John has lived on the streets of Austin homeless for close to four years. He tries to do things differently by keeping to himself and staying away from common areas.
John spent most of his life locked up in prison. John shared that he has spent more time in prison than he has spent on the streets. Before you judge John, whatever he did, he has done his time and has been released. Our criminal justice system does almost nothing to help ex-convicts get back into society. Many end up on the streets homeless, and as taxpayers, you pay for their homelessness.
John suffers from mental illness and other health issues. He says he is working with good case managers and is on a list to be housed soon. John believes that how people are selected for housing is obsolete and needs to be redone. His basis for this is the fact that homeless people can be on a housing list for years and never get into housing. John is a smart man.
John went on to give more suggestions on homeless services and case management. He believes and I agree that some people need help transitioning from a life of prison and then homelessness into housing.
At the end, John invited me to visit his new apartment when he gets housing. Just so happens I will be in Austin for SXSW early next year and hope to visit John in his castle!