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at least that's what my pollsters tell me. Now you can't always trust the polls but I think I am getting a late October bump. It makes me very excited.

Today I read a very sad and scary article about 3 middle class families/people who because homeless and ended up living in their cars. I was rather shocked at how quickly these families became homeless and how incredibly hard it has been for them to get jobs. I don't know if the problem is because of where they are living that jobs are so very hard to come by or if they are not willing to take entry level positions. I do know a lot of people who lose everything because they will not take an entry level position. Some say that it makes them look bad and would make it hard to get a job in their preferred field if that should happen. I think things must be different in other parts of the country. My experience is that in the South it shows gumption to find a job, no matter what, than to just stay on unemployment. I also know that there are entry level jobs available in my area. We got lucky and for the most part the Great Recession did not hit us as hard as it did many other parts of the country although it did hurt a lot of people, especially the poor. Resources for assistance tended to dry up and it was harder for the working poor to make ends meet.

As I read these stories I was surprised as the lack of survival skills these families seemed to have. For example 2 households did not have any plates, cups or eating utensils. If you forget to keep one plate, one cup and one set of eating utensils you can get all three for a buck each at a dollar store. That is better than trying to "make do" without same. Also two of the households talked about only getting beans, rice and bread at the food bank, having no way to cook the beans and rice so were eating just the bread or buying one meal a day somewhere. The woman who was buying one meal a day spent about $28 a week on food. For $28 you can get a lot of peanut butter, jelly, bread, cheese, canned meats and other canned foods that can be eaten without heating. They may not be the tastiest food but your dollar will go a lot farther than if you are buying one meal a day for around $4.

It may not be easy to find coffee cans any longer as so many companies seem to be going to plastic containers but I learned to cook in a coffee can as a Girl Scout. Most picnic areas have "grills" that can be cooked on and you can cook more than burgers and hot dogs on them. I don't understand this lack of survival skills. The people who are in their cars do have other skills and I must say, "There but for the grace of God go I," but having one set of dishes to eat with and a few pans would seem to be common sense in my book.

Again, these are smart people who had better incomes than I ever had. They had better vehicles than I have ever owned and probably a more expensive house than I ever had. (I got lucky and bought my house many years ago.) I live on a fixed income. I have lived way below the poverty line. Yes, I have had support and encouragement from my family but I pay the bills. It isn't easy.

I can tell you though that if I had to live in my car I would find ways to survive without living on just bread. I would scramble around to find a way to get to eat. I am resourceful though and maybe that is the difference. I know how to find resources and make something out of nothing much.  Due to a large medical bill recently my roommate and I had very little to spend on groceries. What money we did have went mostly to feeding the dog(yes, she is a luxury) and toilet paper. So actual food was purchased on less than $100 a month. We ate just fine during this time. At times it got monotonous because we could afford limited items but we ate well.

Like I wrote a few days ago, I am grateful for everything that I have and I wish I could share some survival ideas with those who find themselves between a rock and a hard place. I know that the street is just a step away for some people. I hope they learn some survival skills before that happens. Oh, one last note one of the the people who didn't have any plates, etc. and couldn't cook food had kept their fins and snorkels from past vacations. Maybe that is a way to hold onto one's old life but I bet they could be sold to buy food and some utensils, but that's just me. My heart does hurt for all that these folks have lost. The Great Recession has taken its toll everywhere. I hope that our economy recovers.



White Trash Foot

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