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University of Copenhagen student forced to live in his car

Musicology student eats, sleeps and works in his small Skoda hatchback. His 'address' has been the Faculty of Humanities' parking lot

22-year old Casper Rosenkilde studies Musicology at the University of the Copenhagen. He’s also homeless.

He has started a Facebook page, where people can see how he gets on in his temporary home – a red Skoda Felicia. Danish-language news-site Uniavisen visited him and his car on a dark and cold Friday night in a parking lot at the Faculty of Humanities KUA.

Check out the gallery here and below.

How did you become homeless?

“I was studying Biotechnology until the summer, but opted for Musicology instead because music and song’s always been my passion. I had a room in a residence hall that I wasn’t allowed to keep because I changed courses, and so was asked to leave by 30 September.”

“Problem was: I didn’t have a place to go, so most of my things are now in storage. I packed the most essential bits of clothing, toiletries etc. in a single bag and two boxes, and now I live in my Skoda.”

What’s it like living in a car?

“It’s a bit like being at a festival. Everything is a hassle; there’s no bath and although I live in the car it isn’t really a home. On a positive note, I’ve discovered that I really don’t need that many things to get by.”

“This affords me the room to have a mattress in the car – I’ve removed the backseats and put even more of my stuff in storage. Most days, I sleep on friends’ sofas – the car is simply too cold this time of year. People are very kind and accommodating, and gladly offer for me to crash at theirs. People have also offered me their bed, when they were staying at their boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s.”

What about food and laundry?

“I’ve stocked up on festival-foods – tuna, corn, mackrel, biscuits and cocoa. I eat a lot of junk these days because I haven’t got a kitchen or a fridge. I visit my grandparents every weekend, and wash my clothes and relax there.”

You must be saving a lot of money not having to pay rent?

“Lots of people think I’m loaded, but it’s actually pretty expensive to be homeless. I drive approx. 1.000 km every month, which really adds up. On top that, I’m paying for storage and it’s expensive to get take-aways in the long run!”

How is your situation affecting your studies?

“I spent much more time on campus than I would if I had a proper place to live. It’s actually had a positive effect on my studies not having anywhere to go after lectures. Among other things, I have joined four different choirs.”

“I also have a little keyboard in my car that can be connected to my iPad. I spend a lot of time practising for my various Musicology modules. My friends joke that I have a all sorts of expensive gadgets, like an iPad and an iPhone, but no home. I do miss my guitar though, but I’ve no room for it in the car.”

What are you doing to find somewhere to live?

“Ever since it was announced that I had to move out, I’ve been on the urgent waiting list for 1,200 student flats in Copenhagen. I haven’t been offered a place yet. One of my friends was on the list for three months before she got a place. I also apply for places in different groups on Facebook, but it’s difficult. Although I come from a town that isn’t so far away, it isn’t really a possibility to move back home.”

After a brief tour of his Skoda-home, we say our goodbyes. Casper has got lucky with a sofa-date tonight, and does not, tonight, have to stay in the miserable windy parking lot.

Photos by Rasmus Preston.

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