Thursday, September 21, 2023


Is the ‘rolling homeless’ problem affecting your RV lifestyle?

Campgrounds have long been an economic melting pot in the U.S. You see million-dollar Prevosts parked near a pop-up, with a tenting family just down the road. The same held true for popular boondocking spots. Everyone was there to have a good time and, for the most part, everyone got along.

Lately, however, camping and RVing have taken a bit of a turn. Recreational vehicles aren’t just for recreation anymore.

The “rolling homeless”

In recent months we’ve seen an acceleration in the trend among the newly homeless to gather their meager resources and rent or purchase a broken-down RV. The trend is especially evident in the Northwest and down the Northern California coast.

Suddenly, city officials in several locations are faced with growing fleets of more-than-slightly-worn RVs setting up camp on city streets and parks. The “rolling homeless” often cause a mess, add to street crime, and are generally not welcomed by the locals. The trend has also spawned a new type of slum lord who purchase used-up RVs, park them illegally on city streets and charge the homeless a per-night rental fee.

It’s a conundrum for local officials and social service agencies. Those beat-up RVs are often the only major assets or option those newly homeless have left. To those unfortunate folks, a used-up trailer with nothing functioning but a door, a bed and a roof beats a cardboard box and blue tarp on the sidewalk.

Homelessness in general has spiked of late. There are currently almost 130,000 people experiencing homelessness in California alone. That’s nearly a quarter of the homeless population in the entire U.S. Los Angeles County has 16,500 people known to be living in their vehicles (RVs, cars, and trucks). California isn’t alone. Homelessness is on the rise everywhere. The gauntlet of pandemic restrictions has only added to the problem’s complexity.

Disasters waiting to happen

Living full time in an RV that has far outlived its expiration date is a dangerous game.

Every week there are dozens of stories from around the country featuring RVs bursting into flames. Nearly always, the aged RVs are parked in a friend’s back yard, along a city street, or in an abandoned parking lot.

The problem has exacerbated as winter weather forced occupants to run overtaxed electric space heaters or makeshift propane stoves to stay warm. The result has been numerous injuries and deaths. RVs were never intended as full-time abodes in winter climates.

The newly homeless RV dwellers are also easy prey for petty crime, theft, and assaults.

City leaders are placed in uncomfortable positions, too. For example Austin, Texas, voters reinstated the city’s public camping ban last May. Authorities spent the summer and fall clearing out large encampments and telling homeless RVers to move along when they had nowhere else to go.

Seeing an opportunity in beat-up RVs

Social service agencies like the New Beginnings Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, California, see those housing in vehicles as newly homeless, but not hopeless. People who live in their vehicles are more likely to have been recently living in permanent housing and still have some sort of income.

Agencies like New Beginnings see the rolling homeless as the easiest group to get back on their feet and back into traditional housing. They typically haven’t been homeless long and are motivated to get a regular roof back over their heads.

Cities up and down the coast are offering special overnight lots and “campgrounds” where those with RVs and other vehicles can safely stay and have access to social services. The goal is to get the broken-down RVs out of residential neighborhoods and into safe places where residents can have better access to services to get them back on their feet.

Similar “safe place” programs are in place in Eugene, Oregon, and East Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, California, to name just a few.

The programs seem to be making a very small dent in a very large problem. The programs work on a small scale, but the homeless population living in vehicles is growing much faster than cities can build safe places to stay.

Why you should care

For openers, caring for the less fortunate should be part of the human condition. Homelessness isn’t “their” problem, it’s “our” problem. Beyond that, the homeless sleeping in old RVs illegally does have a direct-line impact on recreational RVing.

We all know that the huge influx of new recreational campers is stressing the supply of private, state, and federal campgrounds. Newbies are filling parks every day of the week, and many private campgrounds are forcing out long-term and residential residents to make room for the more lucrative transient camper.

Some of those forced out are those rolling homeless who were just able to afford a campground’s long-term fees but have no chance of paying the daily rate. So, back to the streets they go.

Next, law enforcement officers force the homeless to remove their RVs from city streets. With nowhere else to go, the homeless drag their old RVs to the very same boondocking havens frequented by recreational RVers. The next time you pull in to overnight at the local Walmart, look around at your neighbors.

Overnight camping at stores being banned due to “rolling homeless”

A growing number of retail boondocking havens like Walmart have begun banning overnight parking due in part to this homeless influx who roll from lot to lot every night. For the stores, restaurants, and truck stops, it just isn’t worth the problems.

The same is true for boondocking on public lands. If you haven’t noticed already, there are a growing number of folks now living day-to-day by boondocking on public lands. They aren’t there for the views or the recreation. They are trying to survive.

City residents are losing sympathy for the rolling homeless cluttering their neighborhoods and parks. But, unfortunately, many municipal zoning and planning boards see little difference between those living in their RV for economic reasons and big-money developers willing to add $20 million campgrounds to the local economy. Park developers are facing an uphill battle in many instances to win the hearts of the locals who equate new RV parks with the RVs they see on their streets, and they are often losing. That hurts the long-term prospects for easing the lack of available RV sites and adds to the overall degradation of what RVing actually is in the minds of non-RVers.

What can be done?

The traditional RVing lifestyle we all love is being affected by folks with few options other than to sleep in their less-than-ideal RV. The answer is to provide this group with more options.

According to the University of Southern California Homelessness Policy Research Institute, safe parking programs like those mentioned above can lead up to 70 percent of their homeless clients obtaining housing after using these sites.

These programs have huge potential to help, according to Gary Painter, director of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute. “It’s really an opportunity to have that first intervention for a large set of folks that likely won’t need a lot of services, but just a reconnection to job placement or something else that might be able to resolve [their lack of income] and move them back into permanent housing.”

This isn’t an easy fix, but one that every RV enthusiast can support on both local and national levels. Painter said any solution is going to require large-scale government intervention. “This is a massive problem that needs massive intervention,” Painter argued. “What hasn’t been talked about nearly as much is what to systematically do with populations living in their vehicles.”

What do you think about the “rolling homeless” issue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Just what is “camping” nowadays?


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


  1. We all are different for whatever reason. Life happens . Good things and bad things happen in a blink of an eye sometimes. RV’ers are not entitled. Many many homeless people do not have a choice and yes many do choose to
    that life style.
    It’s easy to judge others when one has enough money to live pretty much how one wants to live.. it’s a LUXRY to have an RV at least for most of us.

    For the grace of God go I……

  2. People Only seem to see life from their own perspective.

    I’ve been living “Homelessly” in a trailer on the streets since the inception of the “Covid Crisis”, and it has really opened my eyes to the way society works, and treats people that don’t seem to conform to their ideals of how or why a person should live.

    It seems that Cities/Municipalities seem to be on the same path, and the only one they know, is that the “Homeless” are just an eyesore that must be swept under the rug and out of the path of that progress that created homelessness in the First place.

    Irresponsible use of tax revenues, permit fees, and regulation, that fuel the fires of Human Failure, without regard for the basic facts of the hurdles they create to stymie human endeavor.

    Housing, Buy, Rent or Build, has become unaffordable in an economy that dis-includes the many, while so many are homeless, the building of McMansions and Higher Income Apartments feed the political asperations of the few.

    • And, what I have learned as I look out of my trailer window as you drive passed on the street, is that Homes are a trap to separate Man from his money, whether you believe you are a Home Owner, Renter, or Landlord, the Home has become a money aggregator to milk Mankind of all that they are worth.

