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Poor by Choice!
...because living for money is a horrible way to live
i was born into a middle-class family. i am seventeen, and i go to a… 
31st-Dec-2006 01:27 pm
i was born into a middle-class family.
i am seventeen, and i go to a school that costs 9,000+ dollars per year.
so why am i here?

this summer i am dropping my lifestyle of shopping sprees and reveling in a disposable income to live homeless, dumpster dive, hitch rides, and sleep in cardboard dumpsters.
not because i think it'd be a laugh and a smashing good time, but because i'm tired of being around people who care more about the label in my pants than the thoughts in my head.
i'm here for support, because everyone i confide in is freaking out.
i'm hoping for someone to refrain from warning me of the dangers. i know. i'm hoping for someone to embrace my decision instead of passing off my ambition as a childish fantasy.

i hope that this is the place i can get what i'm hoping for.
31st-Dec-2006 11:52 pm (UTC)
I don't know why people who choose to be homeless stay in cities. I'd keep myself as far away from cities as I could. But whatever.

I hear Spain is pretty.
1st-Jan-2007 12:05 am (UTC)
i'm planning to travel backwoods america, basically - to get away from the city.
somewhere with fewer malls and more farms.
that'd be nice.
i'm also planning a trip to france, though whether or not that will be a roofless trip is tba.
6th-Feb-2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
If you haven't seen it already there is a French Documentary about Dumpster Diving in France called "The Gleaners and I ".
7th-Feb-2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
When I was homeless I chose to get out of the city. As a youth it's WAY easier because Youth Homeless shelters are super nice with staff that tend to your every need.

Once there wasn't a youth shelter around(when I hit Seattle/Portland/Eugene) I just tented it out int he woods, got on food stamps, knew where every foodbank was and hitched rides with a lot of people who took me home for dinner (it helped I was young and a cute girl)
1st-Jan-2007 12:39 am (UTC)
You can't imagine the exquisite joy it brings into my life whenever I hear someone say what you just did.
I know how it is having no one who supports your lifestyle decisions. But when people in general tell you what you're doing is extreme or ridiculous it's a good indicator that you're doing the right thing.
It is invaluable however, to have someone you can rely on for support.
Do you have a plan?
1st-Jan-2007 05:38 am (UTC)
i'm glad that my choices could be exquisite joy to someone.

i have a close friend who promises she will accompany me, though i am not foolish enough to count on it.
however, i have begun networking with people of similar ambitions and i've made a few friends who are successfully living my dream as i write.
my parents support me, though blindly. they are treating it like something to "get out of my system" rather than a lifestyle, but their intentions are pure and i can count on them, even if i can't count on them to agree with me.

i have less of a structured plan and more of a wish list.
i've experimented with theft for survival, dumpster diving, makeshift shelters and the like.
any suggestions on the plan-making front?
1st-Jan-2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Count on becoming bored and having to find new ways to occupy all the free time you suddenly have.
For me it was in part for political reasons that I did it and I found it made all the sense in the world to fill my days with volunteering for worthy causes.
Do you like being in Vegas. I might recommend finding a place more hospitable to the self-exile.
2nd-Jan-2007 04:52 am (UTC)
i'm hoping to spend the time reading.
i go to school now and i never get to read the good stuff.
and making friends who don't care what kind of car my daddy drives.

there are a lot of things i like about vegas. the middle-class life here is decent but i wouldn't recommend it for the wealthy or the poor, especially the poor by choice.
and never ever raise a child here, folks.
26th-Jun-2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
exquisite joy to me as well

i would be doing all of that this summer (i'm 17 too) but then had a change of plans to live with some friends on a 68 acre 'punk farm' (because the former punk house is splitting up) about 30 min away from the city
1st-Jan-2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Well, I wish you were not under 18, but other than that.. I commend your thoughts and decision!
1st-Jan-2007 05:41 am (UTC)
thank you!

i think we all wish i were not under 18..
1st-Jan-2007 03:02 am (UTC)
be careful and ignore what Zack da loser recommends.

Especiallly if you're under 18years old. remember you're a minor.


been there and regrets listening to his shit.
1st-Jan-2007 05:42 am (UTC)
i'll be careful, but i'm trying to maintain a happy medium between jaded and foolhardy.
2nd-Jan-2007 02:50 am (UTC)
well I am not a female but was led astray by all this dumpster diving, SC allure, primitivist views.

Lots of these smug punks have parents supporting them, all for a five minute every other week phone call on cells the PARENTS ARE PAYING FOR.

"HI MOM, yeah I am safe eating vegan muffins, threatening POM companies and PETA, ALF.... and diving for greens from Whole Foods, no I still hate you and all you stand for. Oh cool, my verizon bill is paid for thru for three months and my bed is still open for me, cool."

2nd-Jan-2007 04:48 am (UTC)
trust me, my parents adopted this runaway punk and she was exactly that.
i'm not that.
so don't even start.
5th-Jan-2007 12:06 pm (UTC)
I think the previous poster was trying to point out that some of the people in this group aren't necessarily the ones you want to take advice from, not posting as a comment on you.

