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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Observations of a Prepper - Are the Homeless Bugging Out of the Big Cities?

Re-post courtesy of Riverwalker's Stealth Survival

You can read about all kinds of things that are going on right now. A very bad economy with politicians offering solutions that even the least intelligent of persons out there realize won’t work. Perhaps you just need to take a little time and observe what’s happening right where you are. When was the last time you actually stopped and took a really good look at what’s happening in your own little part of the universe? Are the homeless people in your area bugging out?

One of the most frightening things I’m seeing is the very real possibility that the homeless are leaving the big city and heading to more rural areas. About 9% of all homeless people live in rural areas according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness in a survey in 2007. As times get tougher, the homeless are going to be moving out of the big cities and heading for the hills, literally.

I’m currently seeing more and more homeless people in the rural areas in my “neck of the woods”. Most of the homeless I’ve seen are on bikes loaded with their sleeping bags, clothes and other items. I live in a basically rural area of the state and I’m pretty familiar with most of our “regular” homeless types that hang around here. I’ve even had to deal with a few who were causing minor problems. But when I start to see more homeless people traveling the roads and highways in my county that I don’t recognize, my level of concern starts to go up. Why is this happening now? Will it get worse? If homeless people are starting to have problems surviving in the city, how will regular people living there make it?

I consider most homeless people experts at what I like to call “Urban Bushcraft”. Those more experienced at “bushcraft” techniques will be the first to tell you that surviving in a wilderness setting takes a lot of skill and fortitude. It takes similar skills to survive in the big city. With only simple and basic means of transportation, limited possessions, and with little or no money they live a life where survival is a daily struggle. They are real survivors in a real world.

They don’t have B.O.B.’s because they use shopping carts and bikes. They’ve already learned it’s a lot easier to push your gear in a basket than pack it on your back. They know bikes don’t need gas to get them where they’re going. They know where to find free food. They know which restaurants throw out the best scraps. They know how to scavenge items from dumpsters to sell and make money when thrown out by people smarter than they are. They know how to find every clothing donation box in town to keep there “wardrobe” up to date. They know the best areas to avoid the rain and the cold and can make some of the best “expedient type” shelters ever conceived.

I seriously doubt that you could leave the average person in an unfamiliar part of town with no I.D., no money, no food, no shelter and no transportation without them having serious difficulties surviving the night.

According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, there are an estimated 5 million homeless people in the United States. Rural homeless people only account for about 9% of this total. That leaves approximately 4.5 million people who may be looking for greener pastures. Those greener pastures may be in your area.

This is probably just another sign of the times and how many things are going to change. The best thing is to observe what’s happening where you are at. It will probably give you a better perspective than the national news media about what’s really happening in your area. I just hate to think about the effects of a few million homeless people deciding that city life may not be right for them anymore.

You can check some statistics on homeless people here:


Coming soon to an area near you...a few million homeless people?

(*Edit*) Here's a link provided by a reader in the comments section:

Survival Guide to Homelessness

Staying above the water line!


1 comment:

  1. Lumping all the homeless people in the USA into one category is going to lead your thinking into misleading directions. When you state there are 5 million homeless in the USA, you need to realize that some are single males, some are single females and some are families with children. Some have chemical dependency problems, some have mental illnesses. They do not all behave in the same way. There is not a group of 5 million homeless single men. It's more like 1 million single men, 1 million single women and 3 million families with children.


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