Living out of your car; the new homeless, a reality for many Americans
The Virginian-Pilot has an excellent article about people living out of their car. This has become a reality for many Americans for a number of reasons; unemployment, inability to find work due to not having a residence, inability to secure housing due to the inability to work, and most of all, the affordability of housing, when you take into consideration increasing costs due to gentrification and the war on the middle class. The couple mentioned in the article in today's newspaper found a place that is only $500 a month. There are different types of homelessness in America; and to understand this you have to explore what it truly means to have a home. Sometimes the idea of having a home is an abstract concept, and definitions may vary. To some an apartment, townhouse, or condominium, is not a home, because one would rather have a single family detached house. To others, a mobile home or a trailer, double wide, is not a home. To others still, living with someone else, but not having your name attached to the lease, is not your home, but that other individuals home. People have different standards, and varying ideas, about what having a home means. But all of these individuals, are better off than anyone living out on the street in a car. Anything is better than having to burn gasoline for heat, gasoline that could be used to take you from point A to point B. Anything is better than having to lay in the back seat of your car underneath a fortress of blankets and comforters. Anything is better than having to put your child through that same situation. When you consider that impoverished people pay more than $500 a month, and people in the housing projects and those that live in Section 8 housing, live in a residence whose cost would exceed $500 a month, if rented out to people that were not on government assistance of any kind, the living situation of the couple looks bleak. Yet it is still a blessing, considering the alternatives. Businesses do not want your vehicle camped out on the parking lot all hours of the day, and you do not want any pedestrians on the street harassing you either, so you get out of the car from time to time and "shop", move the car around the parking lot, park behind the store, try to act as though you have a normal life. I know entire families living out the car; a woman and children, various living situations that would be difficult out of a one bedroom apartment, let alone an automobile. We have housing in America for the homeless; there are millions of foreclosures, no one should be living out on the street. There are entire neighborhoods filled with tens of thousands of vacant homes. Yet there is little charity in America, little sympathy, a few that are empathetic because they have been through that situation themselves but most want some money in their pockets. Homelessness is always the problem of someone else.