Home is Not A House
= Audio Available Online
Charlie Early and Anita Lott are a non-romantic couple that met while Anita was experiencing homelessness and Charlie was living with his sister. Anita was born in Mississippi and married twice. Through her second marriage she was exposed to the real estate business and learned how to make money buying, selling and renting out properties. After a bad investment she was bankrupt and without means so she became homeless. During this time she was arrested for prostitution and sought protection in various men as she says homelessness is especially dangerous for women. Charlie Early was living with his sister when he met Anita. He left her home to help Anita as long as she promised to only do the right thing from then on. Together they lived under bridges, and in boxes in various cities in Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas in search of housing and healthcare. They finally traveled to Louisville where they were able to get some aid from St. John Center, the Coalition for the Homeless, and Forgotten Louisville. Finally they were able to be housing through St. John Center's Permanent Supportive Housing Program. (Although this is an all male program, Anita is allowed to stay as well.) Together they rely their experiences with the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, homelessness, police officers, street violence, mental illness, barriers to housing, and their experience with other homeless individuals.
Tristam Martin, known as TJ, is a housing case manager lead at St. John Center for the Permanent Supportive Housing Program. He describes his educational and work background working with children with behavioral issues, as well as how he came to work at St. John center. TJ describes the Permanent Supportive Housing Program concerning who is elligible, the process for entering housing, and services for those in the program. He describes his role as a case manager and the typical work he does and what makes a good anad bad case manager in his opinion. TJ also shares his perspective on gaps in services for the homeless in Louisville, as well as what success for the program and individuals within it looks like.
William "Bill" McLemore was born in Louisville and was one of three kids. His first job was at a bank, then he worked as a draftsman and owned his own company. During this time his father became sick and he stopped working to care for him. A series of events including a bad business deal led to homelessness. He stayed at Wayside before opting instead to camp in a secluded area near downtown. Eventually he was offered housing through the St. John Permanent Supportive Housing Program and earned a score on the vulnerability assessment that got him into housing quickly. Bill discusses his experience with the Permanent Supportive Housing Program, homeless shelters, camping out, encounters with police, violence, as well as his personal spirituality.
Otis Skaggs, a participant in the St. John Center Permanent Supportive Housing Program, was born in Louisville, Kentucky but lived in Larue County. He recounts his life and experiences after dropping out of Western Kentucky University and becoming "a hippie." He recalls hitchiking, and periods of working various jobs including in ski towns in Colorado. He later moved back to Kentucky working for at an Accutec factory while sleeping outside. In an accident Otis was hit by a car and had to stay in a nursing home to recover. During this time he says he realized he no longer wanted to stay outside and called Sarah Buckler (who now works for St. John Center) who had previously offered to help him get into housing. From there, he moved into an apartment, and relays several moves and changes in case manager he has had. Throughout the interview Otis emphasizes his spirituality which he describes as "Christian Buddhist," while also discussing his experiences living outside, and periods of intermittent work and hitchiking.