      When, you live in a trailer, the frugality of your existence is rewarded by not having a monthly payment. Cash normally spent for mortgage or rent is directly deposited in your wallet to spend as you like without banking fees, credit or interest. So, if you can stand being looked upon by the ungrateful masses as a second class citizen, What will you do with that all new discovered pile of loot that you gave away every moth just so you could lay on your bed in a House, starring at the ceiling and wondering if it’s all worth it?

      I’ll tell you what I would do. I would spend some of that cash, and try to start living life again.

    • Point to everything and everyone else as “reasons why” – victims mentality and it’s used as a crutch. Never an internal assessment as being wholly or partially responsible. The only helping hand you can count on is at the end of your arm – use it!

      • Wow Jay, you seem to have rocks in your ears & heart as well as your head.
        Minimum wage hasn’t been covering the real cost of living for the past 20 years. Shouldn’t be a surprise that is hugely adding to the homeless problem. Many working people are now fulltime RVer’s because housing & apartment rents are so flat-out ridiculously high now. If minimum wage can’t even cover apartment rents now then it’s no wonder so many WORKING people are choosing RV life.

  3. Part 3: Bring back Depression-era work programs that would allow the homeless to find dignity and a sense of worth through job training and building a worn-out infrastructure. Build campgrounds with basic necessities and help get people back on their feet and into the mainstream. Some of the greatest monuments in the U.S. that we all have visited were created by doing this and getting people through tough times. It’s time to rethink homelessness and drug abuse and not brush it off because it’s not going away on its own.

  4. Part 2: We can’t remedy the educational issue with most older homeless people. We can though, begin to change the course we had taken, get kids back in school and keep them off of drugs. We can no longer deny the fact that technology and artificial intelligence are just fun and games, they will change the way in which we live and work. People will no longer need to work in the fields, clean house, wash cars, stock shelves, cut grass, and shovel snow. That’s why our grandkids are working with robotics in schools today. Just like the use of fossil fuels, we were warned and we didn’t heed that warning. The same with education. There are 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians not including other countries that will be taking over, and I mean that in a good sense. We have no one else to do those jobs for lack of education. We caused homelessness and drug abuse by allowing the majority to slip through the cracks. We need to see these two generations through until the end.

  5. It’s not an easy subject to discuss without emotions getting in the way. After all, we’re talking about human beings. Not all of us are good people, not kind, not loving. Many of the homeless got off to a bad start in life, many by choice through the use of drugs and others who simply dropped out of society. Yes, there are homeless with degrees and PhDs and then there are many, many who didn’t finish high school. I’m a teacher and I researched this for many years. We gave people the opportunity to opt-out of education with a GED. It’s a worthless piece of paper. The majority who “opted out” did so because they had no one to push them to study. We made a huge mistake, not only in the U.S. but in most of the American continent with these programs. School should be mandatory at least through high school. We’re in a quandary now as Eastern countries have taken a turn and we are seeing highly educated people taking high-paying jobs in the Americas.

  6. Many people on social security are living in there cars they only get 8 to 9 dollars a month some people can’t get housing assistance like ex criminals {bleeped} offenders murders so they choice to live in there vehicle now rich f**** want to complain about our RV ROLLING HOMELESS I’d rather see these people at lease they have a roof over there heads there are a lot of homeless people living on the streets in the heat and the cold at lease rolling homeless have a roof over there heads really you don’t have to worry about there breaking any laws the way the Peice of living is people can’t afford to live in expensive place only making 13 dollars an hour just don’t work how many people out there living by themselves making 13 dollars an hour and these people probably knows more about living in rv than the ones that just have a new one proven fact most of the RV living back in the 80s were new RVs cooking on fire so don’t bad mouth the homeless until you know what you’re talking about

  7. Modern cult’ure says you have to conform to and subscribe to some kind of platform alter to hold all your coveted things. Let people return to a nomadic lifestyle. Stop shamming people because they don’t fit your mold of what being a human is. Let people be free again. Let people break the chains.

  8. I believe the writer of this story got an answer to whatever questions or reasons he had for writing it. We are a world populated by differences (people). The story should have been…”Americans living on Wheels” Choice or Necessity?

  9. What happened to empathy folks? There are so many good people who for whatever reason can’t drive the megabus, but want to enjoy the rich bounty of this country. RV parks are designed to enable them to do so. There was a time we simply enjoyed the variety of lifestyles, even encouraged the vagabond trekking. Now we are standing in judgement and deciding those who don’t drive the latest vehicle are less than honorable people. How sad. You need to learn to be receptive to the fact that the occupants of that less than desirable coach might also have a college degree if that’s what is important to you. So bottom line folks, remember, “here but by the grace of God am I”

  10. Homelessness shouldn’t be a problem in this once great country? Why doesn’t Bezo, Gates, Musk, and all the other 667 billionaires that increased they’re wealth by 44% during the pandemic? How can they sit by and NOT help? They’ll pay the price on judgement day! GOD BLESS they’re soulless hearts

  11. The rolling homeless problem is a symptom of a much bigger problem of extreme rates of rent and housing prices for affordable sustainable housing. RVs aren’t that well built to begin with and this is exacerbated by new RVs with lower quality higher prices and a government unwilling to implement quality standards. What you should be doing is looking at why so many people are homeless and that will lead you to major corporations and greed thinking of renters as a number for profit margin.

    • If you think housing and apartments are high just wait till you see what they charge to live in senior housing and how little you get in services for the high prices they charge.

      • Agreed. Just realizing this along with extremely high health insurance premiums and the elimination of my social security widow’s benefit that I could receive only after age 65. I worked 2 jobs all my life and saved for my retirement last year at age 71, but my savings wont last long enough. I’m scared. It’s a messed up system that I never realized.

  12. My rights are being violated on this site as a gold star mother I know I have the freedom of speech yet you are limiting my speech on this site because I cannot use any adult language you’ve got to be kidding me freedom of speech the first amendment to the Constitution and you are violating it on this site by limiting and then punishing people to say especially if it is not threatening a life

    • You don’t have rights on this website nor should you. What a crazy idea that you think you have a right for something you don’t pay for. I see this website as a private company footing the bill and they can do anything they want like you can do in your own business or your own website or social media page. This is not a taxpayer funded website, if you don’t like the service they offer, than just don’t go there,

  13. A lot of the problem is people have forgotten that we have constitutional rights to use these roads as citizens we pay for them we are already taxed and we have the right to use these roads whether it be just to drive down or whether it be to park our car a lot of these laws and ordinance that are being made actually violate constitutional laws and that’s why cities have had to take them down in the first place is because they were making laws that are not to be enforced because they violate constitutional rights of the citizens you are not going to be able to vote your way out of this you are not going to be able to ordinance your way out of this because even states must follow constitutional rights in not violating a citizens right so what you guys need to do maybe just maybe help everybody not just make it a government issue but everybody needs to help find out why there’s so much homelessness why there’s so much drug usage don’t blame the person for an illness help them get better.

  14. Hi all, the term homeless does not apply. Home is where you hang your hat. The word home 🏡 is the second half of motorhome because it has the amenities of a home. So if it rolls you can be branded as a rolling homeless. Hmmm so therefore you are undesirable.
    Maybe someone is making baby steps back into a better life after getting their {bleeped} kicked from unforseen circumstances. This also applies to the person living in the cardboard box. Who just might have a picture of a loved one taped to the inside.
    Hey what if you just like traveling and meet new folks in an older rig?
    Let’s rethink about what home is.

