John - Invisible People


John is relativity famous in Portland, Oregon. I first heard about him while talking to a barista at Starbucks. One of the other employees has started work on a documentary about John’s homeless life. Then, […]


John is relativity famous in Portland, Oregon. I first heard about him while talking to a barista at Starbucks. One of the other employees has started work on a documentary about John’s homeless life. Then, after walking back from a meeting with a small group of people, one of my friends starts sharing the story of an interaction with a homeless person she had earlier. No sooner does she end the story and there’s John! I introduce myself and start sharing about my work, but before I could finish, John pulls out an Invisible People business card I had left at the Starbucks earlier. It’s as if we were meant to find each other.

John is very candid about how he ended up homeless. At 9 years-old he was molested and abused. For most of his young life he repressed all of the horrible memories. Then in his 30s, the memories started to surface causing PTSD. John eventually was unable to work. He lived in his car for a bit, but when his car was towed, his only choice was homelessness.

For nearly 7 years, John drifted throughout the south, spending most of his time in small towns in Texas. John’s self-esteem was at it’s lowest. He didn’t take care of himself. He didn’t wash or clean! At the time, John weighed over 300lbs and survived by eating thrown-away chicken and donuts out of dumpsters.

John has always been a spiritual person. One night, outside a Chili’s restaurant in Texas, John saw a vision of Christ. In John’s own words “it helped me regain my heart a little bit, and I have been climbing ever since.”

John says that most folks don’t realize that the homeless people you see are “the walking wounded.” Many have been abused beyond imagination, and everyone has a story.

John’s third wish is that Christianity start acting out of kindness. He’d like to see people act out of kindness and love instead of preaching and being judgmental. Amen to that!

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  • I just want to reach out and hug John – what a wonderful person. Its about time we came together to end homelessness. There is far too much waste in this world, and not enough compassion.

  • Hey there,

    I wanted to say great profile on John Michael. I am currently producing the documentary on him and homelessness, called The Last American Adventure, @AmAdventureDoc and I was hoping you could provide a link within your fantastic profile on John to our documentary:




    Thanks for your work!

  • Jesus Christ said: feed My sheep, take care of the weak. What (you) do to “them” you have done unto Me. Care for them , Give to their need. Amen (Light of Faith) Praise God = Love 🙂

  • What people need to UnderStand Is the TRUTH you are :always: going to have the POOR among you . The point that I’m trying to say is this, be a GIVER . Because everything you have was GIVEN to you •SHARE• and it to will be shared with you 🙂 Amen

  • Bruce,

    We want to keep the conversation open to everyone. Please limit your comments to an actual response on the topic and not just religious preaching.

    Last time you left a bunch of religious comments we had to delete them. One comment is enough, and the religious talk does not help the conversation. We need less talk and more action, which if you watched John’s story to the end, he asked the same thing.

    Thank you

  • Agathe

    The John’s story is very horrible : how we can live with a past like John past’s ?
    I feel sympathy toward him, it’s a strong person with a big heart and his person means the hope, the kindness and the sweetness.
    It’s hard to listen these stories because we don’t know how to help they and during that I watch this video, John and other homeless are outside and me, I’m in warm and comfort.

    I’ve the new vision for the homeless, and I’m distraught to see a high disparity in our society.

    Thank you for your story John !!

  • Hobo John

    Hey Folks, I had forgotten about this interview, I am living in Idaho right now. thank for your comments. You can reach me face book John Michael

  • terry wagar

    The Portland police and Multnomah county sheriff’s are womanizing with other people’s wives and are giving these women permission to poison off relatives and the police/county sheriff’s are framing these women’s victims as pedophiles so no one will care!

    The Portland police and Multnomah county sheriff’s and the Portland FBI are suppressing any and all complaints on these officer’s and their civilian girlfriends and news media ignores it!

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