Guest post by Nadia Morris
A month ago, I was living out of my car in Arizona. I was finishing up some lab-work after a seasonal ecology job and the rest of my crew had already left, including the guy whose house I’d been crashing at. Technically, I had the money to stay in a youth hostel, but not by much—I was getting paid above minimum wage but due to the tedious, repetitive motions required for the work, it was almost impossible to work for more than four hours a day. This meant if I wanted to stay in a youth hostel, I would spend more than half my daily earnings on housing alone. To my cheapskate 23 year-old self, this was an unacceptable sacrifice.
Lets start with this fact: I am incredibly privileged. I am a white, college-educated cis-woman coming from a financially stable background. Living in my car was more like a string of inconveniences rather than a real, inescapable poverty-driven homelessness. So yes, I did have a choice in the matter, but nevertheless for a short time I did not have a home. When I needed to eat, I bought food that did not require preparation in a kitchen. When I needed to use the bathroom, I found a public building or went in the woods.