FACING ARIZONA

Facing Arizona: I’ve been homeless since I was 19

Mar 2, 2018, 5:35 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2018, 1:38 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)...
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)
(KTAR News Photo/Sure Shot Photography)

Editor’s note: Facing Arizona is a series that will appear on KTAR.com and social media  — follow KTAR News on Instagram and Facebook for updates — highlighting unique and everyday people across our state and give you a glimpse into their lives.

I’ve been homeless since I was 19. I didn’t graduate school and my family turned their backs on me because I am an addict. I use heroin when I can afford it, but I won’t lie and say that I don’t use what I can get my hands on.

I was an alcoholic as well, but I can’t afford both. I’ll drink if someone is passing something around. It’s hard being homeless but it’s my choice. I didn’t have bad parents, they are actually good people. I chose to drink, cause trouble and do drugs.

I stole from anyone I could to support my habit, including my family. I went to rehab a couple of times, but I always went back to the drugs. I thought it was more fun than listening and following rules. It’s not fun now I can tell you that.

Some of the other homeless will mess you up just for the scraps you don’t even have. Everyone is just trying to survive so they do whatever they need to do. I get it, no one is going to look after you but you. I used to be scared but I’m not anymore. The only thing that freaks me out are the crazies out here. You never know what they will do. That really messes with me. I’m happy because spring training is almost here, and I get more leftover food when there are events. I’d rather get food to be honest with you. The food I will eat because I’m always hungry. If people give me money I just spend it on drugs. So yeah, I’m happy when they give me food. Sometimes I find books that people left at the bus stop or the light rail station. Most of them I don’t understand but I still read them anyway. It helps to pass the time. It’s really nice when people like you stop and actually talk to me. It doesn’t happen that often.

Even when people give me their scraps, they never look me in the eye, that hurts. All of us get treated pretty badly but I get it, most of us have made our own choices and that is why we’re here. Some try to blame other things but most of the time it’s our fault. It’s really nice when people talk to me like you are. I know I’ll die on the street, I just don’t see any other ending for me. I hope it happens when I’m sleeping, maybe during a good dream. That would be nice too. – Justin

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Facing Arizona: I’ve been homeless since I was 19