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Elizabeth Standridge: Okay this interview with Charlie Early and Anita Lott is being conducted as a part of an exhibit called Home is Not a House focusing on homelessness and housing that will be exhibited at the Louisville Free Public Library from October 15 to December 15 2019. My name is Elizabeth Standridge and I am a student at the University of Louisville working on this exhibit. Today is July 22, 2019 and we are at their apartment. Also here with us is TJ Martin, their case manager whjo many chime in occasion and also may have to leave the interview a little bit early. So o get started could you both give me a brief personal background including what is your name and when and where you were born?

Anita Lott: Mhm.

ES: So Anita would you like to start?

AL: Anita Lott. I was born in Wiggins, Mississippi in '61.

ES: And Charlie?

Charlie Early: My name is Charlie Early and I was born in Chattanooga, 1:00Tennessee. I'm age 65, soon to be 66 in September. And I came from Chattanooga Tennessee to the state of Alabama, I left the state of Alabama went back to Tennessee, left the state of Tennessee, went back to Arkansas, left the state of Arkansas went back to Chattanooga went to the state of Alabama, and now conclude my journey here in Louisville, Kentucky.

ES: Alright and so with that could you all give me a brief personal background with respect to how many siblings you had and a little bit of early family history?

CE: Alright I have two daughters, Yolanda and Rhonda. I have eleven grandkids, and six great grandkids from those two beautiful daughters and I'm very fond of them and I do kind of miss them but being [unintelligible] as I have and being 2:00abandoned as I was, I said my journey started from Chattanooga, about six years ago I met Anita, she was homeless at the time and we went into a truce. I was really concerned about her well being, being out on the street. I knew I couldn't afford to set her up or anything so I made her tell me what she wanted to do and during that time she told me she couldn't see and her balance was off and she didn't have nobody left that concerned herself with her. So I told her look Ill leave my sister and come out and help you if you promise me that when you get somebody that you will do the right thing for the rest of your life. So 3:00she told me that she cant be by herself. She say yes I can do that. So what we did from that point on I left my sister and I got out on the street with her. And so our journey started, we stayed in Chattanooga roughly 18 months before we departed and went to Huntsville, Alabama. We went there and we remained there for another year perhaps and a half. Things got a little [unintelligible] and we couldn't find a place to live. Everybody would turn us down, we did take up a place in a hotel, I think the name of the hotel was

AL: I couldn't think. It wasn't a good one

CE: It wasn't a good hotel.

AL: and we couldn't keep it up, it cost too much to try and do it.


CE: So after staying there roughly like I said a year and half, we left and went back to Chattanooga in hopes that perhaps I could get housing and so we went back there and I was unable to get it due to my past history, I had had some criminal background and they wouldn't allow me to have housing even though I had a small check due to my disability. And my disability is I'm paranoid schizophrenic bipolar. I take medications to keep me in the zone where I can partially function even though it fluctuates at times and causes me to drift off this way or that way. And that's where Anita comes in at, what she does then is she corrects me and she pulls me to the side and says wait a minute you know you're doing the wrong thing your about to do the wrong thing so lets sit down and think. So she pull me to the side and I become accustomed to that the same 5:00thing is when she walks down the street she [unintelligible] flops down on the street right there, without any reason without anything being [unintelligible]

AL: that was before my accident wasn't it?

CE: Yes that was before the accident.

AL: I don't know why [unintelligible]

CE: we actually, we care for each other, that is our functioning. why she seek out someone that she can be comfortable with and can go on with her life and in the mean time I can sit back and enjoy all this and learn from it. Its an experience that I don't think a lot of people would want to, but the challenge is what were about. Men love challenges, love to be able to achieve something. So we left Chattanooga, went back to Alabama, same routine, we're back to the point of where we can help you all, but it never happens. Now for living , we 6:00have lived under bridges, we have lived in cardboard boxes

AL: we did that for two years.

CE: Where you take the cardboard box and reconstruct the cardboard by putting on layers of cardboard by stacking it.

AL: and you wont get wet

CE: and you wont get wet, you wont get cold

AL: you'll sweat.

CE: you'll sweat. There is a lot of sweating in there. You know you're in the middle of the winter so you know you sweating in the middle of the winter. So your covers will get damp and wet you know. You perspiring. So its just horrible. You have to have you a little bucket or something where you can build you a fire. So while she is laying there, practically chilling from the sweat, I have to build a fire and keep us warm. I have to make sure that we have food. Like I said its been a real hectic journey. But the good thing is we wind up 7:00here in Louisville, and within three months St. Johns and the Coalition for the Homeless took us in, did an assessment, and made life comfortable for us. Letting us know that there is some people here in Louisville that really care and we highly appreciate that.

AL: Oh and we went to the Coalition for help in Tennessee and they said they don't do housing at all in Tennessee.

CE: Yeah, and that's in Tennessee. They have no housing. They have what they call Section 8 program. And the Section 8 Program works like this; if you submit your name it will be randomly selected. And if you pop up in there they'll talk 8:00to you and its about a three year process for housing and we don't have time due to our age and everything and due to Anita gets sick easy. The burden has been real trying and I have to digest that because I made here a promise, I would not let her down, I would not leave her, I would not let her get exposed to the environment that I took her from. And I'm telling you it was really something to be used by people. Now Anita can tell her story better than I can, but it trickled down, Anita was rich, she was once a millionaire so she came down all the way down, when I say all the way down I mean all the way down.

AL: with nothing. Im talking about zero. I had a little car.


CE: I'm not at liberty to state her situation, because I think that if she want someone to know that then she would be the proper person to display it, so like I said I keep my mouth shut when it comes to Anita. You see I mean she is a beautiful and wonderful person, someone that you can feel comfortable with in knowing that what you do is worth the time is worth the time that you have taken out to help. Help is one thing but to help to say its help and not be help and just use people is one thing and that's a lot of things that go on around us and around the world. Even though the situation may seem drastic and immature and unnecessary, it is necessary for us to survive, for the homeless to survive we 10:00have to have help. Like I said St. John has done a tremendous job, the Coalition has done a tremendous job, this is why you see these things that we have. We appreciate the help that people that people give us, this is not something that we accept the help and we just floating on this, that is not the intent. Like I said I'm sick, I only get $750, $771. That's my monthly income and that's all I have to work and that's shared between the two of us. So you could understand the food, the rent, insurance, clothes, furnitures, everything must be drawn from $771. And when I said the Coalition and St. John has been a tremendous help, its no way that we could do this without them, without the support from 11:00this community and Louisville, Kentucky. Like I said Louisville has been the greatest thing to happen to us in six years. Now we've been here a year and approximately 2 months, were right at two months. They stand by when were in a real downward slope they provide for us. They provide programs and access to the programs, like life skills where they bring us together and teach us how to communicate and start ot build confidence back in ourselves and in the people around us. That's the unique thing about St. John and the Coalition for the homeless.

AL: and we didn't get any help anywhere else we went did we?

CE: no we was [unintelligible]

AL: That's why I ended up in the hospital, I was getting pneumonia all the time.

CE: [unintelligible] like I said people don't understand when you inside tents 12:00and boxes and stuff, you cutting off all circulation because you want to protect yourself from the elements and all the [unintelligible] from insects and rodents and all this. And so you've got to keep practically everything around you clean and so I wish I had my phone, I had pictures of each of these settings that we were in, but the phone got taken while we was at I think It was Phoenix. I was charging it and stepped out and the phone was gone. But as you seen here it's the same way it was in the bridge, that's the same way it was in the box. But Anita for some reason, she always gets sick.

AL: I just wasn't used to being out in the environment all the time I thought.

CE: I know, I understand that.

AL: When the first cold comes that when I got it. And that was pneumonia.


CE: She had pneumonia twice, I remember a trip, we was down there in Nashville and we had stopped at the McDonalds and we had eaten there, we had gotten on the bus to go back towards Huntsville, we still searching for a place to live, we still looking for aid, we still looking for assistance, but its no where to be found. So we went back to Huntsville, when we got to Huntsville, before we got there, we started having diarrhea. I'm talking about nothing but pure water, just gushing. It was hard. So we got off the bus, and we went to Huntsville hospital to check in. Now Anita doesn't have insurance, I have insurance okay. 14:00What they do is they don't treat her, they treat me, they keep me in the hospital for three days. Me and her are suffering from the same thing

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: You know, I kept her there with me and I shared my medicine, you know whatever I had to do that's what I did. So she could be healthy too. Some people in the world, they don't care. I'm talking about, they inconsiderate. I mean we nice and we clean, I mean even the people that is homeless come to us, 'hey man we doing kind of bad man could you help us out?' you know I'm homeless too, but being homeless don't mean that you cant take care of your personal hygiene, that you cant walk around and present yourself as who you are. Not who you want to 15:00be, but who you are. I don't like to be a liar. Anybody can tell a lie, that's something you don't want to get into because when you lie you tell one over here and another one over there, and another one over there, and another one over there, and another one over there, and before you know it you trapped. You just lock yourself down. Like I said, in my time here in Louisville, not this year, but last year, I really didn't understand everything, but its just as bad as it was in from the places that we traveled from the places we trying to get away from. All this killing and shooting and stuff, that's not a part of my [unintelligible] I cant deal with that, I cant focus with that. I'm already got a really bad condition, and I seek things the paranoid schizophrenic its got my 16:00doing things I don't want to do, but I thank God for Anita. Because without her, aint no telling where I would be. God as my witness, I don't know where I would be and I tell anybody that. I aint no big nothing, I'm just a little me. Im just a little me, and I got a nice heart, a kind heart, a giving heart, given an opportunity. that's where I stand, that's who I am, I believe in God, I trust in God, I know he moves in about, to and for, all the time, with his angels standing next to us, I understand all these things and I treasure my god. He is an awesome god. Sometimes things become just like sitting in a chair, we don't 17:00even think about it we just trust that that chair is going to hold us you know. And that has been our life, what I want to see is Anita be successful. She has a lot of things going on that would possibly put her back in the status that she were before she fell down. But like I told her you fell now get up. Can't nobody pick you up. I can aid you in getting up, but I cant pick you up. This is just what my mind says, I try to make it a regular part of my life to always aid and assist others that s in a less fortunate position than myself, and I'm at the bottom. I'm dead at the bottom, and I don't have no illusions about that. I know 18:00that I cant make it without the strength of God and the aid of the people around me. Were just one body of people, and if we can afford it then lets help. Lets help those come up, just like I have come up. I can really appreciate my position right here, right now, it means a lot to me. It means a lot that someone, I mean I never thought that someone would be sitting back listening to what I had to say. And I appreciate it, I'm thankful for you to come out here. Sharing my life story, and her life story and to have a great counselor like I have, Mr. TJ Martin. I mean I appreciate that and what that do for me. Anita you can have the floor now. [all laugh] you can express yourself.


