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James Roosevelt Brooks
Homeless, 56
Thirty-two years. I stayed outdoors, carrying a stick, outdoors for 32 years, day and night every day. That's no joke. AŸ.A.?sªA,Ý I'm doing all right.
There's a whole lot of secrets. Where you take your shower, first. [There's] YMCA, Red Cross, McDonald's, Burger King. You ain't got to take a shower; you wash off. Just don't get caught. AŸ.A.?sªA,Ý Figure what spot to lay your head at without getting the police to stop. I've got 20 of 'em. When you be by yourself, that's the nice part, being by yourself. You ain't got to listen to arguments, fights. "You can't drink, you can't do this, you can't smoke, you've got to be in at a certain time," and when that don't work, I stay outdoors.

Riding a bicycle about eight years ago, I went through a man's windshield on top of the hood, and it had a little eagle on top of it. A pointed eagle -- my nose went through that. Ain't so funny. I went to MCV. I tried to sue him, but that ain't work because he didn't have no money either. I'm dressed up like a mummy. No joke.

I just got off probation. Forgery, I guess. Something I didn't do, but I pulled the time. Then I pulled 10 years' probation. I just got off, March 31. Sure feels all right to me. It's a long walk when you ain't got bus fare to go to the program and all those meetings.
I stay around everywhere. Police stop me too because they know me; all of them know me. I don't bother nobody. I do what I got to do. AŸ.A.?sªA,Ý He lives right down the next street, one of them. He pays me five, six bucks, buys me something to eat, cigarettes. I wash his police car for him.

It's all right with me; I'm used to it. I used to have a house. I had one till my wife AŸ.A.?sªA,Ý I don't want to talk about it. That's why I'm outside now. I used to work at Philip Morris on Commonwealth Road. AŸ.A.?sªA,Ý I was a machine operator before they closed it down. Now they building condos, 385 of them, like the Canal Walk.

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