John, 52- New Orleans, LA

“My name is John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I was born two months after JFK was assassinated and was named after him. I used to be a cop. I retired early and managed my brother’s bar for four years. I stopped working when I injured my knee and everything went downhill from there. I was in a bad place and was struggling with alcohol. Eventually, I wore out my welcome and my friend dropped me off at a psych ward. I stayed there for 8 days in recovery. I left a month ago and have been homeless since then.

I can’t even walk, let alone work. I dislocated my knee twice, tore all the ligaments, and have broken my kneecap. My most recent injury was just a slip going up the stairs. At this point, I basically just need a new kneecap if I want to be healthy again. I’m constantly in pain and hopped up on painkillers. The hospital gave me a walker and that’s my mode of transportation for the time-being. I’m working on getting disability but that takes a while.”


“I sit out here on the corner all day with my back against the wall, but I can’t ask people for money. I tried it one day and just started crying, I just can’t do it. I’m Irish Catholic from Chicago and I have that pride in me that I just can’t seem to swallow. Twenty years ago, I had so much fucking money. It’s hard to look back at that, but I have to wonder what my niece and nephew would think of Uncle Jon if they saw him like this. I stopped speaking to my family since I’ve been on the streets, I can’t handle having to talk to them.”


“How much lower can you get than this? When I was in the psych ward they asked me if I was suicidal. Yeah, I want to blow my fucking head off. If there was a fucking 9mm sitting on the counter, I would’ve locked and loaded and blown my fucking head off. This is a dark place to be where you are surrounded by people but still feel alone.

A mom pulled up to the light with her kid and I hear “Mommy look!” “Don’t look at him. Don’t look at him” she said. Everybody’s got issues, and we all have feelings- we don’t need to always be looked down upon. We’re just homeless. I’m not looking to make friends or anything, I’m just trying to survive.”

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