Parking Places When You're Homeless~Rachel Holbert Jones
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I found this blog and it is quite interesting and offers alot of advice and has alot of comments that also help. However, I don't agree with the bloggers idea of using a car cover on your vehicle to conceal it. Here's the blog post: Finding A Parking Place.
This guy was homeless from 1996 to 2001 and I assume by the way he talks he was out west somewhere. California maybe? I don't know.
What I can say is that almost certainly this wouldn't work in 2017 on the east coast. For one, there are far too many nosey people especially in the bible belt south. And Florida where police hassle everyone.
As a female alone I'm not parking in some deserted parking lot that would not only attract police but more importantly thieves and criminals. At the very least, I'd run the risk of being towed. A car sitting somewhere out in public with a car cover appears to be stored which would signal a tow truck and the police would find this highly suspicious. Any thing they don't understand is suspicious behavior.
Recently, I've started to consider the idea of a van as I would like something I could lay down flat in but also know from some posts I've read that vans are also cop magnets unless you can find a plain white panel van with no windows. But the truth is any vehicle parked somewhere for a long enough period of time even if it is moved around through ten different spots will be noticed by police especially, and other people. If you have ten different parking spots you will have to circle back to that spot every ten days to two weeks. Eventually, someone is going to notice. With a car cover it will be noticed quicker. Of course, this may differ from area to area. In the areas I've stayed/traveled people notice everything because they are nosey and want to know everyone's business.
I read a comment from one poster that didn't understand why a person would leave the town they live in and go to places where they're unknown. Well, in my town, people and police would notice after a few weeks(probably a few days) and they'd especially notice a vehicle with a car cover. Some towns are like that. You can hardly breathe without the cops sniffing around and worse than that people calling the police because you dared to breathe.
Maybe it's different on the east coast as opposed to the west, I don't know. What I do know, is that what works for one person in one town may not work for another. What works for me is moving around from one town to another.
The time it takes to put on the car cover then get underneath would arouse suspicion of anyone who saw it. Suspicion means a police visit. Empty parking lots are regularly patrolled and signal to thieves your car is ripe for the picking. This is not a good idea for a woman alone.
Things are not as they were twenty years ago. People and police are everywhere watching you. This doesn't mean you should be paranoid. Just understand there's a good chance that no matter how many precautions you take you will most likely be rousted out of your sleeping spot or even town when people become aware you have no home.
Let't not forget my hometown is a big tourist area. Lot's of Floridians retire for the summer and winter in Florida. It has alot of visitors. If you happen to be in a town with a big tourism industry nothing will work for the long term except leaving. Tourist areas want to keep homelessness out of sight from tourists. Homelessness signals that it is a bad area full of drugs, criminals, thieves and drunks. Most people who are homeless are not any of these things but this is what people think nonetheless. And police in tourist areas make it their mission to run the homeless out of town if they can. They will harass them, make life miserable and charge them with anything they can just so they leave. Once you get hassled you not only become a target for the police but thieves and drug addicts as well. In some cases it's because it's not a particularly safe town to be in. Once you're spotted as living in your car/van you become a target for criminals. And you don't actually have to be spotted sleeping in your car/van for them to know who's homeless. I can now pull into most any parking lot and spot a vehicle that's being lived in. There's no one particular thing that signifies it, I just know by looking at the vehicle. Vans do appear to be homeless vehicles even if they're not and as such will attract attention from the cops.
For me, walmart parking lots work for the short term. I'm considering a van for my next vehicle bu am worried about the gas mileage which I know will be bad. And I'll probably end up traveling as much as I am now. Which would cost me alot of money in the long run. Alot more than my little car or even a mid sized car. My Chevy Impala was a great car to sleep in. It's the car I lived in for over a year when I left my husband. It was very comfortable for driving and sleeping. My Ford Taurus's, not as much but could have been worse. My small hatchback, definitely not as good but could be worse too. When mine was being worked on I had a 2017 Ford Focus as a rental and I was amazed at how much room that car had. It was almost as big as an older Ford Taurus on the interior. The trunk wasn't too big or the back seats but it was a very nice, comfortable sleeping car.
I'll get off the subject of sleeping spots now. Just know that what works for some may not for others and always put safety first even if it means leaving sooner. Also know that not every town(I prefer medium sized, not too big, not too small) is the same. You may get be able to stay in one walmart parking lot in Town A for a month or even two and Town B for only 4 or 5 days. It really all depends on the people running the store, the customers and sometimes the police. Location can also play a role. There really is no right or wrong way to live/sleep in your car.
Just find what works for you and keep doing it until you are forced to change.
You can visit my other blogs at FlameBrio, 5Ve, Haunted Abandoned Carolinas, Sassygrrl32 and you can read my articles at HubPages. Peace.... By Rachel Holbert-Jones ***** sassygrrl32