Getting a good night sleep can be difficult when you’re homeless. Without shelter, it’s hard to find a comfortable place to lay your head. Sleeping outside in the cold is dangerous, even deadly. And sleeping in public spaces or on benches can be uncomfortable and may lead to the police being involved.
If you find yourself without shelter and need a place to rest, here are some things that you should pack for a night on the streets.
The importance of sleep
The need for sleep is often underappreciated by the homeless population. When sleeping outside, it’s easy to get in a daily cycle of long spells of sleep and short spells of wakefulness. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious medical conditions including cognitive impairment, hallucinations, and even heart attack.
Of course, many homeless people live in deplorable conditions that prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep. It’s best to set aside some money for a tent, or an air mattress, or a sleeping bag or blanket so that you have a safe place to sleep.
What to bring on your night on the streets: Be prepared. First, always pack clothing and personal items that will help you to stay warm and comfortable, especially in the colder months.
Why sleeping outside is dangerous
Most homeless people that I know haven’t slept well on the streets. Having nowhere to go, they’re forced to sleep in the open and in front of businesses and houses. Homeless people tend to camp out in places that aren’t safe: in the middle of downtown streets, under highway overpasses, in a park, or near a factory. T
here are also homeless people that sleep outside of churches, grocery stores, and places of business. These individuals have either been kicked out or are sleeping in the building in protest. Because of the homeless crisis, there is an extremely high amount of crime that occurs in homeless encampments and homeless communities.
Many homeless people tend to get involved in drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with their homeless situation.
You need to be smart about where you choose to sleep. Keep warm in winter with lots of layers. If you must sleep on the ground or under a bush, be sure to sleep on a light blanket with no strong fibers. People get hypothermia quickly in this weather, and you don’t want to get caught without one. Don’t forget to stay hydrated.
Keep a bottle of water nearby and take quick sips, especially if you’re sleeping in the sun. Don’t forget to dress for the weather as well.
It’s easy to fall asleep with a full belly, but if you don’t do it right, you may find yourself with a bellyache. Eating large meals, especially when you don’t get adequate sleep, can lead to vomiting. You’ll also suffer from a rise in blood sugar.
In situations where you are in a risky situation, like being arrested, being searched, being in public or even driving illegally, you may not have the right to carry a wallet or phone, which means your money and identity may be at risk.
If you do lose your money, you’ll want to get some money orders or have some cash on you to be able to get home to retrieve your belongings. Water and snacks When you’re sleeping outside, staying hydrated can be a huge issue.
You may find yourself walking to the nearest place where you can get a drink or from a kitchen if you find yourself hungry. Having some food also comes in handy for energy or coping with unexpected hunger pangs.
Where to sleep when you’re homeless
Let’s begin by talking about where to sleep. This is a very personal decision, and the type of place you choose is entirely up to you. Here are some things to think about when choosing a place to sleep. 1. Shelter Location The number one priority for a person who is homeless is shelter.
There are two types of shelter — temporary and permanent. If you choose to sleep in a shelter, you will need to be 18 years or older. To qualify for a shelter, you will need to show that you are in danger of homelessness and that you do not have anywhere else to go.
That said, I know that it’s important to sleep outdoors, and there are several locations that allow you to sleep on the streets. However, do not ever do this. There is a high chance that you could be arrested.
What to pack?
Clothes for the weather. Whether it’s cold, rainy, or snowy, you need to be prepared for all seasons. On particularly cold nights, it is advised that you wear four to six layers of clothing to keep you warm. You can choose from a sweater, a poncho, a windbreaker, and a sleeping bag.
In addition to these layers, it is also recommended that you bring a warm blanket. If you want to be extra warm, you should bring a sleeping bag. Your sleeping bag will keep you warm even when there is no wind.
It also provides you with some extra security from the elements and will protect you from falling asleep with the wetness on your body. A good flashlight or headlamp, with extra batteries, is a must for this night on the streets. Some people opt to bring a small fan to keep cool.
What can you do if you don’t have anything to pack?
It’s important to know how to pack a basic day bag or overnight bag for when you’re not out getting a good night’s rest. It’s important to know how to pack a basic day bag or overnight bag for when you’re not out getting a good night’s rest.
It’s okay to get creative and improvise on this. If you’re sleep deprived, you may forget important things like toothpaste and toothbrush or not even remember what the item you need is. One of the best ways to avoid this happening is by preparing a day bag or overnight bag in advance.
Sometimes you’ll forget, other times you’ll prepare the day before. Whatever the case may be, be prepared. You can do a quick search online to find ideas for where to do this and learn how to do so.
Everyone has a different experience with homelessness, and it’s a very complex issue. We should all feel uncomfortable, and we should all do something about it.