“I have a traumatic brain injury, TBI. I fell out of a tree as a kid. I was abandoned in the woods at about 19 or 18 and I was dropped off in the woods and my brother told me I was on vacation. I’m going to be celebrating 50 years of homelessness.
Three years ago, I was a renter, and I lost my room because of a family member who needed it. Since then, I haven’t been able to find anything that cheap. My expenses went up so I’ve just been staying in my vehicle. It’s hard but it’s easier than living in the creek.
I told all the housing advocates and the mayor of a 50-year plan where people like me with TBI and mentally ill people, people without any real opportunity, are integrated into the future. The homeless have major disabilities and there’s a big population that are here that have brain damage. The availability of cheap drugs on a continual basis wreaks havoc on this community. The ability to enforce any kinds of standards and norms is hampered by the inability of the government to take any action that is meaningful or coherent in order to solve the problem. The underlying solution is to take a long-term view, which is [looking at it in] 50 years. What can we do now that will have the problem solved by then?”