In a Pipe, In a Pigeon Shed: Where the Homeless Live
- For the lucky ones, those who find themselves homeless are able to take up residence with family members in their homes.
- For those who have nowhere else to go, there are shelters, but space is very limited.
- So the ones who find themselves on the streets have found some unique ways to deal with their lack of shelter.
Probably the most common form of temporary housing is a tent. They spring up like little communities along sidewalks and in parks as quickly as mushrooms grow overnight. Many cities perform “sweeps” and force the homeless to leave, only to find new encampments relocated elsewhere the next day. It is a constant game of rolling the dice and moving across the Monopoly game board of homelessness.
Under bridges are common places where the homeless gather and actually often have quite elaborate communities. It helps to have some shelter overhead from the weather and also to be out of sight from prying eyes of the non-homeless. A number of these places are encampments, little towns, that are home base for literally a few hundred people.
In Your Car
For many recently homeless, they still have their car and take up residence there. Living in a vehicle is called Vehicular Homelessness, and it’s on the rise in cities across the US. There are more than 16,000 people living in their vehicles in Los Angeles, California, alone.
In some cities, laws have been passed to combat the homeless from sleeping overnight in their vehicles. Other cities with kinder hearts operate parking lots for people to park at night to sleep in their cars. The rumor mill has it that WalMart can be forgiving of cars spending the night in their parking lots.