When I saw Evis across the street, I could hardly believe what I was seeing. Being this was New Orleans, I thought maybe it was a costume, but as I walked closer, my heart broke seeing a disabled man with a halo ring and vest brace.
I am not sure but it looked like the screws go right into his head. I had a hard time putting my thoughts into words and being honest, parts of our conversation I don’t remember. Talking to Evis was surreal. Homeless people are prioritized by what’s called a vulnerability index and Evis is clearly vulnerable.
Evis told me he suffers from degenerative disc disease and he lost three vertebrae. Evis was discharged from a hospital a month ago. He was given the option of a nursing home or the streets. For whatever reason, Evis didn’t want to go into a board and care.
For those wondering how can this happen, keep in mind there are tens of thousands of disabled homeless people out on the streets. My last trip to NOLA I met Tony, who was just released from the hospital that day. Edward was missing an arm and was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis A, B and C.
The fact is that in the richest country in the world we do not have healthcare and housing for the people who need it most. When I posted Evis photo, a few people reached out to me asking who can they call – there is no one to contact to help because there is far too much hurt and not enough help.
Everyone deserves healthcare and everyone deserves a home.