Some people just do not want to live like everybody else. This summer I would occasionally pass a gentleman who lived in this boat, very close to the center of The Towns. He had a nice view of the fjord in one direction, and a nightmarish knot of highways in all other directions. Strategically this meant that, even though he was in plain view, he wasn't really in anybody's way and it would also be hard to sneak up on him.
He's left now, it seems. He had problems all summer in supporting his tarps so they wouldn't sag. Maybe he got cold. Maybe the Port Authority started being a pain in his ass.
He certainly did not need to live like this. If he had filled out the proper forms and stayed sober six hours in a row on a couple of occasions so he could talk coherently to social workers, he would be rewarded with a standard of living that would make half the world ghasp. In stead he tried to do things his own way as long as the weather permitted. Living rough is often the result of pride, not shamelessness.