I know you said you'd prefer not to be warned of the dangers (& apologies in advance - I'd feel lax if I didn't post) but sleeping rough in a city is not something you want to try.

As someone whose spent time working for homeless shelters - trust me on this, you won't find people who care about your opinions, you will find disease, hunger, cold, lack of fresh water... & possibly death (homeless mortality rates are still rising).

If you want an alternative, try working (/devoting more time to) for some voluntary charity organisations (not sure what the American equivalents are) & devoting some of your disposable income to that charity.

It's somewhat safer, you'll meet people who share your world-view & you'll do some good while you're at it.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice what you do with yourself, the person most affected by what you do will be you…but your family aren’t claiming it’s dangerous to keep you in captivity ;).

You probably should trust those you know, rather than faceless internet people when it’s a major decision (everyone has their own agendas whether benign or not, or whether they’ll admit it or not).

Sorry again, just my two cents.
6th-Jan-2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
don't apologize. i appreciate your candor.
11th-Feb-2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Also rape.
11th-Jan-2007 04:45 am (UTC)
i hear its illegal to feed or help homeless in vegas...so that sounds liek a reason to leave...you should check out a rainbow gatherin somewheres....
14th-Jan-2007 03:06 am (UTC)
they recently lifted that ban
but during its short life i almost got arrested twice for being affiliated with food not bombs

what total bullshit, eh?

4th-Mar-2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
if you are going to run off on your own you DO NOT want to go in to backwoods areas. All that about advoiding cities is nonsense. I understand wanting to be seperated from what you're running away from, but cities are where the food is, where the shelter is. If you're going through backwoods areas and small farm places, there's a MUCH higher chance of you running in to trouble.

best of luck on your journey, though.
16th-Mar-2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
21st-Mar-2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
I'm with the poster above. Unless you know how to find food in the woods (from state to state or wherever you plan on traveling), how to build a shelter and how to stave off animals, stay in the city. I've worked for the homeless, as well and the romantic hobo lifestyle is anything but.
To quote one of my favourite bands' "if you go in the ocean, you gotta know it's the shark's world".
26th-May-2007 09:30 pm (UTC)
i commend your desires thats cool that you dont want to be tamed and tied down by corporate life or anything else you wouldnt want.
I'm at about the same point as you, and am not actually on the streets yet but am in the activist scene. what i can gather so far is belonging to the community is crucial, especially if your a girl- you do want to be safe.you can sleep in public parks and go to shelters if the weather is too bad, be wary of them wanting to diagnose or drug you though. And its not true that no one will care about what you think, on the contrary, that way you'll find the kind of people who would be interested. people who stop and talk to the homeless dont necessarily give a fuck about the social norms and theres plenty like that out there.
sorry that was so long
23rd-Jun-2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
hi my name is ethan.
I support you, and I to feel like you do.
I don't believe in working, its stupid...just to buy more material crap. you can get food from dumpsters. and I'd rather spend all my time with my fiance than to work an eight hour day at a job that I hate. I think that food, sheler, clothing, and love are a RIGHT not a PRIVILEGE. so i hear you. talk to me. email me at ethwoods@gmail.com
or send me a message on my livejournal.
26th-Jun-2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
have you read 'evasion'?
plenty of ways to make homeless and poor and travelling EXCITING
7th-Dec-2007 02:21 am (UTC)
wow this is great ! i actually have a similar plan!! only i'm gonna live off-grid and in a van -yes i'm 17 also and currently searching for my next home, once i get a van my plans are to travel all around .. im poor now , i used to live in a middle class family too.. for me my life changed when i read "on the road" by jack kerouac .. its a great read about traveling and living poor by choice.. .. before you become homeless i strongly suggest you read "steal this book" -its outdated but some of the info can still be usefull.. that book changed my life in a way .. - i've been dumpster-diving, panhandling, and shoplifting(but i call it Liberating) for the last 3 months now .. and i haven't got caught yet, i do it for protest reasons .. i know alote of tricks and schemes, but im not a pro but a begginer and im gonna be homeless soon too -once i get my GED and buy a van.. ... HERE's a website i suggest you check out (you can find some info there) : www.off-grid.com
1st-Jan-2008 02:58 am (UTC) - ???
I think I can see where you are going here. The experiance could be good, but let me share a twist and I would love your response and the comments of other. I often wonder about how there unfortunate lifestyle could be changed from where they are, what knowledge could one share, what simple gift could one make that would have th potential to change there world forever??? How about the ability to feed them self? What about a few little seeds, any makeshift container would work, if daily water is avalable, and most often is, they could carry around a secret garden in there pocket. Safe, healthy, convenient, cheep!!! I am not sure, what good you could do, diving for food. A very small amount of seeds could feed a man or women on the streets for many many days, a coffee can, a family for a year!!! maybe more. What if with a little effort they could produce excess and sell sprouts? even as food for animals. I don't know if it could be done, or if it could make a would-wide difference but I feel like if a plan could be create in that arena, more good could be done, using far less money and natural resources!

Would love to hear more about your Why? Why are you going to the streets? What do you wish to accomplish? Even if your plan is shaky,I do hope you have a burning WHY, otherwise, how do you know if it is worth it??? What would be a success or failure? Hit me back

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