AL: Well I grew up in a small town, but its about 30 miles from Biloxi. And there's pretty many [unintelligible] people there. And its different from here. In New Orleans that area. And then I got married real young. I got married at 15 and then, but they was wealthy their family was wealthy and then he died. And then I got with somebody else and I stayed with him for 30 years and I stayed with the first one for 10 years so I had 40 years with just two people. And then I stayed with him until he died, I stayed with both of them until they died. And then the second one was way wealthier than the first one. And then we got into real estate, I sold the house from my first marriage and got $120,000 and he was 20:00a broker, real estate broker, and then had car lots and stuff like that, properties. And then that's how I figured out how to make money. He taught me everything that he knew and he knew the whole area, what everything was worth for miles. So I didn't miss that way because I had someone to tell me that's the one to buy, that's too cheap, that's going to make money, you can fix that up and sell it. And then there was apartments. I've tried everything trailers, apartments and houses. Like these out here, that little town where I grew up I bought 7 or 8 or those but they wasn't but $20,000, these are $100,000 and to this day they wasn't but $35,000 and these are $100,000 sitting right outside the door. So you could, then we would sell those, they always need something, have to fix them up, can't buy anything ready to go- there's no profit in it. 21:00And some of those there was at least 6 of those like that I made almost $70,000 a piece profit in them and then the houses I was in, whatever house I lived in, it wasn't for me I just lived there until it was to be sold. I've got it for sale as soon as I move in there, and get it presentable to where they can see it and have it up for sale. So I had to move and not always out of town, I stayed there until there was nothing left to buy, if I had the money to do it, and not only that but the income taxes, you only got thirty days, like I've only got 200, if I sold all these houses out here, I've got 30 days to reinvest or im paying the whole load of taxes. So you've got to keep going or you're going to lose all your money anyway. So take a third out of three hundred, right off the 22:00bat, if you do it that way, or you can keep buying stuff, and you got three years to make a business work, a new set of apartments that's a new business, you have to pay some but not near as much. If you just get money like that and you don't invest then you're paying everything all the time. And this is legal, because its legal deductions. And then once you have those properties you have a manager, somebody fixing up the stuff, then you've got the water you've got to pay all the time, the property taxes you've got to pay all the time. Everything all this is deductions you take all this and you take it to your tax lady, all this, how long you've had it, you just sold that you just bought that, and that's how you can save money too. But if you dont know the rules. That's why I 23:00had him, that's all the rules he followed, you've got to pay some, you've always have to pay some, but its legitimate if you keep buying, but it also keeps you working hard [laughs] you don't never get to stop, if you do stop then they'll start taxing you. And it got out of bounds and when its out there I found out that all these doctors at the hospitals they buy property because they bought them from him the one that I met. They came to his office and was buying office buildings, anything that was a rental, because he's making a million a year, we'll he's going to pay all taxes, the only things he's got to deduct is where he's living then he's down to six almost before he even gets any other money. So 24:00that's why they buy so much property down there. And they'll buy the big apartment complex or these office buildings, but when you're first starting out the investors will buy like these little houses. But I found out the apartments is the best deal anyway, unless you're selling it. It's no good to rent that house right there because what it is, they tear it up. And you have all this to fix and it doesn't make any money, but I found all this out through trial and error [laughs] I lost it quite a few times, but the last time he had died and I didn't have his direction of him telling me what to buy and it was my money but he was telling me what to buy and where to buy. And I had bought, it was trailer park in Georgia and it failed and it took all the money because I moved and I did this and I did that, but the money lasted for 40 years and it wasn't a slow 25:00decline it was like that [smacks hand] to nothing. 20,000 a month to nothing and im talking about six years of it. I couldn't go nowhere. My credits [unintelligible] I'm bankrupt, they wont look at me, they wont give me a dime to borrow to where I could get back in business, do something else. So then when you're bankrupt, and I had gotten charges on me because I had prostitution charges because there wasn't nothing other way for me to get any money. How am I going to go in a place with no clothes, I don't have a car and I don't have a place to stay and ask somebody for a job? And I don't have the qualifications for these jobs like that. I know all about these properties and how to do all that, but really out here I don't know. I don't know what its worth, I guess I could study and find out, but I don't know what its wort hand if ill make any 26:00money. It could be another bad investment, so the thing is until something else happens I'm pretty well stuck like I am because I need money to do what I do I've got to have a deposit or I can't do anything. Because I've got to have a deposit, because if I don't have a deposit to go over there and buy that house because he's not going to look at me, he's not going to fool with me and it doesn't do no good to just make payments on something then I'm paying all this interest to him on top of all these payments and stuff and it may not make anything. I have to really study all this area to see. But I didn't have to do that then that's why it was quick. I got the money in about four years, when I sold my house from my husband that's when the money started kicking in. And then it was slowly, just slowly it took at least about 12 years to get to the point of where I was and then I maintained that and then when I went bankrupt out 27:00there on the streets, wouldn't no one rent to me neither. Well I didn't have no money, so I went and danced and the place closed down, then I had to start walking around because I took up with somebody and he stole my car with all my clothes, whatever I had was in the truck of the car and he stole that and then I was walking with no money, I'm talking about nothing in my purse at all but some cosmetics and that happened in February at 2 in the morning at all times and its 20 degrees in Chattanooga. [laughs] and then I met him, well I didn't meet you right away?

CE: No [unintelligible] you didn't because I was too busy trying to put my life together I was a busy bee, you know you seen me, you didn't see me, then you see me again. But what I was doing, I was trying to reestablish my life when I seen her.


AL: he was walking [unintelligible] everywhere

CE: I was walking, but I had just left the library and I was headed back toward the house which was 14th avenue and I ran into her and a guy named Horatio

AL: that's who I was with

CE: Yeah she was with Horatio

AL: I had to have somebody with me because I'm walking around in a predominantly black neighborhood where this is going on, where all the bad deals and all this is going down and im walking around out here by myself. Now I done got beat up I cant tell you how many times, ended up in the hospital I got beat up so bad. Ended up in the hospital I got beat up so bad. Igto beat up 20-30 times at least. Now I'm blind in my left eye but that started when I was 27 that actual that did. But I had a relationship with somebody that hit me with an igloo while I'm driving. He attacked me while im driving going down the highway. 65 mile an 29:00hour. As hard as he could so I ended up having surgery with that. It was always something but when I met him he was the only one that wasn't trying to beat me up for one thingCE: you don't him women for one thing, you don't

AL: and you cant walk through the neighborhood down there where I was at by myself, because they'll try and snatch your purse, and just me they're going to get the purse theres no doubt about it. Like one time I was just walking into a convenience store, and this guy said hey you give me that purse that's my money. And I [unintelligible] didn't say nothing, I had three guys sitting in a corner over there smoking cigarettes and they heard the whole commotion I didn't even know them and they jumped up and came to the rescue that time, there wasn't nobody there all the other times and I'm talking about severe beatings I didn't know it was coming, because I trusted everybody. It was like taking a dog and 30:00throwing it on the interstate type of lifestyle I was at compared to that. I didn't even know where I was at or nothing and I hadn't got no [unintelligible] people to fall back on.

ES: Well I think you guys really knocked that out of the park with the brief personal history [all laugh]

AL: It was the drama too [unintelligible]

ES:[30:30] but I do have a couple more questions, but I do want to some back to somethings you all said in a little bit I did want to get started a little with the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, ask some questions on that and then we can come back a little bit more to some of the things that you all said, because you guys did throw a lot in there, honestly you answered a lot of the questions I had already, but we can go back a little more. Okay to start off with the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, you already talked about it a lot but can you talk to me more about your experience with it how you entered the program?


CE: Okay

AL: Tiny wasn't it?

CE: Okay okay well we like I said we came here I think it was March wasn't it?

AL: March 18th or 19th

CE: March 18th we came here

AL March 18, 2018. We came here we got off the Greyhound bus and we looking around in a city we don't know anything about so where do I start? So what we do is we find the community homeless shelters and the first one we discovered was Wayside.

AL: [groans]

CE: [unintelligible] a monster

AL: Yeah we stayed outside

CE: but we got to Wayside and they said that she have to be over here and I have to be over here. That aint going to work. That's definitely not going to work. Because she is a sheltered person. People can take advantage of her, rob her 32:00steal from her

AL: [unintelligible] they're going to do it.

CE: Yeah that's something they gonna do. So I talked to her and we decided, what's his name? Dale?

AL: Yeah

CE: Dale I think he is a counselor or something there at the center and I asked him for some tent, if he had a tent, if he had some blankets or something that we could use out in the woods. And he said he had a place and he took us to Slugger Field

AL: Right there by the baseball field.

CE: The bridge up there by Slugger Field, where they park them cars up under the expressway. And we went there and stayed there

AL: Til it was time for the Derby that's when they made everyone

CE: TIl it come Derby time. Like I said that was in March and what is it two 33:00months away from that?

TJ Martin: April I think April 9?

ES: May, I think it's the fist Saturday in May.

CE: Yeah and they had come up

AL: Right before that they had come up [unintelligible] clearing everyone out

CE: telling us that we have to vacate. Now like I said we didn't know much about the city. We was just learning, trying to feel our way through it.

AL: And I got one of the little books.

CE: they gave us the little book from the Coalition and it had St. Johns

TJ: Its called Street Wise

AL: That's what the worst thing about being up the hill

TJ: Street Tips

AL: you know it's a little ledge up this tall slant, well hes got to hang on to me to get me up there and down, to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. [laughs]

CE: im saying like I said

AL: That was a job in itself, we met Tiny before we met TJ, was that there? 34:00Because I guesss its Outreach now, because she was bringing things, there were some people beside us, not real close but down at the other end

CE: [unintelligible] some nights they would drop food off to us you know coffee or hot chocolate or something like that

AL: It was once a week or something like that

CE; but anyway we was told we have to leave, now we got an issue, we got a serious issue because aint no where for us to go because we don't know nothing

AL: And you got water here you know floods [unintelligible]

CE: so I went to the library I got on the computer and I started looking at the highways. You know how they twist and everything and I wanted to get the one that was closest to us to where we could get the things that we need and aid and assistance. So we wind up on what's that I-64?


AL: its where they're putting that new baseball field now?

CE: [unintelligible] that expressway that sits there so we went down through there and I could see that at some point there had been homeless people living there because it had been bulldozed down and cleared away and this is a hill like this and keep in mind I got her she barely can walk, [unintelligible] I don't think anyone should be shielded like that, put in a box like that and I say box because if you don't communicate with people how do you live? You know. [unintelligible] all this money was really a curse to her from what I can see, it was really a curse because once it was gone there was nowhere to go, he gone 36:00and now she by herself but anyway we went up to this bridge up here off of 64, I think it was I-64

AL: this is where that new baseball field they're putting it

CE: Its not a baseball

ES: is it soccer?

CE: Its soccer. Its right across the street from, its almost like the expressway is here and the bridge is here you see what I'm saying? So when somebody come through we've got to think about our properties. They're still there too, you cant have anything outside, because those people there they want it. Thy gone get it and they gone sell it.

AL: That's the goal

CE: this is why you seen them grab and push and shove in

AL: [unintelligible] like a clothes giveaway. Now I'm not saying everybody but 37:00the place under the bridges on Sunday that one there, they have the free lunch on Sunday and the clothes and all that. Well there is no point in going to the clothes section and trying to get any clothes because they've got like one or two people

CE: it's the same people everywhere you.

AL: they just grab stuff like this they not looking. [unintelligible]

CE: [unintelligible] what they do is they grab everything.

Al: like a swoop like that. Only one or two people ever get anything. They fooled the one girl there. [unintelligible] Because the last time we went there was a whole bunch of shoes there, new, old all kinds of shoes. She had a big old bag and she swooped them all up and when she got to the other end she started looking and they said there's the matches there on the other end. You're not 38:00supposed to get but one or two pairs, two maybe and so she's got a whole sack of shoes, and he said so you're going to have to pick something and she got mad and just walked off with them. [CE laughing] and probably just throwed them in the dumpster

CE: that's a problem of how you embrace your hardship you see what im saying. Some people can reach out and you know and be civilized and you have other people who are just out for what they can get.