  15. I think that people should understand that life is not easy for all of us as it is for others for the ones that are loud sure they should be the ones that should leave but the peacefull ones should be respectful and ask the people that live in the homes for permission in a respectful way

  16. Ok ladies and gents. Im new to the rv world. Ive been boondocking for about 2.5 months now. I flipping love it. I do work fulltime in construction .Sometimes on my bigger jobs ill park my mansion right on the jobsite for a. Week or two. As far as i see it, the worlds going to hell in a handbasket soo fast, im ahead of the game. I have paid overinflated rent just like the rest of the sucker norm. But not lately.
    I do see both sides though. And ive been researching the laws. I wouldnt want some creepy camper or rv parking in front of my house niether. Thats why i park where i am known and have permission. And as far as the scumbags or the wildlife u may run into, i have my loaded 380. I havent had any problems sofar. For the most part its been fun. Im going to see how everything pans out before making the next move from here.

  17. Geez folks….. a lot of your points were hard to understand…. perhaps remove that silver spoon before speaking next time….

    Anyways, go look up the word empathy because I’m not sure some of you are even aware the concept.

    I digress…. veterans are a large segment of the homeless overall. So do what your stupid bumper stickers said and support them. A lot of homeless suffer from mental health issues and end up being pushed into the fringes of society. I envy you folks that say it’s simply a bunch of drug addicts…’s easy to explain to yourself why they don’t matter that way. It’s simply wrong.

    This is only one systemic problem out of several that show our society not only won’t survive, but that we shouldn’t.

    You really wanna fix this? End poverty and a lot of drug abuse and violence ends. People who aren’t desperate and feeling hopeless tend to have better lives and contribute more. Crazy stuff, I know.

    • Thank you so much, I’m the “newly slum homeless” I resent this treatment and think it is not wrong but morally inhumane.. nothing else.. I agree with your silver spoon comment etc.. I tried a motel but got booted out of it.. No chance to get a foot in the door because now days is the worse in haters who have less material things than others.. Old beat up RVs.. look around at Walmart, ya your right but I’m old 60 year old lady and yes vulnerable all alone to crime, gas lighting etc.. and yes mental illness plays a role but it DOES NOT define me as a person and believe it or not? I’m a human like you, I hope there is afterlife for all the haters I meet, nobody not one has even asked .. do you need help not police either and I tried my state resources they told me to pull up my bootstraps.. my bootstraps are old and tired.. so next time you look at us creepy old RVs.. Well I’m just a human and trust me you are no better because you have money.. how absolutely insulting that comment is to humanity and dignity!!

      • You are not alone!!! I don’t know you but your post touched me. All I can do for you is tell you that you are a human, we all are. You are beautiful, smart, resourceful and strong! I will keep you in my prayers today Pen…… please keep love in your heart 💜

      • I’m in the same situation. I’m a 32 year old single mother of 2 girls. I’ve worked my {bleeped} off as a 50 hour plus server in the local cafe. Out of no where my health turns for the worst. Dr tells me I have cancer and it’s taking over fast. With in the same week my home catches fire. No renters insurance and a slumlord leaves me and my girls in our old camping RV that was parked in the backyard. Along with my girls and I surviving the fire so did my RV. Here we are 6 months later trying to get by month by month parked somewhere with fears of the end of every month to approach. Then the hunt begins of somewhere to park and call home again. With in the past 6 months I have became very sick. I have became homeless, jobless, bank accounts and savings drained and stuck on empty or in the negative. Depression has set in for the fear of what happens to my girls if I don’t make it through this before I can get my girls set up to be ok when I’m gone. Between the back and forth trips to school pick up and drop offs and 50 miles to the cancer clinic that totally has consumed my life my car is my best friend for not giving up on me like everything else has in life. I’m sure it’s coming in the near future though. So that being said the RV lifer is the only choice some people get. You don’t know everybody and their stories or their reasonings of why the life they were giving has put them where they are. The truth is that everybody has a story. So instead of bad mouthing people, putting them down lower then they already are, reach out to them and ask if they have story they want to tell about what in life has put them where they are today. Rving is a tough way to live in these situations. It sucks. It’s cold or it’s hot. It’s crammed for space. It stinks. It’s not anything close to living in a house. It fricken sucks. So if you in this same living crisist of RV living I can relate and I wish you the best and remember this ……take the good with the bad smile when you sad. Love what you’ve got and remember what you’ve had. Always forgive but never forget. Some things go wrong and people change but life still goes on. Thanks for reading if you made it all the way through.

        • Your story really touched me If I had a million dollars right now you a your girls will not be living like that people that are in the same situation your in are the ones that will help you more than anyone else your story made me cry knowing someone else out there is in worst shape than I am

        • Katie, praying for you and your two beautiful girls. Life is hard and even harder with child(ren) are involved. I have no idea as to what it is like to fill your shoes.

          Which made me think of that old phrase about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. “The admonition to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means before judging someone, you must understand his experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. The full idiom is: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. In effect, it is a reminder to practice empathy.”

          I have a new prospective on life . Thank you for sharing your story. As I said in the beginning I will continue to pray for you and your daughters. Along with others in the same predicament.

  18. You folks to have your home still out of your mind. As far it goes far beyond drugs in the homeless lifestyle you’re up against the war in this country in the world actually it’s called satanism it starts at the top you better wake up or taking your vaccination or you and your family will be dead and soon you’ll will all be homeless you better start paying attention to the economic world and what’s at hand you went to college she must know the truth in life if not you should start studying and get off of CNN MSNBC ABC even Fox we’re all in this together whether you like it or not California isn’t the greatest economy not by far you’re being lied to or you just too naive and ignorant to look at the truth. I’m not trying to be difficult but what I will say is there are places to receive solid information on what we all face start with rosa of Corey of Santa Rosa California. Going to tick tock and in the search box punching New world order. Go on YouTube and look up the winner of x Factor

  19. That’s crazy. California is the biggest economic engine by far in the US (and the fifth largest economy on earth), providing products and services at every level and feeding the nation as well. Taking away all the taxes California contributes would be crippling. The nation would suffer a huge economic setback if California were “kicked out”. Like I said…. crazy.

  20. Drugs should be a medical problem, not a legal one. After trying punishment for 70 years maybe it’s time to try something else. If alcoholism can be a “disease”, I don’t know why drug addiction (or use) is just “illegal.” The political aspect is that Republicans think laws and punishment are the way to solve problems, when all that does is just make them feel better.

  21. There are plenty of jobs unfilled paying good money. Almost everywhere I go have “Help Wanted” signs and the hourly wage posted ($15 and above) People are just too lazy or are on drugs to spend time working.

    • Plenty of Jobs…yet $15 isn’t a livable wage in most states! And there are plenty of people that make $30+ that are mobile living! So get off you high horse James…

    • I make a poverty wage of $8.60 an hour when I the state that I live in has a state minimum wage of $11.15 an hour. You may ask how is this possible for my wages to be so far under the states minimum? It’s like this I work for a daycare that only has three employees and my boss does not have to pay Missouri state minimum wage because she has a small business. She only has to pay federal minimum wage which is $7.25 an hour to be legal. I’m not able to live off of what I am paid and might I add I work full-time. My rent(575.00) is 50% of my monthly net income. If I work more than 40 hours in a week I do not get time and a half, only straight pay. This is only one of many examples why people are forced to do things that they really have no other choice to do in order to survive. It has nothing to do with being lazy or unwilling to work. Our government could help people like me by raising the federal minimum wage that would force employers to pay employees higher wages so that they can earn a working wage instead of suppressing them and keeping them in poverty.

