This post is dedicated to my father.

My father became homeless when my mother and him split up during my last term of college.  He ended up living in his pickup for two years.  He rented a storage facility to keep all his things in, and accessed all the benefits he could to take care of himself.  
He also, because of his lack of a fridge and as he was living on food stamps, lost over 90 pounds.  He had been severely overweight, but after the lost weight that he feels he could never have done on his own, has felt that this was one of the best things that happened to him in his life.  He was able to focus on himself, and take care of himself, and he did.  
He also had a membership to a local swimming pool, so he was able to sit in the sauna/hot pools to relax, and keep himself clean.  He also started dressing smarter than he ever had.  He had always worn mostly sweats and t-shirts.  Now he was sifting through the local goodwill and finding nice dress pants, button down shirts, and jackets to wear.  He would even wear ties fairly often.  Once he started doing all this no one would ever dream to ask if he was homeless.  He didn’t look the part.  
My father didn’t have the money and he honestly didn’t know enough about technology to buy a cell phone, so one of the first things I did after I graduated from college was go with him and buy him a phone and put him on my phone plan.  That way I could get in touch with him, or him me, if needed.    


By the way, my father was around 60 when this all happened.  And to this day, he feels that becoming homeless was one of the best things that ever happened to him.  He definitely does not advocate for it, he even consistently volunteers at homeless shelters for men and still works to get help for many of the homeless in our community.  But despite everything that had happened to him, my father did his utmost to live.  It was hard, and painful, and lonely, but he lived.

When you become homeless, make sure to take care of yourself as much as you can.  Find things that, despite your situation, allow you to relax.  Whether they be getting a membership to a local swimming pool so you can sit in a sauna, or if you have the time to do the things that make you feel wonderful.  Take care of your mind and yourself so that you can face the hard decisions every day.  Cut down on as much responsibility as you can.  If that means pack all your unneeded stuff into a storage shelter until this blows over then do it.  If it means find a way to make your truck as comfortable as possible, do it.  Definitely DO NOT loose your connections to your friends.  Or make new ones, if your current friends don’t understand.  Make sure you have someone to talk to through all this.  

NEVER think of yourself as a bad person.  Never let the stereotype become part of who you are.  Be who you are, and someone who is currently homeless.
Today I am so amazingly proud of my father.  He went through a very difficult situation and did his utmost to make the best out of his situation.  There are many out there who could not have done the same.  I love my father and I hope only the best for him in the coming years.  

FYI: He is no longer homeless.