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November 22, 2005

Comments

Rob Beckett

Good luck, Jeff.

Andrew

Man, driving home on 77 was bad enough. I can barely imagine sleeping in this.

(And to think, this is still relatively warm given Ohio's winters)

Timothy

Ive been homeless for months at a time.

Some advice:

Stay hydrated, even in cold weather, find an old plastic bottle, wash it out and carry it with you and top it off every chance you get.

With the first $ you can get, go to Dollar General type store, for $2-3 you can get a months supply of multi-vitamins. This is essential to stay healthy when you have an erratic diet like one does on the streets.

Collect every piece of clothing or old rag you come across to stay warm. Stuff newspapers under your jacket for extra insulation. Get a hat asap, 50% of a persons body heat is lost thru the top of their heads.

Dont be afraid to dumpster dive. I use to find good food in a supermarket dumpster. Every night at 9pm they closed their bakery and threw away everything that was old. At 9:15 I was getting for free something that I would have had to pay for at 9:00.

Libraries are a God Send, clean, warm, and quiet. I became an expert at taking a 5 minute sponge bath in an empty bathroom first thing in the AM. Also free internet access, you can get a free email account from Yahoo, and research social services without having to make phone calls or walk all over town. And of course you can sit and read undisturbed. When I was homeless and on the road Libraries became my refuge and Librarians were angels.

Once when I was homeless in Berkley, I used Mapquest to find out how to get to a free meal place.

Be resourcefull, collect everything of value that you find.
I dont smoke but a half of a pack of cigaretes I once found on the sidewalk I traded for a couple of candy bars.

Stay healthy, look for the small blessings in life, avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs. (I would take a hit of a joint if it came my way but never carried any).

I NEVER PANHANDLED but would accept gifts if offered to me.
Try to get odd jobs, find a trucker unloading a truck, or go into a Walgreens and tell the manager you will pick up all the trash in the parking lot for $10.

When you are living on the steet $10-20 can go along way. You can buy a sleeping bag at Goodwill for $10.

I lived for months with a backpack, a canteen, a few extra clothes, and a sleeping bag.

Most Americans have no idea that a person really doesnt need that much to survive. Air, H20, Vitamins, some warm clothes and a sleeping bag with a plastic tarp.

The hardest thing is to find a place to crash. I did some hitchiking in the 60s and things were a lot easier then, everything wasnt so fenced, regulated and controlled. Many times I could just crash in a city park or an empty lot. Now days the parks are all patrolled and curfews enforced, lots are fenced off, etc. Its hard to find those "fringe" areas where hobos and vagabonds used to camp.

deanfan84

You're so full of shit, Jeff. I'm going to dig up every piece of dirt I can find on you and make sure you drop out of the race.

Your candidacy is a joke and nobody respects you. Every Ohio Democrat wishes you'd go away, it's a fact. I'll only be happy when you're actually homeless and it's not some stupid stunt.

Island Dave

Not sure which 'Dean' deanfan04 is a fan of, but I'm pretty sure Howard Dean disagrees strongly with that comment. Darn trolls, never learn to stay under bridges...

Thanks for the real reporting that is coming out of this Jeff. We all hear the 'stories' of what homelessness means to those who live it, but to have it thrown in your face this way...wow, there's nothing like real experience. Thank you for sharing your ordeal, and please never forget to do everything you can to help those who don't have a 100 hour limit find a more comfortable and reasonable living situation. Cheers.

Rachael

jeff, not every ohio democrat wishes you would go away! i for one wish mean spirited people whith no sense would go away(deanfan84). good luck to you jeff, stay safe. we are praying for you.

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