    • I agree, a large percentage of “homeless” just need to help themselves but refuse to. Drug and alcohol usage is a choice that people make!

  22. That’s why some campgrounds have the 10 year rule. When a camper gets older, it becomes more dangerous since wiring and gas lines decay. However, replacement of a 10 yr old camper can be a hardship for retired folks that do maintain their vehicles.

  23. For years we cycled through various campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest. From private to state parks. Our typical stay was Tuesday through Friday, avoiding weekends and the holidays.

    We have luxury of working from home, so a mid-week get away was easier for us than most.

    We’ve seen available spaces reduced by the “rolling homeless”. Not bums, but for some it’s cheaper to live on the road vs an apartment. They bounce from one place to another, scooping up reservations.

    We got tired of competing with them, and sold our RV.

    • We are getting to the same point you’re in. It’s getting harder and harder to get a reservation when we decide to take a trip. I love our RV, and we would like to take a trip from West coast to Southeast coast, and boondocking is out of the question, as I don’t like the idea of being somewhere out in the open and feeling vulnerable to criminals that may want to take advantage of the situation. Most campgrounds these days are packed with the rolling homeless and with very few spaces left for traveling campers that want to spend 2-5 nights. When we do find a park, it’s usually a KOA, or other private park that is upwards $75+ a night.

      • The word is vulnerable, and you’re safer “out in the open” than in a crowded RV park, especially one near a city. Criminals are lazy, they don’t take trips out in the toolies to rob people. But if you feel safer in a park, so be it.

      • Deems, just FYI, most State Parks have first come first served sites.. if you don’t have reservations, be there at checkout time.. or a little before. The host can be invaluable for finding you a site..
        We host in the PNW. We have hosted at campgrounds rather close to large cities. We have a homeless population that circulates through their choice of parks. In almost three years hosting we have never had even one of them cause a problem in our campground. Most are extremely responsible and respectful, and the majority are NOT drug addicts!
        As to crime.. unfortunately Chris, the idea that rural is safe is changing.. park vehicles are being targeted for catalytic converter thefts.. What a world….

      • You have criminals everywhere so don’t use that excuse regardless you at home or traveling any thing can happen anywhere

  24. This is what happens when you basically price gouge & force people right out of the housing market!!
    You’re Ignorant Moron if you think that it’s only drug addicts on the streets, so you can go to sleep at night!!! If you fools actually paid attention…you’d be horried at the # of disabled, elderly, families w/ kids, & Vets!!!
    It’s actually against the law to help them in CA!!
    There is Absolutely NO EXCUSE AS TO WHY HOMES & RENT ARE SO HIGH!!! You Made Your Greed-Ridden Choice!!!
    You Dont Want An Explosion of Homeless People??…Stop @$%!ING ‘EM OVER!!!

  25. As a camphost in a beautiful state park in AZ, this part summer we saw a lot of homeless people with dilapidated rvs. They never left on time and left a mess. We also have BLM land bordering the park. They would come at night, steal the firewood we have stacked for camphost use. One night someone forgot to lock our shed with our diesel and gasoline. That next morning the cans were completely empty and left alongside the shed.
    Tell me how these homeless are good people just down on their luck.

    • Unfortunately there are exceptions in every rule!! We have more people not leaving on time who are not in “dilapidated” ignore the check in check out times. If the “the homeless are all bad” rule is the case then is the “ I am here at 9 am because I am punctual and perfect and my RV is perfect and my children are perfect and OMG there is someone in MY site, the hot water only lasted 30 minutes while I was bathing and there is bugs in my campsite “ even though checking is clearly at 2 would be the rule. Thankfully they are not!! I have noticed just as many later than formers the later…

  26. Not sure I agree with the statement, “. . . many private campgrounds are forcing out long-term and residential residents to make room for the more lucrative transient camper.
    Some of those forced out are those rolling homeless who were just able to afford a campground’s long-term fees but have no chance of paying the daily rate. So, back to the streets they go.”

    Would like to see some real data on that assumption. Talk to any RV park owner and they will tell you it’s a challenge to maintain high occupancy levels throughout the week and during certain times of the year. I would think that most private RV parks desire a certain percentage of long term campers. The reason: helps to smooth out days of the week when occupancy is low, as well as those seasons when there are less RVers on the road.

    • I live in a destination area and have seen it happen in all the 25+ space places that are not Mom & Pop operations. long term rents going from $350.00 a month to $650.00 and up over a 4 to 5 year period. Not mention those that had the space and money, packed a few more spaces in.

  27. The answer is not all or nothing, either. I think we can offer something. I am SO inspired by a local woman I know. She is the closest to an angel that I have ever seen. She helps people directly, who NEED and WANT it. She is modest, never wants recognition, and never lends money. It is always a gift. She helps people directly who DO need it. She does not just hand out cash and walk away. She will drive many of these people, in her car, to take care of situations.

    I’m just going list of some things I’ve seen her do (with her time & money): pay rent, get cars smogged and repaired; go to social services, Social Security, DMV, court, attorneys; help with educational expenses, occupational licences, buy clothes, and many more. She’s 70+ years old, and I’ve seen her carry groceries upstairs for injured people 20 years younger. I’ve seen her GIVE her belongings to diligent people to sell online or at swap meets and keep the proceeds. I know she’s a Christian and walks her faith.

  28. I’m sorry Mike Gast, but homelessness is not ‘our’ problem. Society has no responsibility to take care of those who refuse to take care of themselves and lead a life of drug addiction. It is a CHOICE when you fill your veins with mind-altering chemicals, whether it’s meth, cocaine or booze. Statistics show that the vast majority of the homeless are there by their own volition. I’m a big believer in Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. Get it together or suffer the consequences.

    • I cannot recite statistics so please give me a link so I can see them myself.

      If someone is strung out on drugs it is a problem for the citizens of the US.

      Somehow we need to change the environment inside the US to …

      1 stop the importation of these drugs. Does this mean we need a big fence to help this? I think yes. Does this mean we need more border patrol? I think yes. Does this mean we need to enforce the laws? I think yes.
      2 make drug dealing a crime again like it was 10-20-30 and more years ago.
      3 lock up people and help those that are stealing to buy the drugs, and support the laws that are on the books
      4 do not enable them by supplying free needles and people to monitor them while injecting the drugs.
      5 help these people to get off the drugs and support them to become good citizens.

      How do we do this? Vote and hold all of elected officers feet to the fire! Get rid of these Judges that do not support the laws.

      Some of our elected officials put their head in the sand when it comes to the security of US citizens and the drug issue is a security problem. I support anyone coming into this country legally and also support sending people back that cross the border illegally.
      Nikita Khrushchev once said “we will take America without firing a shot, we do not need to invade the US we will destroy you from within”. Sounds like this is coming true!
      Wake up Americans!!!!

          • Harm-reduction strategies, like Portugal. The lock-em-up stuff hasn’t worked for decades. It may make you feel better, but it does little to control the problem. It’s too big of a business to think you’re going to just arrest your way out of it. Do you know in Texas in the 70s you could get more jail time for a couple of joints than murder?

        • So you agree with Nikita Khrushchev?

