Canada Association of Tourism Employees

In a Pipe, In a Pigeon Shed: The place the Homeless Dwell

  1. For the lucky ones who are homeless, they can live with family members in their homes.
  2. There are shelters for those with nowhere else to go, but space is very limited.
  3. So those who find themselves on the streets have found some unique ways to deal with their lack of accommodation.

The most common form of temporary accommodation is a tent. They emerge like small communities on sidewalks and in parks, as fast as mushrooms grow overnight. Many cities are running “sweeps”, forcing the homeless to leave the country only to find new camps the next day that have been moved elsewhere. It’s a constant game of dice and moving across the monopoly game board of homelessness.

Under bridges are common places where the homeless congregate and which, in fact, often have quite elaborate communities. It helps to have some protection from the weather and not see from the prying eyes of the non-homeless. Some of these places are camps, small towns that are home to literally a few hundred people.

In your car

For many who have recently become homeless, they still have their car and settle there. Living in a vehicle is known as vehicle homelessness and is on the rise in cities across the United States. In Los Angeles, California alone, more than 16,000 people live in their vehicles.

Laws have been passed in some cities to prevent homeless people from sleeping in their vehicles overnight. Other cities with friendlier hearts operate parking lots where people can park at night to sleep in their cars. The rumor mill has it that WalMart forgives cars that spend the night in their parking lots.

In boxes

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