According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over half a million people living in the United States, as of January 2016, were living on the streets, in cars, in homeless shelters, or in subsidized transitional housing. Of that number, 206,286 were people in families, 358,422 were individuals, and a quarter of the entire group were children. As for myself, I am homeless by choice.
I am not saying that if given the option of living in a house or an apartment versus car dwelling, I would prefer to be homeless. Its just that I want to be domiciled on my terms. And since I have only myself to support, at this point in my life, I choose to be homeless.
“If that is the case”, one might ask, “why is homelessness the better option?” I was not born in Santa Barbara. I do not have any family here. In Nashville, Tennessee where most of my people reside, there are literally tens of couches I could crash on, and rooms I could have. There has even been the offer of an entire home, free of charge, to care-take. I choose to be homeless in Santa Barbara primarily because I am on a vision quest, I am working on a dream. Secondarily, because I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder… Nashville has eight months of overcast skies a year. And lastly, because I resonate with the energy of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is my perfect place on this earth. I have visited ten countries, have been to nineteen out of the fifty states of the union, and have lived and worked in over thirty cities… Of all my experience, Santa Barbara is the best. We have the sea and the mountains. There’s culture and country, wine and orchards. Close enough to major metropolitan centers to visit them, and far enough away to not be overly effected by them. Literally the best of any industry resides here. There is a saying among the Nashvillians… “Nashville is on the ground floor. Just stomp down the grass, pee in the corners, and go for it.” That sentiment is equally applicable to Santa Barbara.
Before I moved to Santa Barbara, I did my research. There is a book by Joel Skousen, Strategic Relocation, it analyzes the 3,141 counties of the United States and rates them according to their suitability if the shit-hits-the-fan. The “shit” being a WROL situation, (Without Rule Of Law). In that case, if you have to live in California, Santa Barbara scored not the best, but still okay.
Another consideration is time. One of my elder sisters lamented to me that moving around, as much as she did in her life, limited her success. Meaning she would have fared better if she had stayed in one city for the entirety of her life. To compare and contrast with another one of my siblings (I have many) who did just that… He owns four houses, he has deep connections in the community, and his network of business contacts is absolutely labyrinthine. I learned this late… I don’t want to start over anymore… Santa Barbara is where I want to be. And at this juncture, being a car dwelling, business owning, homeless person is an acceptable price to pay for the privilege.