AL: oh and you'll be out in a lot of lines in the hot sun, I'm talking about a long line burning up or freezing and then somebody will come up and guess what they'll do they just walk right up in front of everybody. Im talking about that whole long line and don't nobody say something. That's what gets me, what I 39:00don't like but like he said there is no point in doing something and then me end up in jail like that something stupid like that.

CE: you don't participate, the devil is like that he is always trying to draw you in you got to know when [39:17] back step, you already know what it is, he could care less what happens to his life and your life so you have to [unintelligible] but if I do something you out here by yourself. Its almost like it's a wall right there and if you go over that wall, its no mans land, but on this side of the wall, I can walk away, you see what I'm saying [unintelligible] but back to the subject we went out there on 64 and we bedded down and got it 40:00all clean and sanitized, got us a little cooler and something, got some ice and put stuff in there. Come on down and start talking to Dale, Dale said well you know you got you another spot where is it at? Im not going to tell Dale where the spot is because he going to bring everybody down with him. I'm not going to tell him because then everybody know where we living at and everything we got is gone. Its gone.

AL: you wont have a bedroll, nothing.

CE: nothing left, you bare. So that goes on with the homeless,

AL: that's the big issue.

CE; and in the process of trying to establish a find you a place

AL you see how they always got a backpack on? There is a reason for that because 41:00if they leave it out in the woods or wherever they're at its not going to be there when they get back

CE: that's the valuables, that's where they're at.

AL: at least a change of clothes, the cosmetics stuff like that.

CE: [unintelligible] we go down, she decide she wants some rain boats, okay we go down to picks

AL:I got me some rain boats I was tired of walking around with my feet wet, with pneumonia, getting cold and wet and my feet would be wet all day.

OS: she got to wear the boats one time.

AL: yeah they got them didn't they? Oh and there was a guy we didn't even know it was you know where the big pillars are where people park to walk on the thing. Well there was a guy laying there dead and we was up there on that bunker is what I called it. And the police come up to us ask us if we know anything about it and we didn't even know he was there

OS: we didn't even know he was dead.

AL: and they said oh okay, they just walked on. Like it was nothing. They're not worried about these people getting run over and stuff. The same thing happened 42:00to me down here when I got run over, we saw the video tape, he said all kinds of things he said well look at her address for one thing. It was Jefferson street, I was living here but I hadn't changed the ID, it was only 3 or 4 months old, it wasn't that old, it had a year on it, anyway, they saw that in my purse [unintelligible] so he said im not worried about It and he just had the lady go on off. And at first he police told us it was a hit and run, but you see they've had several people [unintelligible] there are these homeless people staying on Lee Run Road. They've had people run over a couple of them and there's nothing ever done about it. They don't care. If they cant find their family, they're not looking for them though. Like that video, that was really cruel. That video and he got fired. And that police down there that did that to me also got fired.


TJ: So how did you all get connected with the Coalition?

CE: that's what I was getting to, she border lined me a little bit

AL: it was Tiny , Tiny coming to the bridge where was at, and we was asking them [unintelligible]

CE: housing, asking question about where can we get housing. I said I aint got much money, but I told Tiny where we been and we cant get nothing.

TJ: I don't know if you know who Tiny is but

ES: I've heard of her a little bit

TJ: Tiny is, she started

ES: is it Forgotten Louisville?

TJ: Forgotten Louisville and so she has her own little outreach team that goes throughout the city and outreached to homeless and those with addictions and things such as that, she now works with St. Johns. She is a coworker, we used to share the same office, so she is a case manager, but just recently probably 44:00several months ago, probably about five months ago, she is now outreach lead, so she is the person who takes care of all the outreach. So everybody knows Tiny

AL: yeah because everybody at St. Johns does because she is going around outside like you said [unintelligible]

TJ: I was just telling her who Tiny is

CE: [unintelligible]

AL: and then we met TJ through her

CE: yeah we met TJ after we was awarded housing, that's when TJ came in but prior to that, we didn't know TJ, we didn't know too much about St. John, we didn't know too much about the mission that's on the whats the street? Jefferson

AL: yeah Louisville Mission they have a lunch once a week

CE: they have a lunch once a week

AL: and showers, that's where I was getting the showers.

CE: but Tiny told us that look, what yall need to do is, yall need to go to the 45:00Coalition, we said the Coalition, we said we don't been to the Coalition, and I don't want to hear about no Coalition

AL: yeah we did go on our own didn't we? We saw it in that little book

CE: but what im saying our experience with the Coalition was 'we don't do housing'

ES: and this was in Tennessee

CE: that was in Tennessee.

AL: Huntsville didn't do it either.

CE: I said well what do you all do? And they said we don't do nothing

AL: that's what they said

CE:I said well why are you all here?

AL: I don't understand it either

CE: they said we've got Section 8

AL I couldn't get any sort of health care there. The first seven that gets in line, no matter what the weather is, stand outside until they open and they don't take but seven til 10:30 and after 10:30 they take seven more. Well every time I went up there everybody is just jumping in line in front of me. Ill be there for an hour or something in this horrible weather and they'll get out of a 46:00car or something and just get in front of me like you don't even see us. That's the thing that I couldn't understand

CE: tiny told us to go to the coalition, Dale also told us to go the coalition, he said there is a test what's that called?

TJ: an assessment

AL: and that's what you did with us

CE: right, right

AL: TJ did with us

CE: no, no it the Coalition, we went down there on 4th street on the second floor back in one o those little rooms and people came out and talked to us and that had these little tests to make an assessment

TJ: are you familiar with the common assessment?

ES: I think so yeah

TJ: basically what it is, is it's a questionnaire that they fill out to basically show how vulnerable you are being homeless, so they ask you all sorts 47:00of questions, substance abuse, safety, they asked you more mental questions ,things such as that and based on how vulnerable you are you get a score and the score lets them know hey we've got to get them off the streets.

AL: he got a high assessment, but I didn't

CE: Well I got a 16, I think it's a 17, I messed up evern though it may not seem like it to you right now, I may be able to vaguely recall, and do these things, but it doesn't last long, I've got a window. And sometime I just drift away you know, so if I do that, I start to crying or something like that don't pay that no mind that sjust part of my condition okay. But anyway

AL: and we're old [laughs]

CE: So anyway I went up there, I scored a 16 off the assessment I think she scored something like a 9 or a 10. And so they said look here Mr. Early you in 48:00bad shape, and she's in bad and said we're going to something we aint never did before, you remember that Tj? We going to do something we aint never did before. We aint never had [unintelligible] in housing. And we'd like to see how that

TJ: and the reason being, this program is primarily for men, single and you're not supposed to have anyone else, but every so often we get a couple that come along. Now technically I'm his case manager, not her case manager, but it all goes together.

CE: it all goes together, like I said

AL: so its lucky that TJ let me in to live here and things like that so were grateful


CE; now you notice we got two rooms, we have two rooms, which is strange you know [laughs] but it's a big heal you know what I mean like I said its something we appreciate. We not doing no under dealings, we putting our lives out there, we want the world to see us for what we are. Like I said black, white, it's a clash in the United States of America, but we are beyond that you know sometime you see these little sitcoms on Tv when people live in the same house, its basically the same thing here, its not a relationship in that sense. Its only the need to live, to try to lift our self up and od for our self. I don't want 50:00to sit around and just let people clothe me, feed me, house me that aint what i'm about, but my condition ahs made it almost impossible without aid and assistance you know so.

AL: Well one thing that I was explain to his is, I've seen people are every age. Been around people at every age if you get over 60 you're not feeling too great, you get tired, that's one thing, I couldn't hardly do it because we had to walk all the time, didn't we? I'm talking it was a long ways from where we was staying at.

CE: It took us six years

AL: steady walking every day and night, I never forget.

CE: you can't rest, you can't rest, you've got to move.

AL: just the air in here that was a luxury if you could even get in any place with the air conditioning wasn't it? If it was there was a time limit and then 51:00you had to be back out in the heat or the cold or whatever

CE: and then you got what you call stereotyping. You've got a lot of stereotyping like she was trying to explain to you concerning her accident down the street, being stereotyped by the police department

AL: well you're not worth nothing if you're not this or that

CE: that was uncalled for, you would have to see the tape to even being to understand

AL: oh that was awful

CE: 'I don't care nothing about that, all she got is broke leg and a black eye, who gives, im not writing nothing'

AL: yeah he said that on tape

CE: He stereotyping


CE: [unintelligible] the police department fired him, but that don't excuse


AL: [unintelligible] and if you're walking around you're stereotyped, everybody is constantly [unintelligible]

CE: the first thing that happened to her when she got out here was, this was the first thing to happen, a police, off duty in a white pick up truck told her, he wasn't going to have her kind nastying up his community. I said what was he talking about?

AL: I don't know I hadn't seen him before and I hadn't seen him since.

CE: I know why

AL: He said he was a police

CE: {unintelligible]

AL: Because he didn't know my past record, that I had been arrested before he had no idea, because he didn't see an ID, I didn't have my ID, for him to say anything, for him to look up anything. He had no computer with him.

CE: We got off the bus come from the hospital down here on Rockford lane, we 53:00going across [unintelligible] parking lot, all the sudden 'you picked the right one, you picked the right one.' You picked the right one? These are people that working there, they come running out we picked the right one.

AL: they cooking there and they sit outside the doorway

CE: I'm gonna beat you to death. I'm like

AL: I thought you know I went to the store day before yesterday, I walked through there, I didn't walk through their parking lot, I walked on the sidewalk and they was sitting out there and they never said a word. I mean like it never happened

CE: we was attacked for no reason. I don't know what their reason was, I still don't know the reason

AL: but the worst place was Arkansas, we got off the bus and somebody got a ribar wire and they took our bags

CE: that was a situation where I really had to act

AL: he took our bags

CE: He took our property, he had a three ribar, bought this big around from here to that wall and he gone do us in. Well I aint gonna let you do that.


AL: And you hadn't told them the biggest horror story about being homeless. The biggest horror story we was in this little down under the bridge on the ground. There wasn't nobody there but us and all the sudden this guy shows up, well he had charcoal lighter fluid with him and he started a big fire over in the corner that he was in and he said oh that's nothing don't worry about that. The next thing I know that tent is on fire, because I felt something hot and I turned around and looked at it and the blaze is about this far away from, he tried to set us on fire! For no reason, didn't he. He come out of nowhere.

CE: You know what im saying so this is why its hard out there.

AL: You can get killed easy.

CE: all these factors, to live out here is not a cup of tea. You've got to be vigilant.

AL: You see out here how they're acting all crazy, they probably are, its 55:00driving them crazy. The whole thing because if you cant go to sleep at night and not worry about somebody dousing your tent and trying to set you on fire that's pretty bad. [laughs]

ES: Well I do want to interrupt real quick, because what you're saying is really great, but I think we went on a little bit of tangent

CE: Yeah

ES: it was good but moving back a little bit to the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, so once you took that assessment how long was it until you were actually in the apartment?

CE: Approximately three months, that was it. After that assessment it was about three months. I think it was the second month when they told us to start looking, you know searching for a place to live. We did a lot of footwork and [pats TJ] Tj had my back [laughs]

AL: they wouldn't rent to us, nobody would rent to us, didn't matter if we had a 56:00million dollars

CE: We wasn't going to get rented to, like I said we was turned down by a lot of people

AL: Everybody!

CE: Based on the difference in color

AL: well they look up your past crimes

CE: that we was together

AL: and I had bankruptcies and I don't have a bank account. And no credit. You don't have no credit, you didn't go bankrupt, but you just don't have no credit.

CE: because I've been sick you know what im saying?

