This interview, captured in 2011 by InvisiblePeople, is from Brotha BlueStocking of Boston. He's an interesting voice, alternately challenging and conforming to stereotypes -- which demands, of course, that he be considered and engaged as an individual. 

This afternoon I had a fascinating conversation with Joe Finn, the President and CEO of the Massachussetts Housing and Shelter Alliance.  Not only did he give me a lot of great insights into the Boston homelessness/mental health situation, he also lent me this book by Jay Levy.  I finished the first few chapters tonight, and it's well worth a read if you can get your hands on it.

I've also been working through a few blogs:

Well, rocks is my pillow,
the cold ground is my bed.
The highway is my home
so I might as well be dead.

Hard Luck Blues is a classic 1950 blues ballad. It's about a homeless man, abandoned by his friends and family, traveling from place to place. And, in classic blues fashion, it focuses on how he feels: his sadness, his pain, his depression.

In 2009, I spent a summer working at a mental health crisis center. The stories I heard there blur together in my memory. The teenage girl with two young children and a drug habit, living on her mother's couch; the high school dropout with a boyfriend in jail, living with any friend who'd take her in for the night; the single mom, evicted from yet another apartment, bringing her preteen with her to the shelter. These are the cases I remember, flashbulbs in a long stream of hard luck stories.