If you lose all your money and become homeless and have a car, you have some shelter.

Paco Dennis

SF VIP
Location
Mid-Missouri
More and more finding shelter when homeless is getting harder. If one happens to own a car there are ways to get by. Cities are creating parking areas forthis. There are many other places one can park also.

WHERE TO SLEEP IN A CAR WHEN HOMELESS

Never sleep within 500 ft of a residence, school, or daycare.

In many cities, this is illegal, with laws specifically prohibiting sleeping or using a vehicle as a residence within a specific timeframe, in some cases between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

These laws even apply to public property, so it's important to know local laws regarding vehicular sleeping.

Also, never sleep in a residential, hospital, gym, church, or business parking lot without permission. This can result in a fine or jail time, with trespassing being only one of the many offenses that you can be charged with.

Know where you can sleep so you don't break the law.

Here are 32 safe, legal, and free places to sleep in a car when homeless:
and much more at 32 Legal Places To Sleep In a Car When Homeless
 

I just read about a city (state?) where it's illegal to sleep in your car. So say you come out of a bar and don't want to drive drunk if you sleep in your car you can be ticketed. But if you sleep on the ground outside your car you're OK. How stupid is that?
 
In the Uk it would be extremely difficult to not sleep within 500 ft of a residence, school, or daycare....unless one drove out to the country, but that would mean using up what little money they had on fuel to get there.. and of course much colder out of the city.. and no facilities either..

In the Uk its very frowned upon by the law for anyone to sleep in their cars unless they're in a dedicated car park or a camp site...
 

I have been reading and watching some youtube videos about this. It's more and more common. Like you said some cities (mostly west coast) have created Safe Parking areas and some churches have as well. Most of the churches offer times for bathroom access, some offer a meal a day and one (Washington state, I think) even pays for hotel rooms when the temperature dipped below a certain level. In cities without these services, people get gym memberships in order to have access to showers.

The increase in homelessness the last few years is much more about the lack of affordable housing than it is drugs, mental illness or even living wage. The US has a rapidly shrinking affordable housing market in some areas for even educated people with decent jobs.

Excellent social impact short film about a woman evicted and her first days in her car:

 
Many years ago we were camping in a New Mexico campground that had many people/families living in cars. It would at least provide washroom facilities. It was quite shocking to us. Nowadays many campgrounds won’t accept a rig that’s over 10 years old.

We haven’t seen @Disgustedman (I may have that name wrong) and he lived in an older van in a city approved parking lot in Vancouver, WA. He was on a list for a home.
 
I watched several documentaries about homelessness in America. One of them was "Half homeless - People living in cars - Poverty in USA". It follows several people through day and night and they explain their routines. They hold jobs but they have only their cars to call home.
Very sad to watch.
 
I watched several documentaries about homelessness in America. One of them was "Half homeless - People living in cars - Poverty in USA". It follows several people through day and night and they explain their routines. They hold jobs but they have only their cars to call home.
Very sad to watch.
it's a real concern, because what happens to these people who are not drug or alcohol dependant.. when they get sick.. or when they retire or are laid off from their jobs as seniors... I mean are there 80 year olds living in cars for example ..and if so, how are they coping with ailments and illnesses which old age brings
 
I am glad you are showing concern for this. I do think it is going to be an increasing phenomena. Our societies should be creating safe places to park. Maybe as this coalesces some people will work on getting enough food to eat, finding basic essentials, and finding ways to stay warm enough during this winter. I hope so.
 
I have been watching videos about people selling their homes and buying rvs or vans to live in. They do not consider themselves to be homeless because they have made their vehicles their homes. Traveling the country and enjoying life. Some are working from home (in their vehicles) and many are retired. I have seen some who have lived this way for 20 years or more. The thing I notice most about this is that they are pretty happy and not stressed over money or bills. They have communities on FB pages and meet up at various places around the country.

Now just because I posted this I want to let you know I do not want to do this. I just like watching the videos and I get ideas on organizing my small apartment. I don't like to drive if I don't have to.
 
I worked with a Cambodian refugee who was the hardest worker I have ever known, and an escapee from PolPot. He told me about two of his Cambodian predecessors, a married couple. They came here to California penniless. The husband got a job in a donut shop. He realized this was something he could do, but lacked the money to get started, so they lived in their car for three years until they had the needed money saved up, and built a very successful chain of donut shops.

My Cambodian friend and his wife moved to Oregon where a relative of mine helped them find a home.. He went on to become very successful.
 
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I have been watching videos about people selling their homes and buying rvs or vans to live in.

RVs and increasingly a lot of Class B vans are very different from living in cars. They're self-contained living spaces. They've long been homes by choice and are increasingly the choice for people who work remote and want to travel.

My Class B Winnebago has a 6 cu foot fridge/freezer, kitchenette with sink and two propane burner stove, a wet bath with toilet, shower, sink, a back murphy bed that can be left down and a front area than can be configured for a 5 seat lounge space, another bed or a loveseat lounge area with two additional seats. It's very livable for one or two full time. Some of the custom builds are amazingly well thought out with beautiful decor. Mine has a vehicle look rather than home look interior but I love it anyhow.

