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Old 03-13-2009, 08:29 AM   #15
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Just like Elvie I sold my home in May '07 at a huge profit just before the you know what hit the fan. I live in a 20' 2007 Safari - have zero debt and have been debt free since 1980 - and I might add have lost not one cent in the schlock market as it became obvious to me after the thing that it was nothing but a manipulated crapshoot and that the majority of financial advisers were a joke. But I certainly don't consider myself homeless. I just take it with me wherever I go.

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Old 03-13-2009, 01:15 PM   #16
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EDAR (Everyone Deserves a Roof)

Check out this story on CNN about portable tents for the homeless.......really homeless....

Tents on wheels give homeless people roof and pride -


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Old 03-13-2009, 02:46 PM   #17
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I think there is generally an involuntary element present when defining oneself as "homeless", whether you are in a shelter, on the streets, in your car, AS, RV, etc. I saw a news clip last night about one of Bernard Madoff's victims, who lost everything, they are homeless and living in their (huge) RV--but can't afford gas for it. One of those "there but for the grace of God go I"-----
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:43 AM   #18
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yeah, that totally blows about people having been *&^$ by one bernie madoff, who, ehem, made off with all their money.

i do have to say that i've always been leary of the stock market. which is why i still have my assests; even though they earn very little, being in CD's, at least they're safe. i wonder why people would put ALL their money in stocks.
anyhoo, it's tragic that folks trusted ol bernie. i hope he does make restitution.

i found it very sad that 'Brenda', the senior who lived in a 'tent with wheels', was homeless. elders should never have to be on the streets. you'd think the poor woman would be eligable for public senior housing...

indeed, there but for the grace of God, go i... i consider myself very fortunate to have my apt. it's shabby, but it's home and the rent is low!
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:33 PM   #19
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wow great thread...
I have never thought of myself as homeless, although I live in my AS full time. I've lived in all sorts of houses, apts, lofts, warehouse apts, urban skyrises, and rural areas...always renting. But after all those I love my airstream living experience the best!

when it came down to wanting to buy something to call my own, the idea of being tied to one city was frightening....where to go?
Now I can pick up and go to California tomorrow, and then spend time on the east coast if I wanna

Some people landscape their lawn and buy clunky furnature, I save all my pennies for gas and have absolutly everything i need neetly packed in 30' of alluminum.

I payed about 500-1000$ a month plus all the bills for too long. airstreaming is wayyy cheaper.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:53 PM   #20
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Paula.....What were you using? a Dust Buster? or did it just have dead batteries? Or just a really huge house?
See, I read these post all the way through sometimes

But on a serious note, I did see the news report on all of those funky RV's parked along residential streets out west. And the tent city popping up outside of Sacramento, CA
Not good.......[/quote]

3,150 sq ft on the main two floors, plus attic and basement. Six HOURS!

Of course that includes the baseboards and an ornate staircase with many banisters.

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Old 04-21-2009, 12:44 AM   #21
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Homeless by choice vs. down and out in Beverly Hills

True homelessness in an Airstream. I did take a hard look around a few trailer parks and alleys lately. I think there are a lot of suspicious vans, truck campers, etc... but not that many Airstreamers. Too conspicuous a choice perhaps. Too expensive comparatively also.

As a business owner with many clients in the real estate business I do see a wide cross section of people. Homeless people tend to fall into several broad categories:

There are many people with little education who who have always been living on the bare minimum. One serious accident, illness or... a bad marriage, and the whole thing slides downhill for years. The component of bad choices usually plays into this mix... from dropping out of school and never going back, to not saving and being too fond of social drinking - not necessarily alcoholism, just spending way too much of their disposable income on alcohol related partying often keeps them from making progress. Bad family choices really play into this too. I know two women who are living in furnished rooms because they couldn't stop giving money to children with addictions.

There are of course a large number of people who are mentally ill in varying degrees who fall into homelessness. We've all seen the schizophrenics who are talking to imaginary audiences, but most are really far more functional than that. Severe depression is a big component of most homelessness... and poor nutrition and living conditions just keep people there. These are the true tragedies... Many of these people have major troubles living in "structured environments"... they are eligible for section 8 housing, but can't care for a rental or get along with neighbors. We get calls where people have been evicted from section 8 because they live in such filth and disorder that the building becomes unsafe for other tenants. There are truly feral people out there on the street. They don't come in because they can't.

Skid row - alcohol and drug abuse have always been a big path to homelessness, and we have homeless people living not 300 yards from where I sit now who are just such cases. The Salvation Army - and of course the local police's alcohol intervention unit are always pulling people out of an area surrounding some old railroad tracks and an interstate just behind my office. The old faces disappear pretty rapidly. Most literally die within 5 years on the streets.

The people who really sort of offend me are the "been well off and am now in denial" ones. Sadly the law DOES put divorced women (and a few men)with grown children out on the street - without long term financial support. Most of these people have a huge problem adjusting to and living within their reduced means. I recently talked to a man who was 68 and had lost it all in the collapse - he needed a sales position and had a good background, but simply would not understand that I couldn't afford to pay him what he thinks he's worth. He doesn't want to face that virtually no one can even consider hiring in the $60K to $80K range right now, and that while I'd be willing to pay that ON COMMISSION, it won't happen any other way. I have people who have been working for me for 10 years that also deserve my loyalty... I am not hiring someone who MAY be able to work miracles and pay him as though he's a proven commodity. He's had over 30 interviews with the same result.... How long before he takes a serious look at his front end expectations?

