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Homeless on Purpose

Being homeless is one thing most of us avoid at all costs, but not this college student. Shane Dussault, a philosophy major at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, chooses to be homeless voluntarily:

Inside one of Shane Dussault’s backpacks is a laptop, a small bag of tools, a bag of electronics, and an ultra-absorbent compressed towel the size of a washcloth. In the other is a kettle, food supplies such as olive oil, fruit, cheese and bread, and a bag of toiletries. His other three possessions are a down mat, a sleeping bag, and a “bivy bag,” which is a large Gore-Tex sack.

Shane is a U1 Philosophy student at McGill, and has been homeless since July. He lives on campus, using its facilities like most of us use different rooms in a house. He eats his meals in student lounges and does push-ups in the library. He showers at the gym and stashes extra socks in convenient hiding spots. He won’t say where – he guards his possessions closely.

He also sleeps outside year round, on campus in the winter and on the mountain in the summer. Again, for his own safety and privacy, he doesn’t disclose where. Every morning, he packs up his gear and begins another typical student day – he walks to class, takes notes on his mini Acer laptop in lecture, and logs long hours in the library to stay on top of his courses. (You can usually find him in Blackader Lauterman, the Art History library in Redpath). At the end of the day, he returns to his spot and sets up again, completing what must be the shortest commute in McGill history. On the weekends, when he visits friends or goes to parties, he’s careful not to drink too much – alcohol slows the blood’s circulation, something Shane can’t risk while sleeping outside in February. And the strangest part? He does it all by choice.

Is he really homeless or is he just camping? Link - via Metafilter


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Technically I'd say yes he is homeless but a huge part of the experience for a homeless person is the despair that comes from feeling powerless to control your situation. Shane can go get a roof over his head any time he wants.

Somewhat related to this are what I call the "urban outdoorsmen" who are those who aren't suffering from a mental or physical issue that prevents them from obtaining regular housing but rather have decided that they don't want to be part of mainstream society. They tend to wander from town to town and are quite able to work odd jobs when they need some cash. They also rarely smell like bodily waste and are able to hold somewhat reasonable conversation.

At first glance everyone living on the streets may appear to be the same but there are quite a few different subcultures out there. Perhaps Shane is part of a new one starting.
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I live in Montreal and I went to McGill, and I came across this article last week.

This is a most intriguing story. I was just wondering earlier today, though - if this guy gets mail, what address is it sent to?
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I have a friend who did something similar. Except he lived in a tree house and used a Coleman camping stove to cook his meals.

Yes I would say he is "homeless" in a sense but as Jason123 stated he can get a home when or if he ever decides to and there's nothing preventing him from doing so.
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I was just wondering earlier today, though – if this guy gets mail, what address is it sent to?

Maybe student mailboxes? I don't know if they have them at McGill, but I always had them through college and grad school.
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