- Outdoors: On the ground or in a sleeping bag, tent, or improvised shelter, such as a large cardboard box, dumpster in a park or vacant lot.
- Shantytowns: Ad hoc campsites of improvised shelters and shacks, usually near rail yards, interstates and high transportation veins.
- Derelict structures: abandoned or condemned buildings
- Squatting in an unoccupied house where a homeless person may live without payment and without the owner's knowledge or permission.
- Vehicles: cars or trucks are used as a temporary or sometimes long-term living refuge, for example by those recently evicted from a home. Some people live in vans, sport utility vehicles, covered pick-up trucks, station wagons, sedans, or hatchbacks .
- Public places: Parks, bus or train stations, public libraries, airports, public transportation vehicles (by continual riding where unlimited passes are available), hospital lobbies or waiting areas, college campuses, and 24-hour businesses such as coffee shops. Many public places use security guards or police to prevent people from loitering or sleeping at these locations for a variety of reasons, including image, safety, and comfort.
- Homeless shelters: such as emergency cold-weather shelters opened by churches or community agencies, which may consist of cots in a heated warehouse, or temporaryChristmas Shelters.
- Inexpensive boarding houses: Also called flophouses, they offer cheap, low-quality temporary lodging.
- Residential hotels, where a bed as opposed to an entire room can be rented cheaply in a dorm-like environment.
- Inexpensive motels also offer cheap, low-quality temporary lodging. However, some who can afford housing live in a motel by choice. For example, David and Jean Davidson spent 22 years at a UK Travelodge.
- 24-hour Internet cafes are now used by over 5,000 Japanese "Net cafe refugees". An estimated 75% of Japan's 3,200 all-night internet cafes cater to regular overnight guests, who in some cases have become their main source of income.
- Friends or family: Temporarily sleeping in dwellings of friends or family members ("couch surfing"). Couch surfers may be harder to recognize than street homeless people.
- Underground tunnels such as abandoned subway, maintenance, or train tunnels are popular among the permanent homeless.The inhabitants of such refuges are called in some places, like New York City, "Mole People". Natural caves beneath urban centers allow for places where the homeless can congregate. Leaking water pipes, electric wires, and steam pipes allow for some of the essentials of living.
Refuges for the homeless
There are many places where a homeless person might seek refuge:
Posted by peacefrog