I’m writing a article about urban homesteading for NLDM, and am doing a lot of reading on the subject. In searching for stuff about urban homesteading, of course, I’m weeding through a lot of traditional (rural) homesteading information. And then I came across this site.

This site is aimed at helping new homesteaders get started. How to get rid of your mortgage and job so you can homestead. Step one, get some sort of small housing that you can pay cash for. Step two, quit your jobs. Step three, get on government assistance.

What? That is not self-sufficiency, that is relying on your neighbors to pay your expenses so you can pursue your dreams. Geez.


6 responses to “homesteading

  1. My husband and I want to do some urban homsteading after he is out of the Navy. We will never take government assistance. We qualified for WIC after our daughter was born, but didn’t take it because we DIDN’T NEED IT!

    Crazy crazy crazy

  2. Yeah, we’ve qualified for WIC (and also for Hawk-i, Iowa’s free health care for kids) most (if not all) years since we had Wally, but we haven’t applied/taken it because, though some years it’s been super super tough, we really haven’t needed it.

  3. I have an article in my Mother Earth News-remind me to bring it in the next time I am over. I can’t believe using the gov. comes into play. Most of the types who are into this (us included to some extent) want to be totally off the map. Nothing-including electricity, gas, water. Why take food help from Uncle Sam?

  4. I doubt erin and her husband will refuse all the veterans’ benefits the government provides once he is out of the Navy. Just saying.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with people going on HAWK-I to help cover the cost of their kids’ health insurance, or taking food stamps or other public assistance.

    I think the number of able-bodied, easily employable people who are quitting their jobs solely in order to go on public assistance is negligible. The people I have known who have been on HAWK-I or taken food stamps were truly in need (having recently been divorced, laid off from their jobs, etc.).

    In terms of small housing you can pay cash for, the tiny Tumbleweed homes look very cute. Some of them are so small that they supposedly get around zoning restrictions in a lot of locations. (That is, you could park them on someone else’s property, if they were willing to let you.) However, those appear to be more appropriate for a single person or a couple with no kids. Still, the Tumbleweed homes that are big enough for three or four people seem quite reasonably priced. You wouldn’t need a lot of land for one.

  5. Though this is not the direction this post was headed, I think there are large quantities of people on welfare who don’t really need to be. The goal of people who receive government assistance should be to get off of it as soon as they are able. Being truly needy and using the safety net to get back on your feet is of course perfectly acceptable.

    I agree, I doubt hordes of people are quitting their jobs to go on government assistance.

    But the whole point of the website in question was Self-Sufficiency. They talked about it incessantly. And at the same time advocated using government health care because it was free. Well, it’s not free…it’s just paid for by all their neighbors. Their neighbors who have jobs. I’m not saying everyone needs to work for the Man. But bragging up self-sufficiency while you’re taking government assistance is a bit…uh…disingenuous. It was startling to find that, and it was among the first pages that popped up when searching for Urban Homesteading.

    PS – IMO, and of course this is only my opinion, veterans benefits are different from welfare/assistance programs. Those people EARNED every bit of whatever benefits they get. Particularly those who are stationed overseas, away from their families, in harm’s way. Since the government is their employer, I see little difference between a soldier/sailor/Marine/whatever you call coast guard people taking advantage of the benefits offered to them and my own family taking advantage of the health care provided through Randy’s work, their tuition assistance program, their mental health services (which I’ve never used, for the record, though have often considered), whatever else they offer. Then again, perhaps there are differences that I don’t really know about because I’m just not all that aware of veteran’s benefits.

  6. I was looking up blogs on homesteading and came across your post. I agree, it’s a little disconcerting to find people claiming self-sufficiency, but then relying on the government assistance.

    I myself do not have a problem with government assistance if it’s used for the right reasons – but if you cannot afford to take care of yourself, and make the decision to go self-sufficient, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    Thanks for your post!

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