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By Location Alaska Albuquerque Allentown Amsterdam Anaheim Anchorage Ann Arbor Atlanta Austin Baton Rouge Bend Binghamton Boston Boulder Canada Cardiff Charlotte Chatsworth Chicago Chippenham Cleveland Columbia SC Columbus Dallas Denver Des Moines Detroit Edmonton Eugene Fayetteville Fort McMurray Fredericton Gainesville Glendale Great Falls Greensboro Harbor City Harrisburg Hawaii Hawthorne Hollywood Honolulu houston Ithaca Kalkaska Kelowna Koreatown Las Vegas Lima London London (Canada) Los Angeles Louisville Manchester Miami Minneapolis/St Paul Montreal Nashville New Orleans New York City Nickelsville Norway Oakland Ocala Oslo Ottawa Oxford Paradise Pasadena Peru Philadelphia Phoenix Pine Ridge Pittsburgh Portland Reseda Sacramento Salt Lake City San Diego San Francisco San Jose San Luis Obispo Santa Monica Saskatoon Seattle Shawnee Skid Row Springfield St John's St Louis St. Petersburg Syracuse Tacoma Tampa Toronto Traverse City Tulsa United Kingdom Vancouver Venice Beach Vermont Victoria Wales Washington DC Wentzville Westwood Wichita Wilmington Winnipeg Yellowknife By topic Addiction Advocacy Affordable housing Art and Music Awareness Charity Cold Weather College Students Community Involvement Coronavirus Couch Surfing Couple Criminalization Data Disabled Divorce Domestic violence Drug testing Education Employment Eviction Ex-convict Faith based Families Family conflict Female Financial crisis Foster care Harm reduction Health care HIV/AIDS Homeless count Homeless deaths Hostels (UK shelters) Hotels Housing First HUD Human trafficking Identification Incarceration Indigenous Invisible People Invisible Stories Job loss K2/Spice (Synthetic Marijuana) LGBT Libraries Lived Experience Male Mental illness Mobile Homeless Natural disasters NIMBY Outreach Panhandling Peer Support Pets Poverty Pregnant PTSD Public Feeding Racism Recycling Relationships Research Rural Schools Seniors Sex Offenders Sex Worker Shelters Single Parent Social Media Social Security Socks Solutions Street Soccer Survival sex System Failure Systems Change Technology Tent Cities Tiny Homes Transgender Travelers Veteran Vietnam Veteran Violence Waiting list Welfare Working poor Youth EVENTS @home contests PBS road trip road trip 2009 road trip 2010 road trip 2011 road trip 2013 to fight youth homelessness sober birthday campaign SXSW TEDx INTERVIEWS Learn More Canadian Homelessness Coronavirus and Homelessness Criminalization of Homelessness Family Homelessness Homeless Seniors Homeless Veterans Homeless Youth Homelessness Mobile Homelessness Panhandling Tent Encampments U.K. Homelessness MISCELLANEOUS 360 video Awards Cause Marketing Dream Center Gates Foundation Google Glass Media Patreon Tribute World Trade Center YouTube More Updates

Martin

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If we are going to end homelessness, we must house everyone. We cannot pick who is worthy or unworthy of housing. HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT, or it should be. I want you to like Martin, but I know some of you won’t get past parts of his story. Martin shares openly and honestly about addiction, depression, prison, and homelessness. 

Martin is homeless in Austin, Texas. His story is long. Martin rambles a little. He is a methamphetamine addict. Before you judge, I was a meth addict too. Meth and heroin are the perfect drugs to escape the pain of trauma and homelessness. I am sure many of you are thinking addiction is the cause of homelessness, and it can be; however, the vast majority of the 40 to 52 million people struggling with mental illness or substance use disorders don’t experience homelessness.

I first met Martin three years ago. Martin agreed to an interview, but he started to get emotional and stopped. So, out of respect to Martin, I never posted the video. I didn’t know until this interview that Martin was going through a severe depression. Shortly after we first met, Martin jumped off a bridge to kill himself. Two police officers saw what they thought was a bag floating down the river. When they realized it was a person, they jumped in and saved Martin’s life. 

Martin spent 25 years in prison. I don’t know what he did. It must have been awful to get that much time. But, for me, it doesn’t matter what Martin did. He is no longer in prison. Martin has always treated me with respect. Since he has been out, even as a meth user, Martin has stayed out of trouble except for getting tickets for being homeless. 

When I first met Martin, he told me that he would never go into housing. Martin actually changed my thinking. I once believed everyone would go into housing, but people who have done hard time don’t want to be in a box. 

People change. Martin is doing much better mentally, and he now wants to go inside. Martin’s story is important. He went into prison at 19, and he says 25 years later, when he was released, he was still just 19-years-old. You can judge Martin and others all you want, but it still doesn’t change the fact that exiting people from incarceration to homelessness is wrong. Even if you don’t have a heart, as taxpayers, we pay huge money for every homeless person outside. Housing people saves lives and saves money. Our criminal justice system must provide some kind of support for people when they leave jail or prison. 

Martin went into prison at a young age. Inside, you cannot show emotion. You have to be tough or your life will become harder than it already is. There are times in this interview Martin lets down his wall to show his kind soul. As I said, I don’t know what he did nor do I care. The Martin I met is doing the best he can to survive life after prison. I hope Martin gets into housing soon.


Invisible People

           

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