Free Binghamton, NY
Former factory-town, filled with hicks and criminals from the city (NYC), full of cheap, easily-accessible drugs, with cheap housing compared to most areas of the US. Binghamton is divided into four parts: North, South, East and West. The North is full of suburban white kids mixed with poor black communities. Here you have K-Mart and Best Buy, easy picking for shoplifters, just be careful for CorpSercurity.
There's not much to see in downtown Binghamton, except for maybe State St., which is just a bunch of grimy-ass nightclubs and bars. In the alley of the Rat on State St., there's usually heroin junkies hanging around past 2 or 3AM.
Behind the Conklin Ave Giant supermarket on the south side, there's a ridiculous amount of cocaine going around, and crack is beginning to popularize in this area. Throughout the rest of the city, there aren't too many other notable drug areas. Being that there's both an assload of kids that grew up in Binghamton and would never have the balls to hurt somebody, and an assload of criminals sent up from the city (hence why NYC is the safest large city today) that won't hesitate to shoot the fuck out of you: watch who you're dealing with.
Keep in mind that Binghamton and the surrounding area is an economically-depressed area, so don't expect to be able to find a job. SUNY is the only thing that continues to employ enough people to keep the city functioning today.
Downtown, there're shitloads of cops with not too much to do. Statistically, the city of Binghamton has the highest number of cops per capita in the entire state of New York as well as an annual law enforcement budget that grows every year as more and more people flee the economically depressed city. The same applies for downtown Johnson City and Endicott, as well. The town of Vestal is noted for housing SUNY Binghamton, and therefore having an extremely high Jewish and Asian population. Most of Vestal are rich, law-abiding citizens with an extremely oversized police force, so really watch your ass around Vestal. Areas such as Conklin and parts of Kirkwood are now great towns to lay low and do whatever the fuck you feel like, following a disastrous flood in June of 2006. There are little businesses now, dense drug-usage, and ridiculous amounts of abandoned houses. The only police you would find would be the sheriff's department on the main roads, such as Conklin Rd (NY-RT 7) and US-RT 11. If you have nowhere to sleep, the large number of abandoned houses in these areas should satisfy you.
Several shelters on Main St/Court St in Binghamton, as well as most churches throughout the area. Many abandoned houses and businesses in the low-lying areas of Broome County due to a major flood in June of 2006, notably Conklin.
The Binghamton branch of the Broome County Public Library on Court St. is noted for all of the bums that come in and sleep during the day on the comfy couches, and just hide somewhere during closing and sleep throughout the night. You can do this if you want, but apparently they're "cracking down" on this, even though you can walk in and find at least 5 people at any time with a news paper covering their faces, sleeping.
There are soup kitchens on the south side of Binghamton, parallel to Conklin Rd. on Vestal Av. (if going towards Vestal, take a left of Conklin Rd. near the Exchange St. bridge, there's one right before St. John's, a large Catholic church). There is also a soup kitchen (Salvation Army) on Washington St, between Court and Hawley Sts.
There is also a Food Not Bombs Chapter that serves free vegetarian meals every Sunday morning at the Lutheran Redeemer Church on the corner of Main and Chapin in the Westside.
Planned parenthood, free clinics, free medical advice, Medicare resources, low-cost clinics, etc.
Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling
One of the most prominent landmarks is the old abandoned Masonic Temple on Main street. On the corner of Main and Chapin, this building is one of the largest structures in the Westside standing at around 5 feet. While the doors are locked and there are plenty of cops prowling around, there are ways of getting in if you are resourceful, just make sure no one notices you and you have a way out. There are several other spots around Binghamton that are great for exploring, but this spot is the most impressive.
Binghamton is named "Carousel Capital of the World," because it has 5 carousels. These are all free, and if you ride on all of them, you get a carousel pin from the zoo. Great for kids or for chasing that slow buzz of dizziness. Woohoo.
Ross Park Zoo Morgan Road, Town of Binghamton
Mid-sized zoo with a carousel and playground. Go up Pennsylvania Ave on the south side of Binghamton (going down Conklin Ave towards Vestal, right before Conklin Ave turns into route 434/the Vestal Parkway, take a left on Pennsylvania Ave), and follow the signs for it.
