One month…bites

mosquito_biteWell today marks the end of my first month living on the streets on San Francisco. I can’t say that it has been extremely hard, but it certainly hasn’t been a fun camping adventure either. It has been somewhere in the middle I guess.

As of this week, I will be approaching around $2,000 saved. It would be more if there weren’t a few major financial snafu’s along the way this past month, but hopefully that won’t happen again.

I really only have slept in five total spots around the city outside so far. The first was where I slept the first night, outside my old apartment on the cold sidewalk, and don’t plan on doing anymore sidewalk sleeping if I can help it. The other locations I am keeping to myself as I don’t want them compromised and it is a pain to scout out new ones.

The biggest issue I’ve run into is bugs. I didn’t realize how many there are here in SF. Currently, I can easily spot over 35 bug bites on my face, and numerous other ones all over my body. When I sleep I usually keep my face outside the sleeping bag to keep cool, but also it isn’t really long enough. I’ve bought bug spray, but it hasn’t seemed to help much.

Besides my giant 23+lb backpack I really am not outwardly showing any of the signs associated with most homeless people, namely bad smelling, darkened and hardened skin, worn out clothes, etc. I shower daily after my 30 minutes of cardio at the gym and change my clothes on a daily basis after putting on a bit of cologne.

I am really hoping to save up the $8,000 necessary for major surgery, my abdominoplasty, by Chirstmas Day, and hopefully the projections show I will be able to. We will see.

I do have two great friends who are offering their couches, which fold into beds on pretty much one night a weekly basis right now which helps break up the stress, fear, bug bites, and everything else associated with sleeping outdoors. Thanks again to them.

I guess that is it for this update one month in…oh my birthday is September 11th, less than 2 weeks from now. I had a credit with SWA so I am flying up to Seattle to see some guys I know up there and get out of San Francisco for a weekend. I also am traveling back home to Florida to see my family and to spread my grandfather on my father’s side ashes as he just passed away.

It's NOT Lipo

I am sick and tired of people commenting online and in person that I have gone homeless for liposuction…I am not fat (anymore) like a majority of Americans. I lost 100lbs and have kept it off for over a year now. gesu_01_img0010

Because I grew up heavy and my entire life until I decided to diet and exercise I was overweight, I have excess skin from a lifetime of being fat. I’ve had consultations with a few different plastic surgeons, who ALL agree that the proper procedure for me is an abdominoplasty, aka tummy tuck.

So don’t lump me in with these fat gross messes who choose not to the weight on their own…I FUCKING DID! I just want to complete the process, and finally feel good about how I look with my shirt off.

Questions and Answers

After one night on the streets, I will say that it is going to be tough, but I hope that this venture only lasts around 6 months in order to save the money I need for the first part of my surgery, aka $8,000.

It is a bit time consuming for me to answer everyone’s questions each and every time they are asked, especially since most of the questions are repeated, so I will list them here, answer them, and update this post if need be.

Q) Why are you homeless? Is it some sort of social experiment?

A) No it isn’t some sort of social experiment. I have gone through this answer numerous times here, here, here, and here. The bottom line is that I lost 100lbs and for my body to adjust properly to the weight loss, it is recommended by multiple doctors that I get an abdominoplasty, aka tummy tuck, to get rid of the excess skin and residual fat. To get my torso in the most presentable fashion, it is also recommended that I get my flanks fixed as well as the removal of my Gynecomastia, aka male breasts, treated.

Q) Why not just save up and live some where?

A) I’ve NEVER been good with money, as evidenced in the course of my 20-some years here on earth. I have a horrible credit score, I have wage garnishment for my student loans, and basically live paycheck to paycheck. I can’t get financing for a $300 credit card, and was barely able to find a bank to offer me a checking account. I’ve been with my current job a little over a year now, and lived in one of the cheapest places I’ve ever seen in San Francisco at $775/month. I would scrape by paycheck to paycheck, often not having enough for food or anything else by the time the next paycheck came along.

I lived in my car for a little over a year before, and find rent to be one of the largest and unnecessary expenses in my life. I KNOW that 99.99% of you don’t see it this way, but I do, so fuck off. While living in my car, I didn’t have a set goal, like I do now for the surgery, but I was able to afford the things I wanted and live my life in a happy manor.

Q) Where will you shower?

A) I prepaid for a 2 year gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness through this offer at Costco for $299. That works out to just under $12.50 a month. I’ve NEVER seen a gym deal that good ever. This also gets me in the gym more often, aka every day in order to work out and subsequently shower.

Q) Are you crazy?

A) Read this. Short answer no, I just don’t think the same way, or have the same priorities as you may have.

Q) How soft is cement?

A) Not at all. After my 1st night on the streets, I need to get some sort of padding, or more cushy sleeping bag.

Q) What about a hostel, or cheaper place to live?

A) A hostel in San Francisco is around $25-$45 a night, and thus more than I was paying for rent before. I want to get to my goal of $8,000 as fast as possible. This is the quickest way I know. Check out this listing for apartments in San Francisco. Do you see ONE which is less than the $775 I was paying?

Q) Where does your mail go? Where do you keep your stuff?

A) I got a PO Box 1 block away from work, and I have a friend who has graciously offered his garage to me for a 2nd time since moving to San Francisco during this period to store my stuff.

Q) Are you gay?

A) Umm yes read this.

Q) How long will this last?

A) I am trying to save up the $8,000 needed for just the abdominoplasty┬ápart of the surgeries I want. This will take around 6 months by saving on my own. I would LOVE to get all of three procedures done at the same time, but the cost is around $15,000 for all three. The tummy tuck is the one considered most prominent by the doctors I’ve seen and thus it is the one I want the most.

Q) What can I do to help?

A) Well I am taking donations on this site, just click the Nick Tuck logo. Also if you have a place to crash for a night, few nights, etc. I’ll sleep in a garage, couch, backyard, etc I don’t care. Anything is better and safer than sleeping on the streets. Other than that referrals to Doctors who might perform the operation at a lower cost/pro bono, or just an encouraging word or email goes a long way.

Q) How much are you saving per month?

A) Well with my estimated expenses and based on my income, I am able to save around $1,500 a month, which is around 5 months and a few weeks to reach my goal. I am also trying to cut back as much a possible, and spend less than $20 a day on food and all other expenses. You can follow a Twitter account I made for that goal here (@20aDay). Also my main Twitter account is @NickStarr and I have one for my procedure @NickTuck.

I hope this answers a majority of the questions I have been getting in some fashion or another. Please feel free to leave more in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, etc and I will add them to this list.


Q) Why don’t you buy a junk car and park in a paid parking lot? (Mary from the comments)

A) Mary you most likely don’t live in San Francisco. Parking lots in the city range from $300+ per month in terms of parking. I HIGHLY doubt that they allow for people to live in cars in these lots either. Paying al this extra money for expenses which I don’t need such as a car, registration, insurance, and a garage will set me even further back on my goals.