We find ourselves battling stereotypes and outrageous laws criminalizing our homeless population. Find out more about what the ACLU is doing about it by reading Larry’s story.
You couldn’t say I have a really great life. But without the Idaho ACLU it would be even worse.
I live in my camper. I have to keep moving it from place to place so I don’t get cited by the police. I have been a street performer, a pretty good guitar player, but I now have psoriatic arthritis, so I’m learning to play the ukulele. You have to adapt to whatever life hands you, don’t you?
Although I’ve struggled with a disability since 1987, I made Adirondack chairs, and they were good, too. They were beginning to sell pretty well. But four years ago my wife divorced me and, through a combination of things, I lost everything. Now let me tell you this: I am no role model for anyone. I have three convictions on my sheet-I’m no angel, believe me. But I sure am trying to walk a straight path, you can count on that. But losing my property, houses, my business and my livelihood felt dire.
So that’s my story. I’m trying to lead a decent life, to learn from my mistakes, to become self-sufficient. But last year the City of Boise passed an anti-soliciting ordinance. I kind of figured I had been pushed over the cliff. How could I have survived? Life is better lived if you are able to do something productive and they were taking that away.
I didn’t know what was going to happen. But then the ACLU defended me and others. They went to work to have the law overturned. In January a judge ruled against the city. In February the city reimbursed the ACLU of Idaho for its legal fees.
So now my friends and I are free to continue leading our lives. As I said at the beginning, it’s not a great existence. But that’s the hand I’ve been dealt, and I appreciate your contributions towards my performances. I’m strong, maybe stronger than most, and I will preserve.