          As an employer for many years the only people that I fired (5 total) were the ones that repeatedly arrived to work still strung out on drugs or still drunk from the night before. I gave all several chances to straighten themselves out and only 1 did. I gave all of them several chances to the point that I paid their salaries when they went to rehab. If they did not take advantage of rehab they were terminated immediately. 1 did turn his life around and ended up being my best employee he thanked me till the day I retired and sold the business to him. Even though this was a side business for me and mostly run by my wife we could not afford to lose customers and we did lose 1 over drugs and alcohol.

    • Excuse me. I have been forced into living in my RV. I am a disabled widowed mother. I can’t afford to live in standard housing because they charge more than my entire social security income just for rent. I do not do drugs. I can barely afford vitamins. This epidemic of homeless living in RVs. Is not as simple as your judgements would like to believe. And angry hateful judgment isn’t helping anything or anyone. I pray that you never have to experience loss the way i have. And then to be basically made to live like a subhuman because people Dont give a F@#K. I hope Karma shows you what selfish jerks you all are.

    • I was just about to stop reading and move on when I saw your comment.
      I charge you with researching your comments further. There has been an awakening in the medical field regarding drug addiction as well as other addiction. Please check with the current information…
      Also.. if we were to all subscribe to Survival of the Fittest, we would more than likely not be here. If you have ever taken a vaccine, an antibiotic etc… we are all in this mess together btw

  29. I am 70. Disabled. Lost house 6 years ago. When they allowed my 1972 trailer in, I could only afford two weeks a month. On a private property for the winter. You can’t legally save enough money to get a better RV or you lose food assistance and ss dollars. Sad.

      • She did not say you could not work. She said you can not (legally) save money. She is kinda right there is a limit on the amount of cash you can have in the bank to qualify. So in another words you can not have a little cushion in case of a emergency. That way they can keep totally on the edge of disaster. Also what part of disabled is hard to get?

  30. Hi. All the people don’t want to be homeless. My friend, who was previously living in a weekly motel maintained like a slum, left there with her beat up vehicle and went to one of those parking lots in downtown Los Angeles.

    The parking lot is a public parking lot during the day, and a secured homeless (with a vehicle) parking lot at night. It is maintained by one of the local social service agencies. They have a clean Port-A-Potty, that’s it.They have to leave during the day and cannot leave anything outside of their vehicles at any time.

    The agency is also helping direct these people to assistance that they need.

    It’s a step in the right direction, because we need out of the box thinking.

    • My education about the homeless is that most of them are drug addicts or mentally ill. It’s not that some of them don’t want to work, they’re just too messed up to hold a job.

      • You are misinformed. Single parents, those escaping domestic violence, elderly on limited SSI, disabled, PTSD sufferers – I’ve personally met rolling homeless in all these categories and more. Life is complicated, and rents are WAY TOO HIGH!

      • Then you need a better education! Most homeless these days are simply unable to pay the outrageous amount of money being charged for any housing. I broke my back in an accident at age 23. Then I was widowed when the hospital missed an infection in my husbands thigh that killed him. And i was left raising his children from his previous marriage because his ex wife IS on drugs. I am now living in an RV. Due to being too disabled to work. And having children to support. And social security that isn’t even enough to pay monthly rent prices. And i am NOT on drugs. Like i previously said. I can barely afford vitamins. Its judgmental jerks like you who are the real poison in our society. karma may just eat you alive someday and make you choke on your hateful words..

  31. No easy fix here, RV’s are just the latest battleground of our “haves and have nots”. It mirrors our society exactly with the old NIMBY ( not in my back yard) solution playing out on a more visible national scale. As our population continues to expand we will at some point be forced to deal with this and many other of our societal ills. On a global scale, climate change is already forcing us to make the required decisions that might allow our following generations to simply survive. From that view point this is just a first world problem.

  32. A single room with a shared bath currently costs upwards of $1000 a month. Often a lease ,large down payment and impeccable references are required . Good credit rating, work History, and zero criminal record, including driving record.. Many landlords prefer to collect by the week ,so they can keep an eye on you and make sure you don’t fall behind. There are those of us who are in the gap and can neither afford current rent or qualify for subsidized housing.

      • Full S/S disability? (Meaning you are incapable of labor) is around $1,300. So after paying $1,000 for rent. Do think that $300 or so is going pay the utilities the food the transportation the medical co-pays. And the Lord knows they sure do not need to spend any money on fun, people in their position deserve to suffer, right?

      • And the cost of moving cross country is WAY out of the affordability range for almost ALL the people you are referring to. So think again. Beyond that. A thousand dollars is a LOT of money to many unable to work due to circumstances beyond our control.

      • And those same places have no jobs. McDonald’s is the biggest employer there. Supply and demand affects housing prices just a little bit

  33. There’s only one solution. we need to start working together to build some affordable housing the problem with that is the builders can not make as much profit as building a high dollar home or apartment.its a sad life we live in I just don’t understand .We have to work together stop driving up the price to live free

    • Really? Business is about making as much profit as possible, not what YOU think the limit should be. Do you own business?

      • Money….has no true value and profit equals power of which no one has a right to over others. Our governments conditioned us to think life should be about who works more , higher grades, etc all while stealing more power every year. All people have equal value and no man should feel above another. Take money out of the picture and you will see people choosing to learn More and adding more value to Every person’s life. War is from power and greed and one day everyone will perish because we didn’t take the time with everyone’s effort to fix the problems laying ahead. Do you think the air will last forever? That no more comets will hit the earth? That the planet won’t change on its own accord? If you think about your profit and not the value for everyone for the future you will be remembered for it to. At this rate rv living will be the most convenient way for folks to survive as our government thinks we’re born to make them rich and then some aholes come around with their own buisness thinking everyone owes them a living for owning a stupid buisness. You don’t have anything’s an illusion. One day there will be No choice but to except the rv people because many refuse to make others rich at their own expense …why should you get to live off of them?

      • While you seem to have the principle of how screwing over your fellow humans works down pat. Getting the most profit you can for least that you can give.. You seem to be a little short on knowing what being a human is and what it would take to become one.

        • Oh & yes I do own one & have for 30 years & still have most of the same customers I had when I started. Funny, once they understand that you put good service ahead of maybe a new Lexus for yourself they stick around and are loyal even though a few mistakes.

    • You have hit the nail on the head as it were. It is ROI (return on investment). Seems every body wants it. Until someone can figure out how to change the Golden Rule it’s present form. Do unto others before they do unto you. Back to the one God left us with (I’m an agnostic by the way.). Which is …..I guess I actually have to out it here because our actions do not reflect that knowledge. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Or maybe we are & that is the problem.

    • I mover around for work. I don’t want to stay in one place my whole life. Rentals cost to much coz everyone wants to rent for a huge profit!!!
    • Hotels are simply to expensive and with 1 year leases and such it usually not wise to sign!!!!
    • So….. Campers are the best choice. But!!! Now campgrounds charge to much!!
    • OH and don’t forget employers pay crap wages!
    • Now pull out your books and explain away the reasons….
    • Greed is a {bleeped}!!!
  34. Everyone of us, as humanbeings, have an obligation to help resolve these tough issues for those that need a hand up. A small percentage of these folks, for a variety of reasons, do not want to change their circumstances.

  35. Not trying to sound unsympathetic, but it seems to me there is a possible solution to the rolling homeless ” problem ” that could be being overlooked. Every time there is a dissaster of some type, FEMA comes rolling in with a bunch of large campers or park models and sets the up for temporary housing. When the dissaster has been rectified, those trailers are generally sold off. With the increase of strip malls closing up there is a surplus of unused parking lots, generally with all the utillity services available. The folks who place mobile homes and the utillity companies would probably like the business. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

    • I think that’s a great idea. There are probably thousands of FEMA trailers parked somewhere in the South that were used for Hurricane refugee housing. Use these for the homeless, and I also like the idea of using abandoned Mall parking lots for setup.

