Street Sense’s How to… Sleep on the Streets

Where you sleep on the streets, whether in a park, on a bench, in an alleyway or under a closed business awning, depends on the type of weather and the temperature. When it’s cold outside, the best place to sleep is on a steam grate. But when you can’t find one of these locations, the average sidewalk will do.

If you make your bed directly on the sidewalk, you should start off by using cardboard as a mattress. You can find cardboard in most big dumpsters. Lay the cardboard flat on the ground where you are going to sleep. It separates you from the cold concrete and helps prevent you from getting hypothermia or pneumonia.

Always put a blanket over the cardboard so that it covers it and serves as a thin mattress. And always have another blanket or heavy coat for your bed quilt. Use a bag that has a few pieces of clothing in it and feels comfortable and snug for a bed pillow. Also put into this bag any personal belongings such as important papers, money and anything else that is valuable to you. Shoes can go under the pillow, and now you are ready to go to sleep. As you lay down in bed for the night, you need to remember to keep an eye and ear out for trouble. Good night!

Ad: Wegmans making a difference together


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.