Tips and Tricks to Survive in New York Without a Home

By Diego Ugaz

It’s a thought that goes through many when they spot someone surviving out there in the wilderness of cross streets and alleyways, how hard is it to not die out in the streets like they do? The answer is, immensely hard, but just in case you ever find yourself in that unfortunate position here are some tips from those who are out there fighting the good fight to see another day.

The first and most important rule is to, “mind your own business” as Rodney Jones, a man who has lived in the streets by choice for years now said. Busybodies drop like flies because if you have enough time in this city to worry about other people’s problems then you are not doing New York right. This is a ruthless steel cage but if you squeeze through the bars smoothly enough, the world is yours.

Some more quality advice from the good folks who are out there grinding and pleading for help is that you get what you ask for. Two of the men who gave their tales said most of the time people are kind enough to either give food or some money. Derek from the Bronx claims that four out of ten people he asks for money or food give him. So if he asks one hundred people for some help and they all at least give him one dollar each that is forty dollars an hour! More than most of the people who work for a living make.

A less glamorous way to get help that doesn’t require salesman skills is to ask the city for help. Many people survive by going to the soup kitchens, by filing for help with the city of New York, by going to charity drives. Though all of these services are of help to them, it is still not enough. Think of a cold New York winter, now think of being out there every day with only newspapers and blankets with gaps like spider webs as protection. It probably cannot even be computer by your brain and seems unfathomable because it is used to heating, or at least four walls.

This final tip is entirely dependent on the strength of your hustle. Every day no matter what city, people are seen lugging massive bags or shopping carts full of cans and bottles. This is how our friend Rodney made his survival possible, he goes all day through the city with his shopping cart and even though people look down on him, he gets by this way. He respects others at all times whether they respect him or not, and that is an extra free tip to just not die anywhere in the world at any given time.