    • Someone owns those parking lots, and it is usually not a city or county. If those owners allow RV squatters, there is legal liability.

      While it sounds simple, your idea has plenty of reasons it is not viable. Not saying we shouldn’t keep brainstorming, but many ideas from brainstorming sessions just won’t work.

  36. Help those who are otherwise productive and need a temporary helping hand, yes. Being played for a chump by freeloaders and those who disabled themselves with drugs, NO!

  37. Coming from the perspective of being a decade long nomad. Very few of us CHOOSE homelessness. A number of us find ourselves living on wheels (look up Home On Wheels Alliance) and find a certain freedom that comes with living simple and portable and don’t want to go back to traditional housing. We don’t have fences to keep ourselves locked in and the world locked out. We’re forced to be out side and explore and to be sociable wherever we find ourselves. I have met a beautiful community of nomads.

    With that freedom comes a sense of hope… something I have found many homeless stuck in one general area appear to lose over time. Society has a tendency to kick people when they’re down and to want to disown the impoverished side of our society; if we don’t see it, it can’t exist, right? I’ve been shagged off to move on as if I was riffraff; the prejudice is sad. I am a disabled veteran, I keep clean, I am honest. With CPTSD I simply need to keep traveling. We’re not all bad people.

    • No, you’re not, Serenity. Near Folsom, there was a group that set up camp near an off-ramp. I watched them often as I went by and was impressed. They policed the camp. It was spotless and quiet. Everyone came running to help when there was a car accident outside the camp. Great neighbors. CalTrans ran them off because of liability issues.

      However, here in Sacramento, to see this type of encampment is rare. Here, the norm is to find only trash pits with inhabitants. Not only are they unsafe, they are unhealthy. Many are drug dealers, alcoholics, or users. They do not want jobs and to get back on their feet. They do not want anyone to change their lifestyles. We could give them a place to live, but they only want it if there are no rules. Who wants their property trashed by those people? As a taxpayer, I don’t want to pay for constantly cleaning up their trash whether in rolling stock or in housing we have provided. The city/county is a trash pile and no longer safe.

      • As long as you live by the same rules you expect them to that would be ok. So that means they get to come to your house and if your having a drink or toke or have a pet you have to move. There is a difference between use and abuse. Of course those folks do not deserve to live pleasurable life with it’s little rewards. Just you.

  38. Live in the SF Bay Area, and witness the issues written about in the article daily. I even see the same rolling RVs around the area, going from one parking lot to the other. Have met a couple. One is a homeless Vietnam vet, and the other is a man who became homeless just before the pandemic.
    Met them because of our RV. They have asked me, “Where can we dump out black tanks?” Sadly, I had no answer for them. Have also seen a safe RV lot in Mountain View. It’s actually quite nice, for a converted old parking lot.
    The last problem is two RV parks and the RV storage lot near us have been bull-dozed for multi-family housing.

  39. Here’s another subject for you to explore: the folks who go “homeless “ on purpose by selling everything and living full time on the road. What will happen when those folks are suddenly 85 or 90 and somewhere get stopped by police or cause a crash and have their license revoked and are homeless because they didn’t have the common sense to look down the road 20 years.

    • If one has had to sell everything to live on the road because they could not afford to live in a house. They are going to need care at sometime no matter where they live. I could say that I hope you should have some unfortunate happenings in your life. I’ve noticed that most folks fight losing their house as long as possible. Generally to the point where if they had sold when the first sign of trouble. They would have been better off in the long run. But no, they keep paying on a house to a land lord that keeps taking their money even tough he knows they can’t afford it and he will get the house back. When you him why. He will say, “well if I did not someone else would”. But then I’d be just as unfeeling as you and as evil as that land lord..

  40. The article hit on a key point that many of the commenters just glossed over, and instead went for their libertarian talking points. Safe Parking is ONE example of a successful step to help offset housing insecurity. I’ve spoken in support of this before, discussed the urban legends vs what’s possible. Here! Here! RVT talking solutions!

  41. Well, this has certainly been interesting reading. Most comments being one extreme or the other…we do virtually nothing or we are to give away everything to everyone. Very few in the middle, yet some truth in all views.

    Recently, Ray Dalio predicted that the U.S. will go into some kind of civil war because of the discourse and unwillingness to work together on issues. I don’t doubt it.

    I do want to comment on the question someone asked regarding who among the homeless are “deserving” of help. IMO it is someone that strongly desires and is willing and ready to do what it takes to, with short term assistance, pull themselves up to get back on track and be an independent contributing member of our society. Public resources will always be limited, so focusing on those with the real desire and willingness to change would be the most prudent use of those limited resources.

  42. Unfortunately it will only get much worse as mortgage companies foreclose on delinquent home loans and renters are evicted for failure to pay rent during the Covid crisis. Until America returns to self reliance and responsibility and gets away from the entiltled mindset it can not be fixed! Illegal alliens only add to the problem by taking resources that could help Americans in need. The golden goose has but one feather left to pluck! Time to replace handouts with tough love and entitlement with a kick in the butt!!

  43. Such a huge problem, and no easy answers. I think that we should all care about the less fortunate and try to find solutions instead of ignoring the issue.

  44. This problem is so complex-I live in San Francisco and the next block over is an entire street of RV’s . It’s an epidemic here.. as most people acknowledge. Working class people are not able to buy homes because 20% down is outrageous here in California. It ends up there is literally thousands of empty house here! Investors buy them. Why is this allowed? And it’s not just here,a friend just sold his house to some mysterious person who paid cash. I’m blaming the government for not taking action. Even to rent an apartment here is completely outrageous. Like 3000$ a month. Greed. I don’t have any solutions,just ranting.

    • Is the problem that people have been taxed out of their homes? Cannot afford the high cost of energy, gasoline, food and other services? As I have told my Congressman and Senators for years that I am at the point I can no longer afford my Government!

    • Mia, you need to blame yourself and the rest of the residents of not only San Francisco, but the entire state of California. You are the votes and voices that put in power the politicians that have almost made your state un-liveable for the common person. You and your state push national mandates like $15 an hour and up to flip burgers at Mickey D’s. The folks of CA allow for legacy benefits for public employees that would put retired public employees in the upper-middle class in most other states. Why are so many corporations moving their headquarters out of California? Taxes, mandates, fossil fuel restrictions leading to brownouts, and $5 a gallon or more for gas just to get to work, only for the cycle to start again.

      No wonder you have rolling RV encampments, you reap what you sow.

  45. I have touted bringing back the Roosevelt days CCC program. Although not ideal, it helped hundreds of thousands of down and out Americans get back on their feet, retrain for new jobs and become productive citizens again.

    • 👍👍👍. I also like the idea however lately nearly every store or business I go into has posted a sign for help wanted. I often see people standing on a street corner begging for money when across the street there is a large sign advertising for help wanted. What is the answer? I don’t know. I usually carry about $20.00 in $1 bills to give to homeless people, hopefully they use it for food and not drugs. During the Christmas season our church does a toy share for the underprivileged which my wife and I donate $$$ and time to. I just hate the idea that people are starving in this country while the government keeps giving $$$$ away to other countries and allowing more people into the USA only to see them standing on the street corner begging for money. Something is very broken in this country!

