I hope that everyone takes the time to meet David. David is a citizen of Albuquerque who is living on the streets. Unfortunately David is not a unique case but one of many seen across the United States.
Police detectives came in contact with David because he was hanging objects in trees along route 66. When asked how long he has been homeless David said, ”Clocks don’t work with me” and that he cannot remember the last time he had a home. David was offered multiple resources and only asked for food. He told detectives that it is hard to carry food with him on the streets so he only eats the food left in trashcans on the street. He said he does not go to food kitchens or food pantries because he does not trust the people around him.
He was offered a gift card to Wal-Mart but refused it saying the Wal-Mart card readers do not work for him. Detectives instead went to Wal-Mart and with a $10 gift card they purchased David a backpack, six-pack of water, crackers, cookies and peanut butter. They said David was ecstatic to see the cookies and said it was the first time he’s had cookies in over three years. David was also given a resource book of local programs that he has available to him.
David said he wished police would carry around word puzzles or coloring books for people like him to keep their minds stimulate. David showed officers his crayons that he keeps in a waterproof bag and said without mind simulation he gets in trouble.
Traditional services in place to help the homeless are hard for David to navigate and find. Unfortunately for David he is left until he reaches a point of crisis for first responders to take him for services at the hospital.
Ask a Doc-Ask a Cop: The Mental Health Minute