A blog about living outside, first in my car, then in tents.
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The New Camp Site




When it rains every day, there is not enough time for things to dry out before the next downpour.

living in car

The view from inside the car, looking out the open hatch. I have a flannel sheet draped outside over the hatch to provide shade.

chemical sensitivities

Another chemically sensitive woman gifted me this old Army cot. I thought I’d use it for napping outside, but so far I have mostly used it for sunbathing.

camp kitchen

Getting ready to wash dishes in the new camp kitchen.

camp kitchen

Just to right of camp kitchen pic. Laundry “corner” is the chair on right.

homeless with dog

This is Carlos’ “indoor” sleeping spot, right next to mine.

homeless woman living outdoors

A tent with no poles, borrowed from a friend. A set of poles with no tent, bought on Craigslist for $10. Miscellaneous stakes.
The plan is to keep my clothes in there, to save space in the car. And to look less like a homeless lady when driving around.

homeless car living

The bamboo mat and sheets shade the kitchen at different times of day.

car living in rain

More rain.

homeless dogs

Carlos and Dwyn find shade.

car dawn

Dawn’s light through my interior car window cover, with a white blanket.

southern arizona sunset 
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  1. Hello. So I’ve hit hard times and I’ve been living in my car for about 4 months now. I tried the camping thing but keep losing things. My friends tell me it’s time to give up my kid(dog) so it’s easier for me to get a place. She’s about to be 12 and she’s healthy and full of life. I got her at eight weeks. She’s the love of my life. She’s the only reason I’ve been able to get through this hell. Her name is Nikki and she’s my child. She’s more then fur family, she actual family. It’s nice to know I’m not alone with this bad situation and having dogs. I do feel guilty for her not having a stable home and yard but she’s just happy being with me and I her. I had thought about starting something like this to help get the word out. Thank you for being you.

    • Whether to give up your dog when you become homeless is an agonizing decision. I support you whatever you decide, Jinj — as should your friends. A good friend will help you identify options and respect your decision. Ask them to read this about why homeless people “deserve” to keep their dogs: https://www.petsofthehomeless.org/about-us/faqs/

      I found an organization that pays for vet bills and required vaccinations for homeless people’s pets. It’s called Pets of the Homeless and is at https://www.petsofthehomeless.org/ or 775-841-7463 M-F 9-2:30. The photos on their website say it all.

      They also have a program for providing dog food. They’re national.

      Forget about feeling guilty. You will make the decision that is best for you and your family member. You might have already seen it, but I wrote a post about the difference between pets being part of the family versus pets being my family. It’s at http://www.homelessinmycar.com/2013/04/26/pets-as-family/

      Every time I have come to the edge of suicide — and multiple times I have been seconds from the final moment — it is my pets that have pulled me back. I refuse to abandon them to the terror of shelters, whether I am dead or alive.

      Blessings to you, Jinj.

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