Living without a home of your own is a devastating experience. But sleeping without a home is downright difficult. Some of these places receive media attention. Others may surprise you. But all of these overnight accommodations are completely unacceptable for regular human habitation.
1. Storage Units
Many have called storage units the modern-day cardboard box. Sure, they’re not ideal, but they’re dry, secure and beat the dangers of the street. And they offer a way for people to keep some of their belongings rather than abandon them or have them stolen.
When your home is on four wheels, it’s impossible to sit still. Each day, you must be on the go to evade authorities and the expensive citations for illegal parking or sleeping in a vehicle. You can never be perfectly at ease.
For families, motels are an affordable alternative to shelter and safer than the streets. But with cramped rooms and unsafe conditions, it is far from a good alternative to safe, decent housing. And when money runs out, families are back on the street.
4. Tent Cities
Homeless encampments have sprung up in communities across the U.S. As diverse as the residents and characteristics of these communities may be, they all have one thing in common: they are cloaked in controversy.
5. Streets and Parks
Parks are open to the public and a decent place to get a nap during the day. But sleeping in the park at night is usually unsafe and often interrupted by police asking offenders to move along.
6. Abandoned Buildings
Much like the situation with foreclosed homes, there’s no shortage of empty warehouses and other business buildings where homeless men and women take shelter.
Homeless families and individuals sleep on couches, in garages, sheds and backyard tents. Although they are technically homeless, they are unseen and left uncounted in an official homeless census – until the hospitality wears out. Then, they end up on the street.