There is a different group, though, who buy super cheap damaged RVs, park them on the side of a public road and live in them. They're subject to having the RVs towed by authorities so are one street sweep away from living on the streets.
 
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I am glad you are showing concern for this. I do think it is going to be an increasing phenomena. Our societies should be creating safe places to park. Maybe as this coalesces some people will work on getting enough food to eat, finding basic essentials, and finding ways to stay warm enough during this winter. I hope so.
Thanks for starting the thread.
I think if anyone finds themselves homeless, having a car is a HUGE plus. You can sleep in it. You can change in it, clean up , make and eat food in it. The doors lock. It’s relatively safe.

Walmart in Canada used to allow RV’s to camp in their parking lots if they had no place to go but people started taking advantage, drinking, urinating etc … starting fires, leaving garage and empty needles around. It’s a shame when someone offers a yard and they try to take a mile. It ruins it for everyone.
 
Here's a heartbreaking video of a RV encampment about to undergo a sweep in Seattle and the help they get from a group called Vehicle Residency Outreach. I understand why residents of areas with encampments want them moved, but those living in them have heartbreaking stories and want so badly to keep even a leaking roof over their heads.

 
I just read about a city (state?) where it's illegal to sleep in your car. So say you come out of a bar and don't want to drive drunk if you sleep in your car you can be ticketed. But if you sleep on the ground outside your car you're OK. How stupid is that?
It may seem like a good idea to sleep it off in your car if you have one too many on a night out and end up over the limit but in the UK if the police find you, they can charge you with being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle in a public place – even if you're not driving.
 
That is a remarkable story where hard work and dedication paid off. However there are many who work equally hard and never escape poverty. I sometimes watch HGTV because I am interested in design. The contrast between some whining couple who want four bathrooms instead of three and the folks living in tents under the bridge is hard to ignore. We need to vote for people who care about wages and affordable housing. I know many of the homeless have substance abuse issues but many do not.
 
I wouldn't even have that...since I don't own a car. My son does, but he'd need that to get to work each day. I'm blessed that I'd be able to afford to stay in an all suite hotel with our fur baby until we found a place. I wouldn't be able to stay at our timeshare unless I have Deja declared an emotional support animal, which I haven't done yet. If I (we) became homeless due to a fire or some sort of structural issue with our building, my renters insurance would pay for a hotel for a decent amount of time. I'm sure one of my loved ones would offer to take me in, but I like my privacy too much and wouldn't want to inconvenience them anyway.
 
I just read about a city (state?) where it's illegal to sleep in your car. So say you come out of a bar and don't want to drive drunk if you sleep in your car you can be ticketed. But if you sleep on the ground outside your car you're OK. How stupid is that?
Sounds like the wrong question. How stupid is it to come out of a bar, intoxicated, and expect to drive home or anywhere. I have absolutely no sympathy or tolerance for persons who knowingly put themselves in this condition.

I have sincere sympathy for folks who inadvertently find themselves in these circumstances but please don't mix drunks in with them while trying to help their situations.
 
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I've been sleeping overnight in vehicles occasionally all my adult life. If given the option, will park overnight where that is legal. And am an expert at figuring out where that may be by drilling down on the web. But if not, may locate a place to do so illegally, rationalizing so because I am strongly against some automobile vagrancy laws. Here in California, there are 72 hour laws limiting how long one may park most anywhere. At first they were all local edicts but then leisure industries got the legislature to put those laws into statewide California codes even where it does not make sense way out in remote areas.

Until the rise of RVs and vans, there were few such laws out here in The West. But some of those living in such vehicles in the 1970s/1980s by trashing and spewing sewage ruined it for the rest of us resulting in government crackdowns. So in tourist regions, especially coastal, lodging businesses increasingly used such laws as a way to force people into their expensive accommodations. Currently I easily sleep comfortably in the back bed of my 2007 Forester.

No longer were environmentally concerned surfers in their panel wagons, minding their own business, being allowed to park overnight along their beaches. No longer were ski bums parking overnight in ski resort parking lots. No longer were fishermen driving up and down coastal Highway 1 parking along myriad coastal bluff pull outs then starting fishing as the sun rose. No more could hikers driving Friday night to remote trailheads far from campgrounds or lodging after their 8-5 m-f work week, be set to get on routes easily at sunrise. Much more.

Oh sure there are state park and private campgrounds to do so legally however especially during summer, such public campgrounds are all either reserved months before or are charging $30 to $50 just to sleep 8 hours inside a vehicle as in not a tent or stay at lodging certain to charge over $100 a night. Much more. But after homelessness rose, because there are myriad homeless people living within urban regions either in vehicles or tents, most of the 72 hour vagrancy laws have been quietly ignored except when someone specifically complains to police or about upscale areas.

The above noted, it is true California has some highway rest stops, and national forest and BLM public lands are often open to boondocking two weeks at a time.
 

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