AL: its not that he got his credit messed up, its just that he don't have no credit, he hasn't had none to show anything

CE: my sister was caring for me, you see what im saying? My sister was caring for me, not my daughters you know? And any properties that I had they possess now, you see what im saying? Like I said I was pretty [unintelligible] in relationship with your question. I think that's the fastest time ever that we 57:00didn't have to stay in the street I aint gonna say I worship Louisville, but I'm very thankful for what they've done and for what they've enabled us to do for ourselves.

AL: Because we'd still be out there.

CE: being enabled I think that the key question

AL: [unintelligible] I mean we know how to do it we can do it but

CE: [unintelligible] Coalition in conjunction with St. Johns has enabled us to afford housing and like I said, there is no way my check can pay for housing, without the assistance there is no hope for us.

AL: Oh and Section 8 wont deal with me because of my charges, he's had charges too but they always picking on me [laughs]

CE: Yes I've had

AL: they pick on me but I cant get nothing [unintelligible]


CE: That was in the 70s

AL: I'd have to have cash to buy anything, I'd have to have full cash because they're not going to let me buy anything any other way. They're not going to let me have any credit. And they're not going to let you. And another thing is the older you get the harder it is to get credit because of your age. They'll make you have a life insurance policy that you got to pay and everything.

CE: Okay lets get on her point, lets stick to her point

[all laughs]

ES: You all are doing just fine, I'm learning a lot. So let's see- what happens during home visits? Through the program

CE: okay home visits is where the counselor comes in and grades you on the upkeep of the place that you stay in and are you using drugs, are you using alcohol, are you wasting money, in other words they want you to have a budget, 59:00and they want to see what you actually doing, not just what you saying and they want to be able to be hands on and make sure that you are not actually wasting their time and those people that give contribution's time

AL: and there is other people in need too, there is not everybody going to be bad, there is going to be a lot of people that will be good that have probably never had a chance, some of them never got far enough to get a chance, probably the wrong place too.

CE: like I said everybody has their way up, without doing things

AL: not everybody out there though is bad

CE: you got rules, we all got rules and life without rules is bad, because aint nobody concerned with nobody when there is no rules. I always heard that what 60:00good is a rule, if its never broken. So people are going to break rules, and that's why its enforced. Once its broken then it can be enforced it can be instilled, but I look at it this way, the Coalition and St. John's without those two

AL: we'd be at the bride.

CE: I don't think it would be possible for any homeless person to have any form of hope. You know we need hope, we've got to have faith, we've got to have somebody to reach out to, when you don't have nobody to reach out to all you can do is drown. I don't want to drowned in my misery, I don't want to think that I'm greater or better than nobody, this is why I can speak freely about myself, 61:00my life, and the people around me but I don't speak out about the people around me unless its okay. You know, you've got to get that okay. I just try to strive to do the best I can. Like I said I got this inkling in me, I want to work, I want to work bad, but I cant endanger nobody either you see what I'm saying?

AL: We've got turned down for housing before because that mental record, she said I can rent to who I want to, she only had like 15 apartments and she said the mental thing scares me and I said why and she said because you don't know what they might do, they could kill one of my tenants, they could wreck up the 62:00place, tear the place up, set it on fire, she had all these images, that's part of it. If they see it

CE: They just another hurled, a part of my life that I've got to overcome, I've got to be persistent, I've got somebody with me that I've got to look our for them as well as myself.

AL: Well I know somebody out here they didn't have anybody either, [unintelligible] sold him a house out here, I don't know the deal is, how much, but he didn't have anybody either, I don't know how they worked it out but that's about the only way [unintelligible] because people want a deposit, they want cash to get in anywhere, so then you have to rent and if people don't want to rent to you they don't have to, I mean there is discrimination laws, but they 63:00don't have to rent to you, they'll find a way not to if they don't want to. And they didn't know us, [unintelligible] and we had past charges, that's another thing if people who have been in jail before there aren't many places for them to go either, that's big issue.

CE: but I'm saying where do you start at? You incarcerated a man for 10, 12, 20 years what does he do?

AL: After he get out

CE: what does he know? You know, the whole world is steady going, you standing like this still, but the world is still floating so you walk out of something that you don't even understand, you been told what to do when to eat, when to take a shower, when to eat, when to go to bed, when to get up, when you can have rec, so you got all these factors factored in there and you walk out here into a 64:00place that you don't even know. 90% of the people out there they started as juveniles [unintelligible]

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: so that tells me one thing something is wrong there. You been confined and you going back, and you going back, and you going back, and you going back, and you going back what's really going on? It's a mindset. Its where society has placed you, and once they has placed you there you going to have to do right, you going to have to be corrected okay so you there and you being corrected, but you not being able to communicate, you not being able to

AL: most everybody didn't want to rent to us for reasons unknown. Incarcerated and then mental issues, and then just the fact that you're homeless too. 65:00[laughs] it's a part of it

CE: I was trying to work my way to a solution, what would be a solution for that? You done locked this person up 5, 6, 7 years all he know and all he does is controlled by someone else. This is a free society, its controlled but not in that sense. Where your breathing is provided by the state department of corrections

AL: Remember those in wheelchairs

CE: how do you renter that community? It should be in steps, you don't just hold somebody up, caging them. You ever notice a monkey? That's a curious little guy, you know. He's sitting up in that cage and you come by and you say 'look at the pretty little monkey' and [gesturing] and he throws it at you. And every time you see him what's he doing? [gesturing like rattling a cage] all the time, hes 66:00checking the cage, he wants out, this is not me. This is not me, You think I'm something funny to look at? This is the monkey. Let me out of here, let me out of here. That's the monkey and that's people too. You've got to let them out, but you don't just throw em out. You know what I'm talking about TJ?

AL: And I don't see how any female goes out by themselves, you see it but I'm telling you that you're going to get robbed. They're going to take you're purse. And you're going to get beat up. It's a wonder I'm alive.

CE: Most definitely, I can vouch for that. I'm telling you it's a handful, it's a real handful.

AL: I used to stay in abandoned houses too.

CE: that was before I met her.

AL: Yep, well I got tired of walking around. I walked around for three days, I couldn't stand up no more.


CE: Going on somebody else's property I don't believe in that you know.

AL: it was better than what was going on, I walked for three solid days with nothing to eat. I didn't know that you could go get free food, I didn't know where it was at. But I did know that I had to get some money, I was in serious trouble

CE: That's why she started doing what she was doing, because [unintelligible]

AL: and then on top of that if I started to go someone's house to stay with them, they would take your money.

CE: [unintelligible] if you drop down like that and lose your money and you look around and aint nobody there you can call on, you in trouble.

AL: Yeah you in trouble

CE: you in serious trouble. And that's her life.

AL: I didn't really feel like I was in trouble yet until I got hungry. I got real hungry.

CE: [unintelligible] she can't even find a hamburger

ES: right.

CE: aint nobody going to give you nothing. I can visualize it, they told her if 68:00you do something for me, I give you some money.

AL: [unintelligible] people right out here, if they pick you up they'll beat you, they'll try and kill you some of them. I know a girl she got shot in the face for just a small amount of money. But she was trying t rob him too. So they was both doing things.

CE: So you don't see

AL: We don't know the whole story

CE: we don't need somebody to feel sorry for us, we need somebody to help us, help ourselves

AL but the story we're telling is

TJ: so that goes back to the home visits and the case manager

CE: Right right the case manager when you down and you feel like you cant make and everything [unintelligible] talk to your case manager, call him. You know 69:00maybe he cane working something out.

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: you cant see for yourself what the problem that you have , its almost like a chess game you can sit there and see all the moves that that guy needs to make but he's sitting down there and he cant see them, that's where the case manager comes in.

AL: not everybody can see the [unintelligible]. But everybody down there that we have said something about they've all pretty much been through the same things we have, and that's why I was around them, that's who was out there, I wasn't inside I was around them, and I been around them for like 6 years. Everywhere we went we met everybody that was outside, whatever they was doing, because you all eat at the same place too.

CE: [unintelligible] you see one that you met over here in Huntsville and you see him over here in Georgia.

AL: O we have run into some of the same ones that we've seen in other places


CE: it was just like a revolver

AL: but that [unintelligible] these camps where the girls stay if they don't have somebody with them they're getting raped a the camps. I don't see how any girl does this thing outside by themselves. I just don't see it. And I know that they've gotten hurt because they've said it hadn't they?

CE: do you ever travel in the city? Or just through these places where the homeless are, do you ever just drive through and look?

AL: What down there by Wayside?

CE: you'll see a pattern, you know when its time to eat you see everybody up and moving.

AL: Yeah so if you don't know whats going on and you go to a strange place, youll know where to eat out because youll see everybody going there

CE: what you do is you learn, this is what you learn out there, you sit back and you watch people you watch people and you see what they do. And you see 71:00everybody going this way. What you do is you get a great distance from them and you just start following them to the clothes, they'll lead you to the food. If you're someone that's got an [unintelligible] they all know that but all you got to do is follow them

AL: they wont tell you where nothing is at out here

CE: stay your distance and you'll find where this is and you'll find where that is, [unintelligible] yellow lot

AL: we found out about that the first week we was here

CE: that's what Tiny does

AL: Wednesday night at 6 o clock.

TJ: we call it Yellow lot, its over by Slugger Field, but its further down

CE: Riverbend road

TJ: They call it yellow lot because its like a yellow [unintelligible]


CE: in other words each of those plots out there are colored coded, you've got the green lot, the red lot [unintelligible] it'll be the yellow lot that they have all the festivities for the homeless

AL: they've got clothes and food

CE: alright Mr. TJ, [unintelligible]

[TJ leaving apartment]

AL: Oh you taking off? Okay

ES: alright so moving back a little bit, I want to talk about life skills classes and what exactly those are. Can you talk about those a little bit?

CE: yes lifeskills is a program that is designed to enlighten you, to get you familiar with people, professional presence, what you should wear, what you 73:00shouldn't wear on interviews, how you should present yourself in groups of people, how to be vociferous and outspoken so it consists of many different programs, we call it [unintelligible] like a treasure chest, you use your mind to set it out there and receive aid from each individual person, that's what life skills is about, its about learning basically, like I said a lot of us don't know these things, especially professional presence- what are you talking about you know? That's being able to present yourself and your body in a certain way, neatness, tidiness, cleanliness you know, speaking when you're spoken to, when not to speak, choices of clothes, different cultures, Chinese you know they 74:00want the bow so you have to respect these different customs, so you know by there being a variety of people there expressing who they are and they're genetic makeup and stuff like that you being to understand and know them. This is what life skills is about its about understanding and functioning in society basically

ES: and how are those classes?

CE: those classes are once a week. Life skills are once a week, sometimes twice a week. They in different settings that we go to. Like whats that its Broad catholic church that allows us when you go downtown by the neo center that large church there we go there, we go on what's that 4th street? No 5th street that we go to and the reason for those is


AL: Its every Friday

CE: and the reason for that is they under construction down at the St. Johns, you know its being constructed, so they rent out these places. Normally its on fifth street where we have life skills at. WE might have projects that we worked together on. Planes and drawings. And there is also games, bingo, things like that you know

AL: and everybody gets together and talks

CE: and everybody talks you know what I'm saying

AL [unintelligible]

CE: express you know what happened during this week or this period of time and what affected you the most, those are what we call life skills. You ought to sit in on one one time [laughs] to really get the feel of it because you will find that even though people have a lot to say about homeless but everybody aint bad like that

AL; [unintelligible] oh and Dale told us to he said that, the ones in their wheelchairs, a lot of them that are in a mission to this day its because nobody will rent to them. Even though they're in a wheelchair nobody will rent to them, even though they got a check and they're disable they wont rent to them because of their criminal background. SO if you got any criminal background with that its almost impossible isn't it?

