Step 1. Leave your house. Just walk away and leave all your jewelry and luxury cars behind. Studies have shown homeless people in designer clothes and jewelry do substantially worse at asking for money. You don’t have to worry about bills, groceries, or the secret stash of sky mall items hidden in your basement – those are all meaningless now. Don’t worry; you’re better off.
Step 2. Pick your persona. Like when designing a Bitmoji, you should do your best to not be yourself. Choose wisely, this will determine how successful you are at earning money as you make your home on the streets. People often think being homeless means you don’t have a job, but really it just means your new job is begging. It is important to know it is in absolutely no way shameful to beg. Own it like you used to own that nice house of yours.
Step 3. Recognize your environment. Always keep in mind your target audience when choosing what to write on your cardboard sign. For example, if you are living near a juice shop, vegan restaurant, or frozen yogurt place, your signs will want to reflect the primarily hipster audience that frequents these establishments. These young social rebels may seem unlikely to donate with their ripped jeans and vaguely dirty shirts, but don’t be fooled, most of them have money to buy better clothes and just decide to look ridiculous anyway. Using acronyms such as LOL and JK can help convey your message in terms even your slower, easily distracted audience will understand. And if you have a large piece of cardboard, you can also always stuff meaningless words into otherwise fine sentences. For example, take the sentence, “I’m hungry,” and change it to, “I’m literally so hungry I can’t even.” It doesn’t matter if you are being figurative not literal, or if you have no idea what exactly you “can’t even” do, these words are lies and no one cares.
Step 4. Create a social media presence. This may seem odd, but social media is the future! Don’t fall behind on the times just because you’ve fallen behind on your ass, the internet is the next frontier and we should use it like we’ve used all the other frontiers: shamelessly and for our own personal gain. Keep your profile picture sad, but not too sad, and dirty, but not disgusting. You are marketing yourself. It’s important to create a marketable sob story. The story might be true, but if not, that’s ok too! Just make sure to crop your BMW or Audi out of your profile picture.
Step 5. Find food. Besides scrounging for leftovers out of the dumpster and stealing candy from babies, grocery store samples can be a healthy part of any homeless person’s diet. Even for people who aren’t homeless food samples can be an invaluable resource – if you watch carefully, you can see Macaulay Culkin from the Home Alone movies stealing samples. Yeah, he’s still alive. As you gain more experience collecting samples you will learn the best spots for certain foods. For example, Costco is good for protein while Trader Joes is best for snacks and refreshments. These are important real world skills that schools fail to teach. This once again proving schools don’t prepare you for the real world of homelessness. I may know the quadratic formula, but what are the laws and ethical considerations on selling my organs for money?
There will, of course, be some days when you feel like going out, getting a job, and just achieving the American Dream. It can be comforting to find out that one hundred percent of successful people started out unsuccessful. Many of them just like you – starting from the bottom with absolutely nothing but millions in trust fund money. But you are homeless now. You have no skills, no work ethic, and are probably mentally ill and dangerous. Still, there’s no need to worry. After all, we live in a welfare state.
For real information on how to help fight homelessness go to NationalHomeless.org