I have people show up at my door looking for a "fill in job" who will not consider working for less than $15 to $20 per hour. Hey, I get that they used to earn that and need to get it to support their lifestyle... but their refusal to take less just doesn't make sense. Those people living in their moho who can't afford gas? Duh, you can afford gas if both mom and pop get jobs in fast food. Is it brutal? Yes. Is it a disgrace? I can understand that it feels like it's disgraceful, but it's really just facing reality.

There is a phenomenon called "the immigrant experience". A doctor from Vietnam comes to the USA in 1972 at the end of the war. His license won't allow him to practice medicine in the USA. In Vietnam, he'd have starved... because within his own society it would not have been possible for him to take a job as a janitor or waiter. In the USA where he's adrift culturally, he takes a job in a convenience store.... and works 13 hours per day 7 days per week. Thirty five years later he and his family own a small chain of convenience storea and he's had three children graduate from prestigious US universities. Starting a new life means breaking away from all of the mental restrictions imposed on you by your old one.

Most people thought I'd try Airstreaming for six months to a year. It's worked too well for me, but eventually I'll be too old to go on the road. Will I settle in Florida or Georgia in a trailer... or might I go back into a condo or apartment? I don't know, but I'll be able to AFFORD whatever I choose, won't I?

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:09 AM   #22
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Excellent response, Paula. I especially agree with your comments about the guy who thinks he should hold out for the salary he was making in his prior world. I've always told me kids that you can be "rich" as long as you live within your means, whether it be hot dogs and beans or steak and potatoes. I am glad that I grew up in a family that really struggled, it taught me so much and I appreciate my good fortune so much more. I may have to return to the workforce due to issues that we are all facing but it certainly won't be the high pressure administrative job that I left almost 10 years ago. We have made adjustments in our lifestyle to accomodate our circumstances and are fine. No we aren't taking cruises and I buy my clothes at the local thrift store. We eat healthy but don't eat at extravagant restruants. We are looking forward to vacationing in our new to us 65 AS. It is functional now but further repairs and upgrades will come as we can afford it!!My son-in-law made a comment that as painful as it has been we all needed a wake up call and people will either heed that call and get a grip or they won't like the folks living in their extravagant MH.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:44 AM   #23
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I've been "Residentially Challenged" for a few years.
It'll be hard to go back to the dark side.

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Old 04-22-2009, 05:34 AM   #24
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i am glad that this thread is ongoing.

paula, i couldn't agree more with your take on homelessness. i believe that if people, even low income folks [like myself- i've never made more than 15,000 in any given year] saved when they could, they'd have an emergency fund to fall back on. at a very young age, i started to build my savings, even when making a very very low income. while i've never been especially materialistic and extravagant, i have been frugal, too. it does take dicipline! poor people especially, have to learn to live within their means. it's part of our reality to make do with what we have and not mourn for what we can't afford. indeed, many folks in 3rd world developing countries would consider most of what we define in america as poverty to be veritable riches.

as for the newly fallen, who'd prior to their misfortune lived high on the hog, they have to take a hard look at their current reality and live accordingly.

i do feel the most compassion for the mentally ill. most of these folks need costodial care.

i can't say enough that much homelessness in this country is due to poor choices and lack of dicipline. i have a friend who'd put herself through a masters degree, and as well, paid for her off campus living expenses, from her savings. she lived so frugally, lol, that she debated on whether to buy a dollar pair of sox.

kudos to the immigrants who bust their butts. the reason they're successful is due to hard work and living within their means.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:52 PM   #25
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You ought to see, or already have seen, the people that live all along the sides of the streets in downtown's enough to make you cry.
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Old 10-11-2009, 05:03 PM   #26
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I was thinking of selling my A/S but I might just better hold onto it cause you never know....SAM
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:31 PM   #27
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Retired, sold my homes (boats - lived aboard for 22 years), moved to Florida and purchased a 2 bedroom/2 bath house. After two years, I purchased my vintage AS (very dirty and needed lots of work) to use as a hobby and to attend rallys. For fun I put a for sale sign on my house and it was gone within 3 days - moved to the AS and love it. I have no intention or interest in owning a house on dirt (except my AS) for a very long time. Full timing in my AS is wonderful. Some people would think that I'm homeless. They are wrong! I have no debt, I have everything I need and I like living in the AS. Being trailer trash in a AS is the most fun I've had in a long time.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:58 AM   #28
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Rules for a happy life

1 - Live small
2 - Pay yourself first
3 - Save experiences and most of your paycheck
4 - Live a life of gratitude. Gratitude is incompatible with depression, anger and every other negative emotion.
5 - Be kind to everyone.
6 - Live in aluminum. Life is good there.
7 - Pink Flamingos make for good neighbors.


Would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?
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