Kevin Williams has been chronically homeless since 1992, when he was just 14 years old. At his young age he hopped from train to train through Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and New York. Kevin suffered from schizophrenia most of his life and fought overseas in the military. When asked why he left in the first place he stated, “I always had to hide to feel comfortable. It’s very dangerous to be in a place where you don’t feel safe.” He experiences paranoia and takes medicine regularly in order to control his hallucinations. “It’s not a life you want,” he explained. “It just sucks you in.”
When asked what he likes to do, Kevin responded, “I like helping people. I would like to do more.” He flashed a contagious smile as he presented a framed picture of his great-niece and explained how he pays for her daycare. “I feel good doing it,” he said.
As our meeting with Kevin came to an end he pulled up a photo of It’s a Wonderful Life on his phone. As soon as it emerged his face brightened and he described how it made him feel like every person can make a difference. His departing words were “If you are in need there are people who will help.” That night he planned to prepare a spaghetti dinner for himself and a few people who were in need. In the future he plans to attend computer-programing classes.