Poor, Disconnected and Living in the Cloud

TIME

Last week I turned 45. I may soon become homeless.

I am not the stereotypical candidate for homelessness: I have a BA in English and a small business as a copywriter. And yet, my situation says something about where we live now in California—somewhere between a real roof and a virtual one. When your work doesn’t demand a physical address and you’ve lost social contacts and the web of connections they provide, it’s all too easy to find yourself hovering more or less nowhere.

Earlier this year the trailer park in Ukiah where I’d been living for nine years went from generally sketchy to frankly unsafe. It was familiar and semi-affordable, but a rent hike combined with dangerously lax maintenance (a leaky roof, a heater that shorted out, and more mice than I felt comfortable sharing my space with) motivated me to take action. It was time to go.

I…

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