CE: mhm. Yep but im saying

AL: Even if you got money!

CE: I understand that, but she is looking for something just a little bit different than that, she wants to get to the nectar of the program.

AL: oh yeah well how you stay outside like that some of them don't want to be inside do they. [unintelligible]

CE: well it aint that they want to be outside, they want to drink while they 77:00inside, they want to use their drugs while their inside so those are the real factors behind that you know what I mean like I said I put it on the line, I aint trying to hold back on nothing. Im just hoping that I can reach you and you can understand what our problems and what positions we're in.

AL: [unintelligible] and at 56 wasn't no time for me to find out was it? [laughs] would have helped if I was younger.

CE: TJ and them at St. Johns they do a wonderful job.

AL: nobody in any other place had any of these programs, they didn't have life skills, they did have a place to stay, Huntsville didn't even have any medical, I just had to go to the emergency room.

CE: I had to pay for her medical. I had to cover that you know. Like I told you 78:00well we only we got this. I said well you don't have to worry about this if you aint going to be here to enjoy it. Spend the money for the medicine, so I spent the money for the medicine and its okay, its going to be alright Gods got our back, this is what I told her. She said aint no God, I said yes there is. Yes there is a God. You might not understand, you might not interpret it, but there is a god. There is no way we can exist on nothing. Whoever the higher power is, I don't know if you Christian or Muslim or Krishna, Hindu whatever it is you know what I'm saying. I don't know, I don't care, I'm just saying its God who you give your upbringings to its God who you give your praises to its God who you worship. Be whatever name you deicide to call it its still one God


AL: Well there was somebody asked me why im out here and I told him why I said I didn't have any more and [unintelligible] and that's they wsa saying well maybe you wouldn't have these problems if you weren't where you were at. Well where are you going to go if you don't have the money to do it? That's the question, because they're not understanding because they've never been there. Because I've had both sides so.

CE: She's white so she's in a black community, 'why are you in black community?'

AL: that's basically

CE: Basically I don't have a prejudice bone in my body. I mean my God told me that everybody was the same, he created all of us. You know I'm saying, He didn't miss nothing, He's perfect, so I don't see no big I and no little you we all on the same plane under God's grace


AL: Why are you out here? Well I told them I don't have any money and I'm in the program. And this is where they said go. I don't have much of a choice. If I'm not going to rent it myself or buy it then buying something myself then idont have choice do I? But its still a better choice than being out there.

ES: Right.

CE: She would love for people to hear her, she loves to be head you know what I mean [laughs] I know you can feel the innocence in her and everything, but life dealt her this hand and I told her it's a reason for it.

AL: well I said I'd like to know what it is, because I had one thing a certain way for 40 something years and then this and I didn't know nothing about this and I had to do it by myself and I had to do it by myself at first. I was trying 81:00to get someone at least to walk with me, it didn't matter where you go you'd have somebody try and snatch your purse and that's all I had. Period. I couldn't even brush my teeth or nothing else if I didn't have the purse. So it was dangerous and it is dangerous and I dont think a lot of them even realize it is.

CE: its very dangerous, its very dangerous. You don't know these people and they got this thing called spice and that's the worst thing out here in Louisville that I have seen. Most people hit that stuff and they hit the ground.

AL: yeah like a freefall. You could be fall out in front of a car or anything.

CE: You cant control yourself, you don't know where you at, you don't know what you doing

AL: But I can see why they doing all this stuff, trying to put yourself in another land. They're miserable the way it is

ES: to get away from their life they need to do it?


CE: right [unintelligible]

AL: but its not going to do nothing for you but waste your money, and probably get you in a trap somewhere or in jail one, but it's a way out and they just doing it because they just don't want to be living it. There is some that's been doing it for years, their whole life hadn't they? I've met some people who have been doing it their whole life

ES: So from what you're saying it kind of sounds like you se it as kind of a cycle

CE: yeah

ES: so you end up homeless for whatever reason and then you get exposed to all these things like drugs and alcohol and its like that's an escape and you get a record from that and you cant get housing and it just kind of feeds into itself, is that kind of what you're saying?

CE: right, right

AL: pretty much [unintelligible]

CE: we need solutions, I can see the problem, I'm it. You know I'm it. It aint just like I'm walking blindly, I had a life, I had home training, I had a nice 83:00upbringing, I had those things you know and I had morals and I had principles and I had standards and I would have to throw that out the window.

AL: nobody cares about that out here [1:23:20]

CE: [unintelligible] survival.

AL: that's right.

CE: Its survival, its not all the monies in the world, it has absolutely nothing to do with it, its people being people. A community being trustworthy you know. This is what its about now. I reach out my hand, help me just help me, so I can help me, so i can transfer that help to someone else. There is nothing wrong with that. This is what life is about caring for each other. Being there for 84:00each other you know. Like she said this house cost this much and this house cost this much, and this house cost this much, but what if everybody had a house? Now is my house better than your house? [laughs] is my house wider than your house? I my house taller than your house?

AL: Well I wasn't looking at it that way I was just trying to sell the house

CE: what it reminds me of is some of the training I had at an early age? You ever heard of the bullfrog philosophy? Well you see, it was this bullfrog that lived in a well, and there was this bullfrog which was his cousin that lived on the ocean which was his cousin. So one day the one that lived on the ocean decided to visit his cousin that lived in the well. So one day they was sitting there drinking tea, just all enjoying they selves , they was just having a grand 85:00time. And the bullfrog in the well said 'cuz tell me how big is the ocean? Is it one time big as my well? Or is it two time big as my well? He said oh no its much much much much bigger! So its four times big as my well? You follow me, you follow it?

ES: mhm.

CE: This is the homeless, this is all they can see- their property. They can't lift their head up and look beyond their [unintelligible]

AL: Oh and one of them killed another one over a cigarette at Wayside. Over a cigarette. He wanted a cigarette the guy wouldn't give it to him. I mean its just unreal isn't it. And too, if they wasn't crazy they done drove themselves crazy when they went out there. [unintelligible] but I got to worry about 86:00traffic, a car hitting me every time I go out there, I cant drive I got a revoked license plus I'm blind in one eye. He cant drive either.

CE: Because of my medical condition so that forces me to walk.

AL: Now cant neither of us drive.

CE: We cant drive, we got to walk. I have to use public transportation.

AL: So everything has to be on a bus line, the bus is right here for this apartment.

CE: so we try that but like I said its easy for us to see and look inside ourselves, but we got to look more than inside ourselves we have to look outside ourselves. That's where everything lies.

AL: There is people that's out here that's good and there's people out here that's bad and there is people out here you don't know what they're going to do. And you was surprised when they did it, but once its done, its done you've already gotten hurt. And you don't any have inkling that nothings going to 87:00happen. Just like him setting the tent on fire, he come out of nowhere and just doused us with fire. We barely got out of it. And then he went and told the police and again what did he say? You didn't have no business down there.

CE: You didn't have no business down there, move on, if you want to be safe go on to the other side of the bridge. In other words, on this side of Arkansas

AL: was the poor people, is the bad side

CE: which is Arkansas, and then you got Arkansas, it's a twin city, and the only thing that separate the two cities is the Arkansas River. So if you want to do your crime whatever you want to do you be in Little Rock, you can be in little Little Rock or you can be in big Little Rock where everything is supposed to be in order and if you over here in this side of the river that's your problem


ES: Right.

AL: What was you doing there? Its always that question. Why are you here? Like where the prostitutes go and where the dancers go. Why are you here? Well something happened before they ever got there or they wouldn't be there. Whether they got kicked out wherever they was or parents kicked them out, a lot of thems parents kick them out, but their parents down realize all that's going to happen.

CE: Okay Anita.

ES: Well, I did want to clarify a little bit you talked a lot about how the police have been antagonizing you all

CE: Yeah

ES: So did you find that any other groups were harassing you particularly, what's your experience with harassment on the streets did you find that it was mostly from the police?

AL: it was mostly yeah.

CE: it was mostly the police. Like I said the police, they got a job to do, I 89:00respect that. What I don't respect is is when you sit there and you profile me, you turn me into something that I am not. You already done made up your mind about who I am, but you dead wrong.

AL: But what about other groups? There has been some white men against him

CE: But I expect that

AL Because they saw me with him

CE: I'm taking care of a white lady, you know. Women are going to be women and if you aren't going according to their plan it might get a little hot. What she wants you to understand is, especially in Huntsville. My sister going to send us money, we need to go to Walmart and get this money. I aint ready, I'm not ready to go get the money, but she ready, come on lets go, but see while this is going 90:00on we in the pocking lot. It was a Dollar General.

AL: I was about to die of thirst too.

CE: And I hear something [makes unintelligible calling noises] So naturally me being a man I'm looking around who hitting a white woman, I'm looking for this

AL: [laughs] they targeted you! They said he was messing with a white woman. And he pulled a gun on us

CE: a 45

AL: it was in a big duly, two big white dudes, it was about three hundred pounds each

CE: He cocked the gun back and he said let me tell you something you n-this, n-this, n-that. I said, I got pissed, I said Anita go get the police. I aint 91:00[unintelligible] you. I said some nasty words to him, but I'm saying that aint the first time. It's a danger to me when I'm walking with her, it's a danger.

AL: Even though its--

CE: Its an imminent threat.

AL: You're gonna be walking in bad neighborhoods. Because in a good neighborhood you cant get to them, they don't have any food.

CE: {unintelligible] everywhere we been someone going to stop and say something foul to us sooner or later.

AL: She's asking what kind of group, so it wasn't really groups [unintelligible]

CE: [unintelligible]

AL: Oh well we can reverse this too because I've had black girls say a lot of foul things to me and you've had white men say foul things to you

ES: I just want to interrupt real quick because we're getting a little too loud for my recorder we might just have to bring the volume down a little bit. So just keep that in mind as your talking, I'm sorry to interrupt you like that. I 92:00think what you all were saying was really great but I did want to redirect a little bit and ask you another question. So I think this might be an obvious one but who are the most important people to you in your life?

CE: Anita. [all laughs]

ES: Right.

CE: Anita I mean. She is the most important. First of all we came together, I had certain specifications, im not going to come out here if you aint going to try and help yourself. I see what's going on here. These guys aint no good. Horatio was a-- I don't know how she got Horatio. I really don't know. But she said its because she needed protection

AL: Somebody to walk with

CE: Horatio is a user, he don't protect nothing. This is my community I know 93:00what you're doing in my community. I know exactly what you doing. I mean I can have a blind eye to it, but for some reason I don't know what it was, maybe it was God speaking to me all I know is I had to help her. I had to do it until she can get on her feet. That's something I got to do, I aint saying its something I want to do. I got to do. I don't have no control over it.

AL: I know one thing, I'm losing energy fast. [laughs] I don't have much energy left. I had a two ton vehicle run over me too, remember that?

CE: Anita you told her about that.

AL: I hadn't gotten any energy [unintelligible]

CE: You told her about all the police and [unintelligible] Im saying the groups, 94:00the only time I ever noticed any actual group was in Chattanooga was when they were circling us, And they was black. Anywhere we go they was circling us you know. What that was about? I don't know. Maybe it was what she was doing. The reason they was circling us, we was on their turf. But like I said, I have a mean background. I wasn't a person that you wanted to cross, I wasn't a person that you wanted to mess with. I wasn't a person that you wanted to affiliated with, because whatever you had on your mind to do, I could do it better. So I mean that was my life before I got sick

AL: As far as groups, well with the homeless groups they tolerate each other, 95:00they know what each other does but don't none of them like each other. Don't nobody like each other. Its like dog eat dog. I get mine, I don't care if you get yours. Just like the line like I told you. You been there thirty minutes, its as hot as all get out and somebody get out and walk to the front of the line now wouldn't that make you mad?