    • I’ve been saying the same thing, however, in this day in age will people that have been receiving “free” stuff for so long, be willing to now work for it? I wonder. In the days of the CCC people had pride, and believed in working for their $$, I’m not so sure about it today, unfortunately.

    • My husband’s grandfather worked in one when he came back from the war.
      We need these to start up again. Work for your money !!

  46. Nice article Mike Gast, way to open up a political discussion and invite disagreement and argument. The very thing RVTravel rails against. Looks like RVT has changed…

    • RVT is still looking out for us. Look at the things that are being brought up. Homeless who are living in RV’s on the street also include people whose incomes are not enough to support a home and food. They have to cut somewhere and homes are the biggest cost. The main problem is the big picture for RVer’s. Everyone complains about campgrounds the high cost and the availability. Because of that, how often do you “camp” at truck stops or Wal-Mart or other places? Cities are already clamping down on overnighters, Wal-Marts and truck stops are refusing to allow RV’s for the night. If the homeless are not helped or given other options it will only get worse in these places and that will eventually have a bearing on us because the places having problems lump us all together. So this article does affect RVer’s.

  47. “Large-scale government intervention” is what’s CAUSED this problem. Dumbing down the population with sub-standard school curriculum. Telling people to rely on government instead of working. “Free” this and “Free” that, NOTHING is “Free”, SOMEBODY is paying for it. I worked outside the home since the age of 14. Had a career and at least 1 and sometimes 3 other businesses simultaneously. Paid ALL my taxes and have never taken money from a “Program”.
    No, I wasn’t lucky, I WORKED!

    • and here I thought it was just the poor and mentally ill. You want to see dumbing down? Just spend time anywhere on the internet and read people’s writing. They can’t even spell or use 3- and 4-letter words correctly.

      • Right with you Richard. I worked at least two jobs all my working years. Never once took any government handouts except my VA schooling that I earned and while going to school full time I worked a full time job. These poor homeless people will stand outside WalMart in the snow and rain and WalMart has a help wanted sign on the billboard. Give me a break.

    • A large percentage of them do work. They just can’t afford the high costs of living in the world today. You were lucky in being born into the situation you were instead of one like the people living on the streets. I’m was even luckier than you. I only had to work 1 job to live well.

    • How many times has your house been burnt to the ground? Give it a try when you get to be 70+ like me. Guess I was just “Lucky” huh?

  48. You can see from these comments how lots of people tend to lump all “near homeless” RVers together, and it’s not a positive opinion. Understand that the way many of you see these people is the way the locals see you when you roll up in your RV. Unless you’re in a shiny Class A, you’re just another degenerate RVer to them, at least on first impression.

    This, of course, makes no sense to lump you, the traveling recreational RVer, with the near homeless permanent residents, who have no hookups and no working facilities. But many people tend to be simple thinkers. So, solving this problem would have a positive impact on traveling RVers.

    As for how to solve this near homeless problem, I leave discussion for a more appropriate forum.

    • I wondered about that, too. What’s the source for saying there are dozens of stories a week about RVs bursting into flames. That sounds like something the national media would have picked up on.

    • My house burst into flames. They called it a Forrest Fire. Crap Happens. Apparently, not much Crap has happened to you judging from overflowing empathy.

  49. I fear providing worn out RV’s to homeless only further clutters our roads streets and results in more abandoned dwellings. Government funded, multi family housing with help in employment is best.

    • I’m 70+ plus years old and have multilabel physical impairments if your really interested in them call me & I’ll tell Ya what going to the John entails. Just exactly what job do you have in mind for me.

  50. I think they say that here in Utah you need $100k a year to buy the basic house they build. I live in what used to be a distressed area, but the thing has gone totally upscale. People think they can move to bright red Utah and all those Lefty problems are in the rear view mirror. I wonder. You don’t make the money to buy a house with the jobs that are going begging. Maybe you earn $30k a year. That buys a tiny home, a small mobile home, or some version of a light industrial type shed with a living space. Mostly it is an apartment, but if half your income goes for a small apartment, it’s not a great life. Maybe there are cheap houses, small houses. But, where do you put one? With water supplies pretty much used up in Utah (the Salt Lake is dying), you can’t get in the game, build a dwelling, without a water commitment of some kind. There are soil issues that add a lot of money to a building permit, even to set a trailer. The game is completely rigged. No way out, I see.

  51. Personal responsibility matters; progressive, liberal policies have consequences and Americans will always look out for those deserving of their help.

    • And how do you define DESERVING? This would be like a biblical reference quote that the first among who is without sin cast the first stone”. If we aren’t part of the answer then we are part of the problem

  52. I remember when the urge to RV hit me and it was freedom on the road. You could go into a campground, state park where RV’s gathered and never worry about theft or personal safety. I have volunteered at State Parks and as the years went by I saw cars being used as campers, increased theft and a general negativity set in. I do not mean all campers are like this but it seems to be a vein with increasing flow. Communities and merchants are more guarded and regulatory towards RV’s. It is not as easy to lay over for free on a trip. California and the NW seem hardest hit yet it does seem to be spreading. I have no idea about a fix for this but am thankful I was able to RV when it was golden.

  53. Read Michael Shellenberger’s San Fransicko. He is a former leftist (still liberal) who was part of the Climate Change orgs (read Apocalypse Now) for 30 years. He is trying to help the homeless situation in SF (and everywhere with ideas on how to help). He spends time on the streets: “People say high rent causes homelessness but Ben, who has been homeless in San Francisco for 7 years, says the “vast majority” are homeless due to addiction. Just 6-7% are from SF. Ben says he “boosts” (shoplifts) and breaks into cars to pay for his $60/day heroin habit”. If you are on Twitter, follow him. It’s an eye opener.

    • Here’s something I witnessed myself over 25 years ago. A friend and I were in SF & went to a posh 5 star resident. My friend was always giving money to homeless people on the street. There was a woman standing near the entrance, in bad shape. Friend gave her $100. Woman took off. After dinner, she was back. Higher than a kite. That changed my friend profoundly. No more money. Instead she gave them her business card and said call me & I will give you a job. She did this often. No one ever called.

  54. Always a certain segment of people. “Gimme”. “You owe me”. “What can my country do for me”. How about gimme a job? How about you owe me a job? How about a job working for your country? No one is preventing you from going to work and earning some money. Not money for cigarettes, cellphones gameboys, drugs and liquor. Housing first. Along with that comes a migration to permanent brick and mortar housing. Not an easy solution but a slow and simple one.
    I’ll be tarred and feathered as not compassionate, but I call it tough love.

  55. Thank you for this compassionate article. It’s too bad so many who have commented want to make it an opportunity to fly their political flags.

        • That change happened when the Golden Rule Changed from. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you….. TO ….Do unto others before they do unto you.

      • It seems to me that the “progressive” government officials are the main source of the problem. Let’s be soft on crime, property damage, shoplifting and the like. The answer is always fewer consequences for the illegal behavior. What has happened to a law abiding society where the citizenry actually desires to follow the law?

    • I agree, a good article. Homelessness and how it affects the RV community is an economic problem not a political problem. Some say if the homeless just buckled down and got a job the problem would go away. To be sure that is the answer for some but only for a small minority. Most homeless are unemployable because of mental, addictive or physical disabilities. Back in the day most of these people were institutionalized but no more.

