While actual homelessness can help a person to really focus on their problems and begin to make some fundamental changes, the transitional phase–what I call pre-homelessness–can just be a confusing time for the person, as he or she hangs onto some kind of stable residence. I bounced in and out of a couple of shelters before becoming actually homeless, and lived in a couple of barely adequate rooming houses as well. I also lived in my car for a time, fooling myself into thinking that I was not homeless! Fundamental change can be brought to bear when the person finally accepts the “bottom” of actual homelessness. I was in that situation for about a year and during that time got on some important psychiatric help and began working again (low end jobs, for sure) while saving money for a rental deposit and first-last month’s rent. More importantly, I began to assess some of my longstanding life patterns and decision-making in a more cogent way. It’s a long story, but it was ACTUAL homelessness that led me to seek the kind of help I needed at the time.