ES: Oh, yeah [all laugh]

CE: Now see you got a right to get mad.

AL: its like you're nothing!

CE: but the thing that I try to instill in her, the thing is, is it worth your time in jail?

AL: Because that's all that's going to happen.

CE: The thing to me you aint worth me doing a single moment in jail. Because its going to be a whole lot of things. If I don't have my medications, you really 96:00don't want to mess with me. Its just something you just really don't want to do. Because im going to [unintelligible] And im going to forget everything. The only thing I see when I get mad is red. I cant even see you, all I know is I got to go through you and however I got to get through you that is the route that I would take. I'm saying that's not something that I'm bragging on, that's something I want to get away from. She said im a coward [laughs].

AL: That makes me so mad, the lines, that somebody would do that. That is so rude.

CE: She want me to grab them and pull they heads off [Anita laughs] I said no that's not important.

AL: I cant believe anybody would be that rude though.

CE: You come to eat.

AL: They're not worried about rudeness and they're not worried about taking from 97:00you. You're nothing and they don't care. And they don't like each other.

CE: Not at all.

AL: That's one reason they treat the rest of us like that because everybody is done that to them.

CE: You ever heard of bullying?

ES: Mhm.

CE: Well it's the same concept.

AL: Y'all are nothing [unintelligible]

CE: What makes me mad, I can show you what makes me mad [pantomimes glaring angrily]

AL: What's that, the staring?

CE: I mean Im talking about what's going on with you- are you all right man? [Anita laughs] 'what you think?' I don't think nothing man

AL: [unintelligible] man sit there and they'll say 'what you looking at?'

CE: You want to talk? You know. What's all that about? I cant stand, I like to see people smiling. But I cant stand, its called mean mugging, I mean your face 98:00eventually is just going to crack open. [Anita laughs] its just drop and hit the ground you know.

AL: I don't blame people for being in shock for the whole thing, It is shocking isn't it? Its not shocking to us because we been here doing it so long. I was shocked when I first seen it.

CE: I was surprised when they said the gangs in Louisville- I've yet to see them. I haven't seem the gangs in Louisville.

AL: Well I can tell you, you wouldn't walk by yourself down there by that ball field? What field is it?

CE: Slugger field.

AL: You wouldn't walk around there by yourself would ya?

ES: Probably not.

AL: And it's the same thing

ES: Right.

CE: I'm saying

AL: Now I don't have no choice I am out here

CE: I'm saying it's a solution to this, its definitely a solution to this, but I 99:00would empower nobody that I know is going to hurt somebody. If you in this program, if you just taking from this program and you never giving nothing to this program- what are you there for? What are you there for? You know these people out there working hard and they give their hard earned money for you? [unintelligible] To aid you, to assist you, and you turn your back on those people and you showed no sign of appreciation, that's an evil person, that's a very evil person.

AL: They done lost their mind half of them. If they was sane when they started, they lost their mind because the elements will make you lose your mind. If 100:00you're out in the heat or the cold all of the time, except when you got to eat, that's not good, then you get sick.

CE: I'm talking about degration. I've been in the world a pretty good while, and when I came up I couldn't speak back to my parents, I couldn't speak back to your parents, and if you said I did something, they going to tear my butt up.

AL: It isn't like that now.

CE: We went to church, when I say went to church, I mean we went to church, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7- what they call it 24/7? [all laugh] this is what my upbringing was. My grandfather was a minister. All my uncles were deacons and things of 101:00that nature, the community was alive, people looked out for each other

AL: And my mother was a Mormon. Have you ever heard of the Mormons?

ES: mhm.

AL: And they was real strict. They don't believe in drinking tea, coffee, smoking, wearing makeup- its similar to the Amish almost aint it?

CE: Yeah similar.

AL: Yeah that's one reason I left home, I didn't really like it. And she was going to force it on me too, If I didn't go then you had to leave, to church all the time.

CE: okay buddy like I said

AL: it was just that religion that I didn't believe what they were saying.

CE: But I have yet to see a gang in Louisville.

AL: Yeah I hadn't seen that here.

CE: I know gangs. You hear me what I'm saying I know gangs.

AL: On a lot of the corners there would be 15 or 20.

CE: They are together they say they come in together in the weary hours of the 102:00morning.. Maybe because I haven't seen them [unintelligible] These under dealings are going on, the only time I hear about it is on the TV. You hear a mention of some gang, but you never hear what gang, its like an imaginary thing to me because I know gangs, I've seen gangs, I've been around gangs and I've also been in them. So I haven't seen them. I seem people that try to take out the image of a gang. In other words 'I'm a crypt' No you aint. You in the wrong place to be a crypt. You see what im saying? When you say crypt you think what? 103:00Los Angeles, that's California. And the reason behind that I know what the reason is behind it, and I know where it lost its momentum. In other words it went from a good thing to a very bad thing. It was to protect the community. Now its were going to protect the community, now that we got the community we're going to use the community. Wrong. It's all going wrong. At first its good, the guardian angels, You ever heard of those? Good thing, then it went bad. When you got gangs, you got people controlling you and that's bad because don't nobody want to be controlled. Everybody wants to be a full spirit, they want to be with a community of people, work with people, have business relationship with people, 104:00and then have a good time with people, like going to a festivity. [unintelligible] Not sense they were at the time I was coming up.

AL: I didn't know about that.

CE: You don't know what a [unintelligible]

AL: uh-uh.

CE: Its just a bunch of people in a park playing games, you know everybody buying ice creams, party, you know.

AL: Like down here on the river with the stands and all that?

CE: yeah yeah. Stuff like that, [unintelligible] festivals yeah. Like I said I had a pretty good assessment as far as gangs are concerned, but like I said in Louisville, its some bad people. I aint going to say gang, Im going to say its 105:00some bad people. Like that guy down there at Annie's pizza there, she didn't want me forcing their hand at Annie's Pizza, because those were employees that rushed out there and attacked us for no reason. Annie's pizza [unintelligible]

AL: [unintelligible] I think they were trying to rob us.

CE: She thinks they were trying to rob us that doesn't make sense to me, if you worked somewhere in this place somewhere and you come out of this business saying 'you picked the right one' I never spoke to this person, I never seen this person.

AL: They sort of got around us [unintelligible]

CE: I'm saying she was against me seeking legal action against that


AL: Since nothing happened

CE: It did happen, it might not have happened in the sense that you see things happening but a threat is a threat. I don't care how big or how small it is. But that's as close, I mean gangs

AL: Really nobody has said nothing like that to us here.

CE:I just have not seen it. You know I have seen the dope dealers and stuff like that, but a collective group of people stating, the blue the green the yellow, I haven't seen that.

AL: In New Orleans its different because the main street there downtown, there will be like 20-30 on a street corner and down at the other end there might be another 20-30, St. Louis was real bad, it was way bad way back in the '70s.


CE: I just haven't seen this

AL: They don't have it as bad here

CE:I was really thinking about my grandkids coming in to Louisville. I mean, my great grandkids coming to Louisville. Because of the [unintelligible] I received from the city itself as a whole. I don't see that under dealings and wrong doings and stuff that you see in other major cities. I'm not saying they don't exist here, I'm just saying in the time that I've been here I haven't seen it.

ES: So you feel pretty safe here?

CE: Right.

AL: And since nobody hangs out too. You know a lot of times you get in a bad neighborhood you see everybody standing outside their house. Where you cant even get out in the house without people saying something to you.


CE: See that was one thing I was concerned about in placement of housing. Like I told him, I wanted somewhere away from people.

AL: A lot of times they will put all the homeless in the same places because that's the landlord that will do it. That's how a lot of people end up at the same apartments. And there is a problem with that because there they was out there hating on each other, and now they're stuck in the same place. That's why some of it don't work because they don't want to stay there and listen to that, come out of their house and people banging on the door [unintelligible]

CE: Based on Mr. FushayAL: [unintelligible]

CE: It's the owner of these complex


AL: And that one over there, he's the only [unintelligible]

CE: He allowed others to come based off of the kindness and concern and care of his property that we show.

AL: We don't go out in front of his house

CE: He allowed another guy in the program to move in downstairs

AL: Before us [unintelligible]

CE: I know that, I understand that. And he had gotten rid of him, he wasn't to a standard, he was destroying stuff.

AL: A lot of them will get the place and then if they do have friends they'll say well why don't you just come over here, they're not in the program they're just staying in there too. Because those kinds of things, letting two or three people come. And they wont to try and get more money, 'you got to pay me rent,' its subleasing its not legal anyways.

CE: like I said as my standard of appreciation, I think if a person was kind 110:00enough to let me come into his establishment then I owe him. I owed him that same respect that he showed me, and that goes a long way. That's the same thing that you will find in life skills. Equal partners that will make you see and understand what we are about. It aint about no [unintelligible] I just want to be about to return back to society, what society gave me.

AL: I don't think I was going to make it out there much longer to be honest was I?

CE: No you was [unintelligible]

AL: I got sick two or three times before I got here.

CE: This was the reason for those different moves and stuff

AL: Trying to find some healthcare.


CE: It aint something you can find outside Louisville.

AL: I went to Phoenix and phoenix got me on passport. The first time I went to them they started treating me. For the homeless. They treated me for everything, vitamins, everything I needed, tests that I had to go get. Then the other places we went would let me see a doctor at all.

CE: My point is how could you not love Louisville for being so generous. Its so generous you know. Its something that you really can appreciate

AL: [unintelligible] clothes

CE: They going to make sure you eat, they going to make sure you have housing. Like I said I only make $771. That's not enough to acquire housing, clothes and furniture and things of that sort, its no way you can make it off of $771 without aid or assistance from somewhere.


AL: I think they are renting out these apartments for [unintelligible] The rent is starting somewhere about $700.

CE: hold up Anita, let her speak.

ES: I did want to ask you all a couple more questions and your community as well. So when we talk about housing verses the word 'home,' 'home' sometimes has a different connotation to it right

CE: Yes, yes it does.

ES: So can you each talk about what 'home' means to you?

CE: Home to me means a setting where you have a family, where you have cousins and in-laws and they all come together to one place you know what im saying? Its where you have recreational time, its where you trade and swap ideas not only 113:00helpful for your home but for those around you, it's a point in giving wherein housing is where I can be. I cant get comfortable here, its not mine, I can't depend on Mr. Fushay to allow me to come in, because Mr. Fushay can change his mind where would I be?

AL: Well they can sell it and whoever the new owner is does not have to keep you here. You see what I mean, that's what I explain to him. If he sells it, they don't have to go through an eviction. Thy don't have to do anything, they'll probably give you time like the hotel across the river, that was people that couldn't get an apartment, that hotel they're tearing down on the news that's a similar situation. They sold it, but they are placing them somewhere


CE: Basically

AL: I don't know how

CE: If Mr. Fushay sold this place today, we'd be looking for somewhere to stay, it's a possibility

AL: It took six years to get this, that's how long it took

CE: Whereas a home that's mine.

AL: We didn't know that--

CE: That's my castle. That's where I'm in complete control you see. I don't have to be subjected to someone taking away from me, because I'm home. Its entirely different from housing. I'm just housing you, you know? You might as well just take two cardboard like we did and build us a nice place to stay, cardboard on the bottom, cardboard on the top

AL: And what happened to that?

