Gerald Weissert said he “quite enjoys being homeless,” and chalks it up to having more of a fear of responsibility.
“Since I’ve been here, all the stress is gone.” He said he doesn’t drink alcohol, but smokes cigarettes re-rolled from butts he finds. He goes to the soup kitchen and then to the library, where he plays on the computer, then returns to the tent and listens to music and reads.
Homeless since 2002, he used to camp in the county, he says, but moved closer to town once it became clear that a no-camping policy wouldn’t be enforced. He got three tickets for camping, but couldn’t pay the fines, so he spends time in jail and doesn’t mind it.
“At jail, you get a shower,” he says. His teeth are mostly gone, and he’s been in pain because of it. “When you get here, you learn to live without nice things – like teeth,” he joked.