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I read with great interest the article on the homeless in regard to the teens riding the rail.   I have also spent the last 6 months and over 100 hours interviewing homeless individuals for a new book, How To Live Homeless In Style and I have many interesting conclusions I feel the public may like to know.  A few are below:

  • 2 million to 3 million homeless people now live in the United States, according to the National Homeless Coalition.

  • Not since the Great Depression has the United States had as many homeless and/or unemployed people.

  • Not since the Great Depression have as many homeless people chosen to hitch rides on trains. Then, railroad companies hired more security than is found today in railroad yards across the United States.

  • Railroads and railroad yards can be easily accessed. It is a main security threat in the United States. What is Homeland Security doing about it?

  • Do you know how many famous people have been homeless at some point in their lives? Check out the book and discover some of the ones who will admit it.

  • Do you know how to be homeless? In these tough economic times homeless occurs in every class level.


First, there is absolutely no reason to go hungry in the greater Chattanooga Area.  The Community Kitchen feeds up to 420 meals a day. If you want a 4th meal, go to the Chattanooga Rescue Mission.

Second, The Food Bank also does a great job helping many families with 55 pounds of food per month to deserving families through church networking in a 21 county area.

Lastly, I followed a homeless individual through a fence into an active rail yard not far behind Erlanger.  I was not challenged and took pictures of this man living in a locomotive.  This is a major homeland defense issue. Chlorine and anhydrous ammonia tank cars were nearby.  That is a lot of potential deaths with someone who wants to hurt people. If a terrorist wants to be invisible in the US, just pretend to be homeless.


Dr Robert Spalding
Signal Mtn., Tennessee




Signal MountaiLions Hear About Homelessness
by Ruth Robinson
posted July 28, 2010

"How do homeless people survive in style?" was Dr. Robert Spaulding's topic for the July 27 meeting of the Signal Mountain Lions Club, based on his recent non-fiction book of the same title and accompanied by photographs from the book.

His interest in the subject was sparked by homeless patients at his podiatry clinic near the downtown Community Kitchen.

"The Community Kitchen has a lot of services for the homeless and are doing a great job," the doctor said. They try to help people with foot needs, but send to him those with problems they cannot solve.

Over time he developed conversations with several homeless men and won their trust so that they talked with him about their lifestyle and their surroundings. "Some are safe and some are not," he said. One of the stories was Eddie's story, about a homeless man who for 25 years has wandered homelessly because he wanted to see the country. Many, like him, travel by train, riding the rails on and in boxcars to their next destination.

Church steps seem to be a popular place for some to settle down for the night, while others have created apartments for themselves in caves, under underpasses or in or near discarded buildings. One man made a cozy retreat in an abandoned railcar.

Most people never see where homeless have made their abode but places created by the homeless bob up everywhere. He had pictures of several down town which might be seen from the interstate, but usually are not noticed by those passing by.

"How To Survive Homeless In Style," is the latest of several fiction, non-fiction and children's books, which Dr. Spaulding has written, all piqued by an interest he found in his everyday life.


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