CE: [unintelligible] take your bushes, take your weeds, your sticks, pull them across, and the reason why you pulling the leaves across, the bushes and the vines is not that they are [unintelligible] its to conceal.


AL: Where you can't see it

CE: You see what I'm saying where it can't be seen, just like camouflage.

AL: Well

CE: See you go [unintelligible]. See but to me that's housing. Wherein a home is a place where you sit down, you look, you enjoy and you give. You are able to give when you home. That's where your heart is supposed to be at. When you go out and you work and you do everything, then you come home, I got to go to this apartment, this old box, you know but if its all you got it's the greatest thing in the world

AL: Its like a palace

CE: It's the greatest thing in the world

AL: compared to where we was [laughs]

CE: To crawl the way we crawled in the mud, to be here it's a luxury. We crawled- or waddled. You know how it is to go and get, here I am, I got to have 116:00water, this building over there, I know there this a faucet over there, I go and get five or six gallons of that water and take that back I can heat that water up so we can take a bath. You see, it's a difference.

AL: I got issues too, that bugs'll bite me

CE: It's amazing.

AL: They don't bite him

CE: What's the first thing you do when a bug bite you? When you get bit by a bug? [slaps arm] you know what she does? [standing still, arms at side] 'there is bugs biting me' [Anita laughs] I'm saying what the? 'No they biting me,' I got to [pantomimes slapping bugs off]

AL: {laughing] they always get right down there too! That's why I wore pants 117:00most of the time.

CE: [unintelligible] people are different.

AL: Well it was a whole different thing than I was used to, just like I told her you might as well put me down out there on the interstate like a puppy.

CE: Anita, answer her question, what's home to you and what's the difference between home and an apartment?

AL: Talking about the difference between home and an apartment? Well this is home now, this is home to me. Because this is where I sit everyday, this is where I leave and I come back to, this is home, this is a luxury compared to where I was. But I would feel safer if I could buy something, it's a different feeling than renting. Renting you can feel secure but you can only feel secure for so long. Something eventually is going to happen. Regardless. But I don't 118:00know if we can find another place.

CE: That's something that we sit back and [unintelligible]

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: What would we have to go through?

AL: I don't even have a clue.

CE: What would we have to go through? What would we have to go through to get additional housing? What can we possible do? I look at my figures every possible way I can.

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: I say to myself I got to get a job, but if I get a job and somebody get hurt, what can I do? Its almost like I'm in a jar and someone [unintelligible]

AL: Not that many people is going to really hire us, we're too old

CE: [unintelligible] canning jar, those canning jar? Its like somebody took me and sealed me down in there. I can move all around in it, but I cant get out, I cant get out.

AL: [unintelligible]

ES: So you feel trapped by your circumstances is what you're saying?

CE: Right because I want to do something, I can't you know its not possible, but 119:00I'm saying I don't like my position. If I could just get the lid open, so I could do something, I just want to be able to do something to help me.

AL: And then I get so tired just worrying about it [laughs]

CE: You know what I'm saying, then I got her to look after, I got to look after her.

AL: Part of it is your age, you hadn't been around anybody old

CE: She keeps saying its my age, I have skills, I have a lot of skills, all I need is material

AL: Well you know what it is too they always hire at [unintelligible]

[Beginning of Tape 2 of 2]

AL: They wouldn't pay us because they knew he was homeless, you remember Dave.


CE: Yeah, I know how he be.

AL: Those people that would say you can come stay with us. And they got him working, getting him to do whatever he could do, and he was getting paid for two or three people went to the boss, Dave did, and he come out and he was supposed to pay him and two or three other people but he didn't pay what he was supposed to, so what a hundred dollars every two weeks.

CE: I've been [unintelligible] a hundred thousand dollars

AL: And then there was the house that me and him tried to do together

CE: [unintelligible] right at a hundred thousand dollars, remodeling homes and stuff.

AL: He let us do that, stay there three months and [unintelligible] finish the house for a price and when he got finished with it, he said he didn't have any money. [unintelligible] its not on paper, its not like a record job, where you pay taxes and all this stuff, they don't want to hire him because of his mental issues and his age, it cost them a lot of money if he hurts someone on the job, 121:00which he could have a heart attack, get heat stroke at his age, drop something on somebody for construction. Its issues, because you'll see most of the ones out here is a lot younger. And smaller.

CE: like I said I have a number of skills, I'm very skillful, I've had schooling, I mean you can go on the Tennessee [unintelligible]

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: All these qualifications but like I said, my condition took this from me, they won't allow me, the government won't allow me to do anything else. They won't allow me, they won't allow me to drive, I can't even handle money, she handles all the money.

AL: And then now I can't drive either, its been six years since I could drive a car.


CE: It's a situation, like I said its always a solution, just keep trying to figure out how I can pull myself out of this an draw her out and continue to maintain her and myself too. So that's been my biggest struggle, this shuffle right here. I did have yearning to repay what people have done for me, its like its imbedded in me, maybe I hit a lottery or something but I wont spend money on the lottery, because I don't have money for a the lottery, you understand if I could maybe I would you know what I'm saying [unintelligible]


AL: the only career I've really had is the real estate, I can tell you I'm not going to walk out there and get anything started with no cash money, or credit. I could go buy something, pay cash for it, then turn around and go to the bank and borrow against the property itself, I could get credit that way, that's the only way I'm ever going to do it, but I'll have to have cash to get another start, just like I started when I sold the house for 120 and invested that into some apartments, well they were all rented and it got me a little income, right then and there, when I made that move, but just to go buy me a house, or you a house is not helping us is it? We have to keep selling them. We could do that just buy a house, sit in it, live in it, and sell it just one by one.

CE: So Anita your difference between a home and an apartment is what?

AL: It being paid for like you bought it is a different feeling than just 124:00renting it.

CE: So in other words if you have a home you would feel more comfortable than if you just had an apartment?

AL: Right now I'm grateful for this

CE: I know, I know you

AL: I'll do it the rest of my life if I have to, but I would love to be able to buy my own

ES: To have something that is your own

AL: Yeah mine that I don't have to leave, you can't do anything to make me leave. But that's the threat because we've stayed with other people [unintelligible] all have them give you ultimatums, if you don't od this then you have to leave, but they don't want us to leave until he gets his money, that's when they want them to leave. You can't stay with nobody else, that's not ever going to work is it? Like another couple or something, its not going to work.

CE: I'm going to let you in this house, give you all this room or two hundred dollars a month, well you didn't count the cigarettes you've got to buy for them, you didn't count the beer you've got to buy for them, you didn't count the food you've got to buy for them, you didn't count the gas you've got to buy for 125:00them, all that's throw'd in.

AL: And its more than a hotel, if you wanted to go live in a hotel.

CE: And by the way I need your food stamps too.

AL: Yeah, and work ya and not pay ya.

CE: Now you need to clean this and you need to clean that, in other words

AL: I told

CE: You don't have a life now I own you

AL: Right and I got up one day and he was saying all that stuff, Dave, and I told you he was foul

CE: Dave told me, he said, look Anita you get out, he's going to stay with me, you're not going with her are you? I said I most definitely am, I'm going to get up right now and we going to leave together like we came. But because I was nice, only because I was nice and because I was kind, and considerate did he do that and take that route

AL: [unintelligible]

CE: You cant be who you want to be with these people, you cant be yourself.


AL: they see it as a sign of weakness. [unintelligible] I'm telling you the truth, you're telling the truth, it don't matter what you say, how you do it, they just going to mess over you. They looking for someone that's [unintelligible]

CE: I have yet in the time I have been in homelessness, I have yet to meet a family or group of people that was genuine, that was really about what they led out to do. And mind each of these people that did these things to me was preachers.

AL: Yep.

CE: Pastors in the church.

AL: That's how they got away with it. Because you're putting trust in them

CE: But I came from the church. All my life I was raised in the church.

AL: We stayed with a deacon.

CE: So she telling me that I need to stop helping these people because they don't care nothing about you they just using you, this is what she tell me all 127:00the time

AL: Well they tell him they going to pay him something and they didn't even giving him a hundred dollars for two weeks work, I'm talking twelve hours a day. What's that to you, that's worse than about three dollars an hour. First of all, its against the labor board, there is a law against it.

CE: Okay Anita.

AL: Well it is! [laughs]

ES: I've got another question for ya. So looking back over your life what are some moments or times in your life that have particularly shaped you? So do we want to start with Charlie and then go to you?

CE: Read that question [unintelligible]

ES: Yeah so its looking back over your life what are some moments or things in your life that have particularly shaped you?

CE: well I think starting with my upbringing, I would have to start right there because all I knew was God when I was a kid, just up until 14. Up until 14 I was sheltered under God, it was my grandparents, my mother, my father, and my uncles 128:00you know like I said they had a real tight leash on us back then and they would always tell us how we should give and they said that you can't give if you don't have anything. So if you giving that means you have something and they told me, they said Charlie they said never close your hands, they said if your hands are closed you can't get nothing in it and can't nothing come out of it, they said always have your hands open, just like your soul so things can flow through. That was a monumental moment to me, it might not be to anyone else. But like I 129:00said I was raised in the church. God said the more you give, the more you receive. So if I'm not receiving that's because I'm not giving. But if I lock myself up cant nothing get in, and cant nothing go out. SO I allow people to see me for who I am you judge me anyway you choose to, but look at me, don't assume anything, study me, see who I am, not by my words but by my actions. That's what I was taught, that's what I came up with that's how I see things. Like I said she cant stand, don't you see what people are doing to you man? They using you, 130:00they using you man! There is another [unintelligible] they using you! This is what I'm saying.

AL: They do the same thing, it's the same routine everywhere we go. Isnt it?

CE: But still, I still gots to give you a hundred percent. Just like now I give a 100% of me. I'm not hiding anything. I don't go nothing to hide, because what I do today, I could go back and od it tomorrow and if would still be correct. Life is like that, you've got to entrust yourself to life to receive it. And im cut off, but I still have my hope, I still have my faith and I still have my belief, and on those principles, I stand. With god being first, me being second, 131:00and everybody around me third, but I always put them up first. That's where I'm at. I hope that answered your question.

ES: Yeah certainly. So Anita, same question for you, looking back over your life, what are some moments that have particularly shaped you?

AL: this. [laughs] it was normal like everybody else's, but it just got in disarray then. Now too I see the value of money, where I didn't before. I'm one of the ones too that thought it wasn't ever going to end, but it does any amount can end. One wrong move, you can go down the street and get in a car wreck. One wrong move, it will cost you a whole bunch of money. Its not that I worship money, but I cant see any woman anywhere not having any. Women need money. If 132:00they don't have it they going to be with somebody that is going to be mean to them or whatever. Its not that it shapes them its just a have to, isn't it? You've got to have some, you can't do it without any. But I think this whole experience with the homeless starting five or six years ago is what rearranged my thinking. That you can have it, you may get it, but if you ever get it again you better hold on for dear life. You cant be running around out here with no money.

ES: So you say that homelessness can happen to anybody after a series of bad events or?

AL: It can be one huge bankruptcy can do it. I've seen a lawyer out here on the street before. [unintelligible] whatever, he did something and he went bankrupt 133:00he bought something, just one bad deal, like the trailer park that's what did it, that one bad deal. So you cant put all your eggs in one basket either.

ES: And you think that for women its particularly hard being on the street

AL: Oh yeah

ES: because someone is going to take advantage of them?

