you are. Buddha was a prince, and he willingly left home and all the luxuries of being a royal descendant. There are thousands upon thousands of hermits throughout the world who abandon their homes to find their salvations.

    Even a soldier is a homeless person. He lives in bunkers.

    The concept of homelessness is a subjective one. It's reaction will vary from being willingly homeless, to being forced to be homeless. Meanwhile, I appreciate the empathy your question shows.

  26. intouch with Toni profile image60
    intouch with Toniposted 11 years ago

    I do a lot of work with the homeless and as I've seen others ask, what does one consider homeless?  Near my home, there are shelters of different types.  The kinds that have you line up to get a cot for the night.  The kinds that welfare places you in to give you a roof over your head for an undetermined amount of time in a sort of dorm environment and the kind that run programs for those who suffer addictions.  There are also many "welfare motels".  Technically, these folks pay neither mortgage or rent, but they are homeless.  While those situations are depressing, sometimes dirty, and extremely stressful, knowing I had a place to go would allow for longer survival.  Having an address to where a welfare check could be sent, food stamps could be provided, programs were in place to help me find a job and ultimately place me in my own living quarters would make survival possible.  But again, is that what you mean by homeless?

    Then there are those who are 'truly' homeless.  The ground is their mattress, a stone their pillow, a bridge the roof over their heads.  How long could I survive in that kind of situation?  Probably not too long.   Even though I live in the city, in a home that is in need of many repairs, on an income that is small, I am spoiled by my warm bed, soft pillow, and relative safety of a locked door.

    Those living on the streets are in constant danger.  Danger from the elements.  Danger from other humans.  Danger from disease and vermin.  Not sure I could see myself sharing a bed with a rat, and by the grace of God, I will never have to.  I have been jobless and have fallen on hard times, but God has always provided a way to keep my home and put food on the table.  Perhaps that's why I have such a passion to work with those who are in less fortunate situations.  I am not rich by the standards of this world, but I am very blessed to have what I do have.

    Thanks for posing this's a good one!

  27. seattleamilehigh1 profile image60
    seattleamilehigh1posted 11 years ago

    probably not too long. I mean if it was everyman for him self and we ALL had to do it, maybe. But as things stand, I wouldnt stand a chance. I love people, and I know how I sometimes look at the homeless and strung out. That look would kill me if directed at me.

  28. KrystalD profile image69
    KrystalDposted 11 years ago

    As a child, we struggled. There were times that we lived in motels and other times in shelters. These were very tough years and I was VERY angry at the time.

    I used my anger to fuel me through school. I was very ambitious and graduated top of my class in my undergraduate and master’s programs. I, sadly, felt my parents did not "try hard enough."

    Well, now I am an adult and I have discovered many things about life and myself. Life is hard and there are few handouts. We all fall short at times and many people, including myself, do not have many safety nets such as family members to catch them if they fall.

    I have also learned that many people are wounded. My parents did all they could but they were dealing with a lots of emotional and mental scars including addiction, codependency and mental illness.

    Now that I have had to experience my own financial as well as emotional/mental challenges, I understand how close we all are from falling short or just losing it.

    I could survive but I work hard to keep my finances and mind in order so I don't have to live like that. I have an overwhelming compassion for the poor because of how close I have been and how easy I know it is.

  29. profile image35
    LORD ENKIposted 11 years ago

    Right to the end! You would be surprised how strong the human will to live is! However the ones that would survive the longest are the LIFE FORMS (humans incld.That Are The Most ADAPTABLE!!

  30. bruzzbuzz profile image60
    bruzzbuzzposted 11 years ago

    I think I could last as long as it took to become a person with a home again. I would not want to be homeless and I figure it would be a horrible experience but I would do whatever I had to do to dig out of the problem. This is a good question and one that makes you really think about those who are homeless.


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