I am 51 years old.
It is polite to keep things simple and just say that I am “homeless”. My name is Steve.
It was not always this way. I was diagnosed with HIV many years ago. I have been in trouble with the law before, but have managed to keep out of trouble for a while. Until recently I had opportunities. I worked. I had strong ties with the community and my people. I was just like everyone else, trying to get on with my life the best way I knew how. That all changed when my doctor told me that I have developed HIV dementia. These days all I seem to do is misplace things and become easily confused.
On the day I was arrested by the police, I was hungry and had walked into someone’s house to make a sandwich. I meant no harm. It was a very strange day. But when the police arrived I was apparently eating a sandwich and had cracked an egg in a pan that I had forgotten to turn on. Like I said, I get really confused sometimes.
HALC represented me in court. A lawyer came and visited me when I was in prison and they explained everything to me (probably more than once). They even connected me with a social worker and somewhere to live when I got out of prison.
[all names and information that might identify any individual have been changed for confidentiality purposes]
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