AL: No, they are, they're going to and everyone is going to [unintelligible] the ones out there that don't have any money, the ones that's riding around trying to get you to go with them or whatever they mean. And then the other people don't understand do they, they really do judge you, and you may not smell too good some days, because you cant get a shower some days on the weekend, some place sint open. So that's the wake up call; it tells me what money will do for ya. It will keep you off the street, You can get your shower, you can have plenty to eat and you can lay down. And without that money or somebody like this, this organization right here as hot as it is, you're going to be out there 134:00all day. You going to go eat and then you got leave right after you eat. And then where you going to go? Well a lot of people go to the hospital.

CE: Go to the hospital sit in the lobby.

AL: But the guard, the security guard will run you out of there. The library is about the only place you can go.

CE: You go to Louisville hospital you go the entry side way down at what's that Jackson? At Jackson, you go through them doors right there you look around nd you see them people sitting there, you see they homeless.

AL: Uh-huh. You'll know because you'll see them sitting outside the library.

CE: But when you try to use the bathroom right there, you cant use the bathroom because they lock the doors.

AL: And a lot of the churches lock their doors

CE: I mean, and then you say, you walking down the street and you step in somebodies feces. Do you know why that feces is there?


AL: You cant get in nowhere to use the bathroom.

CE: You wont let me use the bathroom, what am I do?

AL: It don't have to be out there {unintelligible]

CE: I'm just giving you an example. What you going to do? But that's his way of saying on you too. You wont let me use the bathroom.

AL: There was a guy until recently [unintelligible] homeless because I seen Tiny on there, so he probably too [unintelligible] with the outreach program and so they'll say they're kicking us out from this area and so were just going to move to another area and back and forth and all that. But when it comes Derby time they don't want anybody on the streets so they can clean it up because they want people to come in and spend money.

ES: Your talking about cleaning up homeless camps?

AL: Yeah all over, anywhere that the tourists especially might see it so they can make money and use it for parking too, use every space available for parking. And charging $40 for it, parking down by the baseball field.


CE: You know I try I figure out what would be an elaborate plan to where all the homeless would have a place to go, now we saying what 1500 is it

AL: No its over a thousand and they're old too!

CE: I said 1500, its 1500 something in that [unintelligible]

AL: {unintelligible] there is places for a young person, a young female to stay and if she's got kids she can stay that's on Jackson street down by the Catholic church on Jackson. But if you don't have little kids.

CE: She's talking about Wayside

AL: No Jackson street, the church down there. What is it? St. de Paul.

CE: Yeah yeah.

AL: But the Catholic churches has never done anything to us, the one that did all that stuff to you was the Baptist church the one that did all that stuff to you. And me too, he told me to get out, he said he can stay he's working for me 137:00he told me to just get out and go, and its like 10 o clock at night and freezing. I didn't appreciate that and he's the one ask us to come up in there didn't he? And he actually told the police where we was, the little box that we had

CE: Yeah

AL: That was hid up in the woods. He had told him where it was and it was two days after you told him, we'd been there two years now and the police made us move out from there. So you have to be careful if you tell people where you're at, because if they want to give you a job, say under the table to mow their yard something like that, if they have plans for you so that you can make them money they wont cost you nothing to pay you like they got to pay the Mexicans, constructions workers, who ever is working for you. If they think they got to pay you, they don't want you. They have people that actually go out and look for these homeless people to work for them and they're not paying them, they come 138:00back with nothing. They tell them well you can just get out the door [unintelligible] And then they do have people, there was one man get on there trying to raise money for the homeless and he said why I'm not going to do it, they put their own self here, they did it to their self. That's what he said, but a lot of them is mentally off, been off for years, way before they been out there, and then they got out there and they got knocked senseless hit in the head a hundred times

CE: There was this guy here trying to talk to me, trying to get together and everything when I was going through the Facebook and I see his name. Richard. And this is the scumbag of scumbags. I first seen him I knew he was a scumbag, 139:00but I cant judge him, I can let him show me that he's a scumbag.

AL: trying to get donations for St. Jude's, but send it to him.

CE: [unintelligible] to him for St. Jude's

AL: That don't make no sense does it. Why wouldn't you just go down there and give it to them?

CE: Why would I give you money for St. Jude?

AL: And he is by himself, and he's not in any group or organization to give the money to, he just said give it to me. [laughs]

CE: You see scumbags, those are what I call scumbags, you know what I'm saying, people come in to talk to us like they really care about us and stuff. I said look here Anita that is not the one [Anita laughs]

AL: Well pretty soon also what it is, men I'm not saying [unintelligible] just about everyone of them says the same type of thing. If they want you to believe 140:00in them, they're going to tell you oh you look beautiful, oh I love you, and this is this and that is that, but the whole time they got other ideas. Its not the ones I met before but I'm talking about out here I haven't met anybody that I could trust, not a soul.

CE: No, and it's a shame, that there aint no men, left you know men of [unintelligible] you know what I mean? Integrity. It's a shame what they do. But it's a shame because you wont find this until its almost too late.

AL: Well I believe what they said when I first came out here, yeah, anybody would, why wouldn't I? Because people tell me stuff and then I aint got no reason to believe that they're lying do I? I don't know you. I know I'm a bad situation but [unintelligible]

CE: Okay.

ES: Yeah, well let me look over my questions real quick. So lets see, you 141:00mentioned Wayside and that you didn't stay there because they separated the two of you--

CE: Yeah, because they separated us, like I said she is my responsibility.

AL: There is people that will steal your purse in there too, its like a prison camp.

CE: So I'm saying I have to make sure that she is secure, that she is safe.

AL: He couldn't ever get me to stay in one. There was one time it was real cold he tried to get me to stay in one and I wouldn't do it. And I ended up with pneumonia too, what I did to keep from going in there. Because its like a jail. If you was to go in there with a purse, nothing would be in there in the morning, nothing is sacred. You're not going to have nothing. Then you got to wait to take a shower and they have two showers [unintelligible] I stayed outside to avoid it.

CE: Its so bad, that you cant entrust your friend to danger. You know. That's 142:00the thing, it's the danger in it. People don't care. I mean you should have been in Arkansas, God Almighty. They were stomping that woman, stomping that woman, beating her. The whole community just like this, just stomping her.

AL: Oh you know something else that if someone else that is homeless will not help will not tell you where to go either.

CE: and the police did not help, you know what he told that girl? Not get up off your, and get my money. I aint never seen nobody beat like that, no female.

AL: [unintelligible] I got beat as bad as that, worse

CE: not no female. I aint never seen that. But guess what, wasn't nothing I could do about that, but get killed. So how do you deal with situations like 143:00that? I've seen some fowl situations like that around here too. [unintelligible]

AL: [unintelligible] we hadn't seen anything terrible

CE: No nothing terrible, Louisville is--

AL: That's why we stayed on, it wasn't nearly as bad as the other ones was it?

CE: I just try to understand people you know, it just to me its different because you have people this way and you have people that way but you don't have people like those

AL: actually some of them don't want a house do they?

CE: Some of them.

AL: They say they do but

CE: Because they been through so much you know you been through a whole lot you get to the point that you say forget this. Im just not with it no more. That's when you see them enclose them self. They wont take a bath, they wont do anything

AL: Where's the little

CE: That's a man that done reached his limit


AL: If I ever see her again we need to tell her where to get some help

CE: People don't see that, when you walk up on that man and you smell him a block before you see him, he's done gave up. That's it, its over.

AL: There is a girl like that, remember that girl in the dress. She's got this one dress on every time you see her. I don't know why nobody [unintelligible]

CE: You can smell the feces on her before you get to her.

AL: [unintelligible] she's a loner, by herself outside all this kind of stuff

CE: But that see that odor that she done accumulated, she see that as her protection, why because you aint going to get close, only thing that you going to do when you see her is start to backing off.

AL: and she don't have nothing to steal

CE: I'm just saying this is the only way that you can live. This is the only way that she can keep from being hurt is the odor that's emanating from her. She'll make you throw up.


AL: I've never seen it that bad nowhere. We was seeing her for a while at the [unintelligible]

CE: She'll go up and down fourth street and what's that Preston to St. Francis is there. If you ever want to see her she will have on like a smock, a long dress down to here and she'll be walking sort of with this little tip to the side like that, but that's her defense that's the only way she can live.

AL: She's never said a word to nobody though, anybody that I know of, she don't say nothing does she

CE: That's their defense. Try to understand what I'm saying to you that's their defense.


AL: She's been out here a pretty good while.

CE: I could be safe, I aint worried about cant nobody get past the smell

AL: There aint no woman out here safe by their self or sleeping by their self outside. I don't believe it do you?

CE: Well she sleeping out there by herself. She aint got no black eyes, aint nobody kicking her, aint nobody taking her property, aint nobody doing nothing because I'm just telling you this is a defense. It's the only security she knows. And she aint going to stop until she gets placed somewhere where she can get help

AL: She does need help

ES: I'm going to interrupt you there to ask you just one final question, I think I'm finished with my questions here because you all have covered a lot [ all laugh]

AL: of stuff that you was going to ask

ES: Yeah, certainly. But is there anything else tha you all wanted to talk about 147:00before we wrap up?

AL: No but I know that I'm thankful for this apartment, I know that. We wouldn't have gotten that if we hadn't gone to St. Johns and we had thought that I wouldn't be able to come here

CE: [unintelligible] that helped us with getting the furniture's you know what I'm saying.

AL: Phone. We didn't even have a phone.

CE: They been more than generous, you know. They been more than generous with us. And like I said I try to do anything they ask me to do I can that's within my power. They understand my mental conditions and stuff

AL: Now they never have done that, the other churches that took us to their houses then it was t his and that and all kinds of things [unintelligible]


CE: [unintelligible] I don't like tot be used. I don't like to give you my trust and you use me. Like I said I got skills, if I'm sitting in front of any task and I can focus I can do that. I can carve, I can carve cabinets out of solid wood, you know cabinets that you put your food and groceries and stuff in. [unintelligible] like I said my skills, I aint talking about no shady work.

AL: Oh and this guy went on to sell his house too after we fixed it up for him [both laugh] without paying us. He said you know what though you all have been 149:00staying there. He took us out there because we couldn't leave it was out in the country couldn't walk anywhere and get nothing. And then we sit out there two or three days without any food. I finally called a friend that I knew there that did take us to get me some food. But he didn't care whether or not we had food! Oh and there was no air either and it was hot, I'm talking about steaming. And we were supposed to be painting the inside of the house, the outside of the house, putting up trim and painting that. Redoing the deck.

CE: I put in bathrooms, redid the tile, all that tile and stuff.

AL: He got $100 for two weeks

CE: [unintelligible] like I said I'm a master mason.

AL: But he got $100 every two weeks and then when the deal was up and he was 150:00supposed to pay you the full amount that he owed you for fixing his home

CE: $5,600

AL: Right that the money, that we could go up and down the countryside looking for scrap metal and get some money that way. [Anita laughs]

CE: This is me

AL: There wasn't nothing that he could do, because he didn't sign no type of contract with the guy number one,

ES: Well, I'm sorry to interrupt because I did want to wrap it up because we are getting to a spot where my recorder doesn't have a whole lot of space left.

CE: okay

AL: Oh okay

ES: So any final remarks that you would like to make?

CE: I would just like to thank you all for the support that you all give and if there is anyway that you all could get more funding for the Coalition and St. Johns it would be most welcome and I would be most thankful because I know that 151:00the monies would be put to good use. And that's basically my summation and I just thank that you took out the time to come and spend with us and to try to understand out thinking and why we live the way we do, I'm most appreciative of that. So I thank you for that.

ES: Well thank you for letting me come here.

AL: Thank you too. Both of us appreciate everything that we do.

ES: Ready to stop?

AL: uh-huh.