      Getting back to the economics. Clunker RVs have become are becoming the cheapest from of individual housing. Why RVs and not mobile homes (these terms meaning are becoming blurred but I think you know what I mean) Certainly mobility if a factor as “mobile homes” are really not that mobile. How about inspections? Do mobile homes and mobile home parks come under more regulation to require a higher standard of livability and safety? I’ve never heard of an RV having to be inspected (maybe they are somewhere)

  56. Sadly, we are seeing the destruction of America, one piece at a time! Ultimately, there will be more homeless in the coming months from the increase in costs of living and the progressive ideas of the left. We have been really fortunate in our lives and try and help others. Even more sadly, some don’t want it. They either don’t trust you or worse! Not sure what the answer is, but when we stop at a Walmart on our way to another destination, it is not only for an overnight stay, but to replenish groceries and other essentials! Our RV is a Foretravel and well maintained, so not a dilapidated rig seen by many. We should all do our part and help our fellow man in time of need!

  57. The cost of living has skyrocketed. No wonder they lose their houses or can’t afford food and essentials, especially in California, Oregon areas. I know that FEMA sells RVs for pennies on the dollar after they have been used for emergencies and they are still in very good condition. Why can’t they give them to towns for the homeless? There are many abandoned buildings, malls, and mills that they can level and make room to park them. There is always a solution if they WANT to do it.

    • Good idea especially if tied in to parking areas with porta potties and police surveillance for drugs/assault/domestic violence.

  58. I’m one of these people that do live in a rv. Can’t afford housing. My rv is a 91 runs perfect and is updated. I do work traveling and closing grocery stores down. I just don’t get why people want to look down at someone who has became homeless

    • Thank you, Jason.
      Most people, terrified by lack of control over random bad events blame victims to reassure themselves that “that would NEVER happen to me because:” -If a rape-I would NEVER wear such revealing clothes or be walking down that street after midnight-if a battery -She asked for it meeting that man from tinder at a bar for a first date-if a carjacking-You can’t tell me he didn’t leave his car doors unlocked, stopping at a red light with an unlocked door just invites someone to open the car door and take over, and last but not least -homelessness. It’s their own fault for not being honor roll in high school. Why didn’t they go to college? They must have tried skipping out on the rent. How come BOTH the mother and the father got laid off? They were uppity to the boss I bet. Those children should go to orphanages where they could be adopted by middle class people and raised right. These all were statements made by my socialist maternal grandparent as her dementia worsened.

    • We don’t look down on people like you, taking care of your self and working. I give you a lot of credit.
      Good luck.. stay strong.

  59. IMO most of the homeless, not all, are that way because they don’t want to be part of society. With every business advertising for help there is no excuse for not getting a job. If someone doesn’t want to be part of society take that person out into the desert and let them live there. If they want to mooch off of society let them mooch all they want in the desert. Maybe a month in the desert might convince them that being a part of society is not as bad as they thought Our fabulous welfare system is what has created this problem, take away the welfare and see how fast people get in the employment line. This is the way the party in office now creates a socialist country, everybody depending on government handouts. Once socialism takes over the generous hand out will drastically cease. This is why the education system needs to be teaching history and geography to let young people see the way people live under socialism.

    • I agree. Oh I am sure there are a number who are just down on their luck we do have many social service programs all over the country. If people want to they can find a way to navigate the system or get a job. In my experience trying to hire the homeless and give them day jobs I found they simply did not want to work if they showed up they seldom did what they were hired to do. Most of them never came back the next day. I picked up a homeless person with a cardboard sign and took them to lunch and listened. This lifestyle is her choice. She even had an income and chose to live this way. People can make their own choices.

      • Thank you for adding your experience to the discussion. I have had similar contact with homeless folks in the Tacoma area when I lived there.

    • Bob-SOME of the homeless people don’t want to be part of society, some veterans with PTSD, some mentally ill who had formerly been resident in state asylums that Reagan closed (and never followed up on creating counselling clinics at the local level) No group can entirely be tarred with same brush. Another group of homeless is women and children fleeing domestic violence with no one to go to, and no job to return to, if they are afraid their ex will harm friends, family, and coworkers at their job site. Canada had some interesting results with giving large numbers of homeless in one province about $1600 or so- over 70% of recipients immediately procured housing and starting working on obtaining employment.

      • Reagan? How many presidents were elected after him that could have re-opened the “asylums”? “Asylums” were ruled to be offensive and took away human rights, believe it was the attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Feel free to correct.

        • They were ruled offensive because of the way they were ran, not for the needs they tried to fill. As in all things the thought was good until people tried to do it. Then they found out it was never about what people need but what those people helping thought they needed.

  60. Last summer I moved from the Portland Oregon area to Ohio partly because of the liberal government not doing anything to resolve this problem. My beautiful city of Portland has been turned into a city of filth. I do not know what it will take to solve the problem, but I do know that it one of the most expensive places to live, tons of free stuff for homeless people, legalized drugs, no consequences for lawlessness, large amount of voters that want to defend the police, and a liberal government that just want to through money tax payers money at the problem. Maybe if they fix some of the aforementioned issues my beautiful Portland could be restored 🤔

  61. News reports of the “homeless problem” seem to emphasize a Fear & Loathing slant: crime, disease, trash, public defecation, and invasion of private property. So instead of seeing the issue as a tragedy afflicting thousands of us, we’re led to believe it is a threat to all of us. America is slow to rally to domestic humanitarian issues; there is little political support for the plight of the “undeserving poor” in our midst.

    It will be interesting to see how far the community backlash against transient RVs of all kinds will extend. Most likely only the extremely well-heeled “glampers” will be seen without prejudice. Don’t be surprised when your own RV is told by local cops to “move out, move on, and don’t come back.”

    There is no solution evident on any government level; voices raised to lament the issue falls on deaf political ears. Beware that when the real estate and stock market bubbles burst, it will be millions of us who will seek somewhere to shelter.

  62. The problem of homeless people is IMO the biggest domestic crisis facing this country. For the richest country in the world to be plagued with hundreds of thousands of people living in broken down RVs (the lucky ones) or tenting under freeway overpasses and on city sidewalks is a total disgrace. The solution(s) are not self-evident, but the issue MUST be solved if we are to move ahead as a prosperous country.

    • I agree to a point, many are working poor, they lost their their homes because their income was compromised in some way, so instead of the financial institutions working with them to reduce, at least temporarily till it changes, “your behind on your payments so your out, and we don’t care”, attitude. So that being said, some people destroy the interiors in revenge and leave, IF they would work with them and reduce their payments to say 25% of their income, and balloon the difference on the end, they could stay in their home and still survive.
      Here in western Colorado you can buy a home for about a $1000 a month payment, but a rental will run about $1500+ a month, RV spaces are $450 to $800 a month including utilities (now not including electric), so if they have an RV they put most of their stuff in a storage unit and move into the RV. Not everyone is fortunate to do that. I have been trailer trash most of my life, and when my job moves, my house (a 1973 Field and Stream camper), goes

    • Welcome to almost the rest of the world. Most people do not realize the third world as they call it is actually most of the world. Through out history there has never been a nation that did not wind up there, If you’ve noticed. The down fall of nations seems follow a pattern. As the rich get richer more and more people get poorer and poorer. At some point the whole thing starts flying apart and the peasants start showing up at the Bastille with pitch forks. Why do think they want your AKs. They do not seem to care about over one million Covid deaths. What makes you think they really care about a couple of hundred of that type. it is about control not the amount of carnage. .


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