If you are a poor person living in a different state, and you are considering coming to North Dakota, I have some advice and some warnings for you. If you are White Trash, and you don’t plan on buckling down before you get here, you will probably be stopped by the police your first day here, your information will be collected, and every time a police car gets behind you in Williston, Watford City, or Dickinson, your information will show up from when you were last stopped. They will try to get you for everything and anything that White Trash normally do: open container, DUI, drug paraphernalia, illegal drugs, drugs without a prescription, concealed weapon, failure to have vehicle insurance, and possession of stolen property.
Keep this in mind, I know someone this happened to, and I have read about it being done elsewhere. You can be arrested for possession of stolen property, placed in handcuffs, placed in a police car, be processed at the jail, have your photo taken, post bail, have court dates set, for “possession of stolen property”. After several months pass, and your court date nears, and you have obtained legal representation, and some legal filings have been made, the prosecutor may dismiss the case against you because they can’t prove that anything in your possession at the time of your arrest was stolen. You never did have any stolen property in your possession, but you were acting like White Trash, and the police in North Dakota will try every minute of every day to incarcerate you, or make you leave, they don’t care which. You will see for yourself if you don’t believe me.
If you are a poor person living in a different state, and you want to come to North Dakota, I want to warn you that it will be very difficult in a number of different ways. Because of the number of people who have tried to move to North Dakota since 2007, the local people here and the transplanted people here have no sympathy or mercy for anyone. The local people hate people from out of state now. Any problems that you may have, you will not find help, but you will find hatred.
If you have an older vehicle that is not in good condition, everyone here will notice you right away, treat you with scorn, assume you are White Trash, and expect that you will get out of your car and begin asking people for gas money. And if you do begin trying to tell people your hard luck story, several people will call the police immediately, and then you will have a hard luck story to tell involving the police, (see paragraph two above.) That is how you will be treated, and you need to know this before you come here.
If you have vehicle problems, and you have a credit card, you probably can get your vehicle repaired within a week at a car dealer, but know that it will be expensive. If you expect to not pay dealer prices and take your vehicle to a mechanic, you will probably be told that they can get to your vehicle in six weeks. They don’t want to hear your crying, they have about thirty people just as poor as you, in the same situation as you, ahead of you in line.
There is no homeless shelter in Dickinson or Watford City. God knows the Catholics in Dickinson collectively have way more than enough money to have a homeless shelter, but they don’t want one, because they hate you. You will not have any sympathy or mercy for being homeless in Dickinson, you will have hatred and scorn. You will not be left alone if you try to sleep in your vehicle. The truck stops, WalMart, the parks will not allow you to sleep in your vehicle. Retired Catholic couples in Dickinson like to go out to eat breakfast or lunch, then afterwards go driving through the parks, parking lots, and truck stops to spot people sleeping in their cars, and then call the police to report suspicious illegal activity. In their minds, all people who sleep in their vehicles are naer-do-wells, up to no good suspicious illegal activities, and they are just “cleaning out the trash”.
If you are poor, you will probably not be able to afford an apartment. Even though apartment rents have gone down, a cheap one bedroom apartment will probably be $750 per month, with $750 deposit due at the same time, with probably a $200 utility deposit due at the same time. Do you have $1,700 for an apartment, $300 gas money to get over here and drive around, $300 for a motel for a couple of days, $200 for food, that’s $2,500? You probably don’t if you are poor.
Everything that I wrote above is the truth, and I wanted you to know it before you try to come to North Dakota. I do have some suggestions to try to help you. Right now there are very few job openings in North Dakota. Look at all the jobs listed on the internet website Indeed.com for Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston. Also look on the North Dakota Job Service website for all jobs in Dickinson, Watford City, and Williston. See if there are any jobs that you can do. Get a resume together, even if it is just a job history with employer names and dates of employment. Remember, North Dakota employers are simple, direct people, and they are looking for simple, direct, truthful answers, nothing fancy. Call or contact the job listings that you can do, and be ready to write down names, phone numbers, dates, and addresses. Don’t be a pain in the ass on the telephone with an employer asking a bunch of questions, as if you are helpless to figure things out for yourself, they are not the convention and visitors bureau, they are an employer.
At this time, I would not drive to North Dakota from out of state unless I had one good firm specific offer of employment, and at least two other employers that I had spoken to that were willing to give me a try if I got here. Don’t load up your entire family! If you have any friends or family where you are, or if your spouse has a job, let your spouse and family stay behind, they are much safer staying where they are, and you might have to go back. Probably about 60% to 70% of out of state workers return to where they came from within a year. Just the person who has the job offer needs to come.
Currently in western North Dakota, I know of two older motels that have a monthly rate of $650. This is where you want to stay when you first get to North Dakota. You do not want to get committed in a lease before you know how your job will turn out. Even as you get your first pay checks, do not get into an apartment lease, you need to save these first several pay checks. At your new job, you need to be aware that North Dakotans are slow thinkers, they are taking in the things that you say, and they are trying to think what to do with it. North Dakotans are sometimes determined to not like people, the friendliest they will ever be is when they first meet you, which is not too friendly, but they will take in what you say, consider it, and begin to hate you more and more. Things that you talk about that may seem ordinary, your North Dakota co-workers may be using to convince themselves more and more that they do not like you. So you may have thought that things were going well at your new job, but after a few weeks your North Dakota co-workers may say that you just can’t do anything right, and you will need to find another job. Save as much money as you can from your first pay checks, you may unexpectedly have to go home.