On my third day I began to learn the struggles of being homeless. I realized most homeless people don’t have bikes or other modes of transportation, so they are pretty much land locked to an area where they can walk to get what they need. It makes sense why they congregate in one small area. Add addiction, amount of stuff they carry, people they associate with, and territory they might try to hold down, and that leaves them stuck. It’s not easy being homeless, and there’s so much to think about. I continue to shred gear. Everything is a liability and you have to protect the little you have. I realized that I can only have one bag, and I have to make that bag as light as I can, having only the bare minimum to survive and record this work. The only way to reach Homeless people is to go in there and spend time with them on their playing field.
I feel deep empathy for the people I see homeless and think what it might be like to be stuck. I am always moving, planning, mapping, and creating things to do for myself. I believe all these people deserve a better life. Jasmine said she prefers heroin over fentanyl and she wants a place to live. She sleeps on a mattress behind a dumpster at the moment.
I have heard this before from old heroin users about how crappy fentanyl is. What if instead of Suboxone and Methadone, opioid dependants were prescribed heroin. It seems like these people are allowed to kill themselves in the street, why not give them simple homes, and give them the drugs they want while offering them treatment if they want it on a daily basis? Why must they suffer in the open elements using garbage drugs that are poisoning them to death? I don’t know what the answers are, but feel free to share your thoughts.
4:30 a.m. I woke up early, but I laid down at 8pm the night before. My sleep was better but still a bit rocky. I slept on the beach. I don’t like the sand, I’m afraid it will get into my devices or the gears of my bike, but it’s better to sleep on sand than concrete or wet grass. I began working on writing the blog
6:30 a.m. I farted-around the L-street Bath house charging my phones and continuing to write the day 2 blog and then headed to Atkinson Street on Methadone Mile.
11:15 a.m. I parked my bike at the Phoenix on New Market st. then started walking towards Atkinson St. to see if I could get some audio or video interviews. I met a man named Adam on the way who didn’t want to be filmed. He said he was at the Gavin house recently and hooked up with some girl he met off tinder, they went on a date and he started drinking with her, it was all down hill from there. Adam said when he gets sober his libido kicks into overdrive and his addictive tendencies get focused on women. Adam said he likes uppers like crack and cocaine and uses fentanyl go to sleep at night and he likes to drink. I noticed most people don’t like to be on camera so I offer audio.
I reached Atkinson st and everyone I talked to in the crowded street of tents, drugs, and people refused to be interviewed, so I worked my way over to the less crowded side street.
on the side street I met up with York who gave me a 10 minute interview. His story was interesting and it seemed that he was working to better himself, get off of drugs, but yet he still comes back to the Ave to visit friends.
After I met up with York, I met a nice woman who introduced herself as bad Apple, who I would later find out is named Jasmine. Jasmine and I walked to a calm location where she gave me a long 1 hour interview.
1:20 p.m. Once I was done with Jasmine’s interview I was exhausted mentally. I decided to go to the Boston public library to charge my phones and upload my videos to YouTube.
I had no plans, I was hoping to see the homeless man I had met my first night. He had mentioned he likes to hang out at the Boston library. The library is so huge I gave up on the idea of looking for CA. I decided to call my friend Joe who is a good friend of mine who lives in Cambridge. Joe is a man that had experienced a rough life, which included many years in prison and many years homeless. I met Joe through a men’s support group for ex-incarcerated men that myself in another addiction specialist named Tommy Ward created about 3 years ago called prison to prosperity.
Joe is a miracle, he was severely alcoholic sleeping on a grate near city hall for warmth in the winter. Joe credits Dr. Jim O’Connell of Bostons Healthcare for the homeless for saving his life, and putting him on the path to recovery.
Joe came to pick me up in his car and I left my bike locked up at the library. It was good to spend some time with my good friend Joe and his dog Buddy.
This last picture is an old one of me and Joe
6:00 p.m. Joe dropped me off at my bike around 6pm I rode over to stop and shop in South Boston got some grapes, seafood salad, and yogurt drink things for dinner.
6:50 p.m. I went and got my stuff I left at L-street Bath house, and found a nice spot to sleep. While I was setting up camp a nice young woman approached me with a pizza box, she said her name was Holly, I accepted the gift, and she asked if I was homeless. I said I was, but exclaimed there are many people worse off than myself. I felt deep compassion for all those in this world suffering, and became grateful for my circumstances.