Discovery Center Morgan Road, Town of Binghamton
Located right next-door to the Ross Park Zoo, has some cool stuff if you have younger kids (under 12)
Recreation Park Beethoven Street, City of Binghamton (West Side)
Located next to Seton Catholic Central High School on the West side of Binghamton. Has a carousel and some picnic tables, playground, pool, tennis courts, baseball field, free concerts on most Fridays in the summer.
C. Fred Johnson Park C.F.J. Boulevard, Johnson City
Contains tennis courts, a carousel, a baseball field, and a playground. Sucks.
Highland Park Hooper Road, Endwell
Has a swimming pool, wading pool, carousel, picnic tables, tennis courts, playground, volleyball nets.
George W. Johnson Park Oak Hill Avenue, Endicott
Located on the north side of Endicott, has a carousel, pool w/ bathhouse, picnic areas, baseball field, and playground.
West Endicott Park Page Avenue, Endicott
This place has a carousel, tennis courts, playground, picnic area, and a kiddie pool.
Be prepared for any type of weather. One day could be 85 degrees out and humid, while the next is 50 degrees and pouring rain, and then the next is a great day, in the 70s, sunny, etc. The weather around here is extremely unpredictable. The winters are very harsh, usually around zero with a snowstorm about once every 2 weeks, usually bringing at the least, half of a foot of snow, usually upwards to 2 feet.
Traffic isn't too bad, except during rush hour, obviously. Try and stay away from the Vestal Parkway, the flyover from the mall to the parkway, and Main St. during rush hour, because traffic can sometimes end up a complete stop.
Cable channels 2, 3, 5, 6, and 16 are all local news stations, with channel 16 running constant news. Channel 4 is a public access channel, so most of the time it displays events around the area, along with constant weather forecast for the next week or so scrolling along the top, as well as the time and date at the bottom.
Any other freebies
The bus system covers a good portion of the city of Binghamton, Vestal, Endicott, Endwell, Johnson City, and Dickinson, as well as some stops in Conklin and Kirkwood and a few in other very small towns.
If you need a cab, Yellow Cab is recommended, or failing that, Courtesy Cab. These two have the cheapest rates and least odourous drivers. If you need a cab and have no money, go with some random cab company and just ditch them when they stop where you want to get off, because most of the smaller, rundown taxi cars have no door locks. If you happen to get in the cab with no money and notice that the locks work, tell them to let you out at a specific house, and then tell them you have to go get your money from your house and that you'll be right back. Guess what the next step is? Book the fuck out of there. This applies everywhere, not just Binghamton, obviously.
Free Clothing and Furniture
Salvation Army Griswold St. Binghamton
Nearly New Shop 100 Main St. Binghamton
Rescue Mission 1139 Upper Front St. Binghamton
Salvation Army E. Main St. Endicott
As with most cities, just bum around some areas and watch to see which neighborhoods have garbage out and what day it is and if the garbage was picked up already or not, and keep it written down somewhere, and then just lurk around those areas the night before pickup day. Doesn't take much common sense. I've never gone as far as to document which areas have pickup at what days of the week, but if you just drive around right before it gets dark out (so you can see furniture and whatnot) and look for furniture outside. I know that if you take the East exit out of SUNY campus (just drive around the main road on campus and find it), you come to the neighborhood Ster Track of Vestal, and the pickup day for most of that neighborhood is Monday morning, and it is a very nice neighborhood, so you're bound to find something in OK quality on Sunday night.
See Assorted Freebies Section, provide details for this city, including other topics. Whatever fits and is useful.
Common sense applies, nothing too special. Avoid projects at night (mainly larger ones such as Saratoga Heights/Terrace off of Conklin Ave. on Felters Rd, the Webster Ct apartments and the entire area behind the Conklin Ave Giant market, and near the Kmart on State St. on the North side of Binghamton.), try and find a quiet residential neighborhood (even rural if you want to walk far enough, usually an hour walk max from anywhere in the area) if you need to sleep somewhere. Use your head a little. If you're going to be homeless, at least get some sort of knife or a gun to carry concealed with you, and don't sleep on a main road.