Disabled Homeless Man on Skid Row Shares about Heroin Addiction.


– [Interviewer] J.W. – Yes, sir. – [Interviewer] We’re here on Skid Row. You’re homeless, tell me about it. – It sucks, man, it sucks. Everybody’s uh, you know you turn around, you leave somethin’ layin’ around, they’ll take it in a heartbeat. People are pretty ruthless down here. So you gotta kinda keep aware. Shit, every time I, ’cause
I do a little bit of heroin every once in awhile and I nod out. I wake up and all my shit’s gone, so ah– – [Interviewer] You’re sober now. – I wouldn’t say sober. – [Interviewer] (laughs) Coherent. – Yeah, yeah, I’m in between nod and– – [Interviewer] Well it’s
hard to do homeless sober. – Yeah, yeah I was
drinkin’ for a long time but then my liver got so fucked up and pancreatitis and all that crap. I had to do somethin’ to ease the pain ’cause I got a lot of aches and pains. So I started doin’ pain pills and heroin and that’s my love now. – [Interviewer] Is that
how you ended up homeless? – Yeah, I guess that’s a
big part to do with it. You know I was always, I don’t know they said I was
bipolar but I don’t know. I dropped out of school real young. Longest job I’ve ever had
was with the carnival. I gotta, I gotta find, maybe find a doctor to help me maybe get some
medication so I just stay level, you know I don’t know. – [Interviewer] How long have
you been in the wheelchair? – Oh shit, I don’t know,
about three months, three months somethin’ like that. They were talkin’ about
cuttin’ my foot off. I got an infection in my
foot and it went to my bone and I was so damn high on heroin, I couldn’t feel the pain. – [Interviewer] Heroin’s the
perfect drug for all this. – Oh man, I love it. – [Interviewer] You forget everything. – Yeah, it eases everything, everything’s all right for a minute. But it’s actually, every time you do it, it’s gettin’ worse and worse
and worse but you don’t see it. You’re just so fucked up. – [Interviewer] Where are you sleepin’ at? – Oh my God, wherever they
put me, won’t kick me out of. – [Interviewer] Where’d
you sleep last night? – Last night I slept in a
place called Little Tokyo behind, in this little alley cutway. And they woke me up this mornin’. I got up, went panhandlin’, got me enough to get me
a little bag of dope. And then I came down here
hopin’ I can get some shoes. – [Interviewer] And the
mission hooked you up with some shoes. – Yeah man, they hooked me up. – [Interviewer] And you got
some new socks for the shoes. – New socks and shoes, yeah. – [Interviewer] Such a deal. – Yeah, but– – [Interviewer] So
what’s your future like? – I see myself hopefully soberin’ up man and I wouldn’t mind helpin’
other people get off the streets and I wouldn’t wanna get paid much, just enough as long as I
had a roof over my head and food in my belly, man,
that’s all I really need. But I’d really like to help other people. That’s, that’s my, that’s just passin’ out socks to the homeless or you
know what I’m sayin, anything to give back. – Right.
– You know. And, you know. – [Interviewer] What would you want people to know about homelessness
that they might not know? – I mean, I met some of the coolest people out here on the streets, but I’ve also met the most evilest
motherfuckers out here too. I mean you just gotta, I mean everybody’s human bein’ right? You got your good and bad
everywhere, everywhere. I mean, that goes all the
way up to the White House. Everywhere you go, you
got your good and bad, you just gotta be careful
and try to read people and watch out. – [Interviewer] So are you
getting your foot looked after? – Yes sir, yes sir. They wanted to keep me in the
hospital for about a month and do the antibiotic drip. But my damn addiction
kinda got in the way. I keep leavin’. ‘Cause I mean, they don’t
wanna give me nothin’ strong to take my pain away. So I just, every time I get a chance, I left to go do some heroin. So now I’m at the needle exchange. They got a little doctor over there. They’re givin’ me antibiotics. They’re givin’ me antibiotics over there. I’m hopin’ that works. – [Interviewer] If you had three wishes, what would they be? – Three wishes? Well, I’d wish that I was 19 again. – [Interviewer] (laughs) – And I’d wish for some, some, yeah I wish that I could get, well you know I can’t start over but I would wish to get back in touch with my family, my daughters. I’m gonna be a grandpa. – [Interviewer] Wow. – I wish that I could
stay off these damn drugs so I could get my shit together, man. – Was that three? – [Interviewer] Yeah. Well thank you very
much for talkin’ to me. – All right bro, cool.

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