These 9 Stories Will Change the Way You Think About Homeless People

  • May 18, 2016
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Everyone has a story, no matter how insignificant we may think they are. These nine people, all having faced tragic or difficult circumstances, prove that we all can have an impact on the world around us, for better or worse.

#6 should be remembered by everyone.


Ziggy the Bagman (b. 1950-ish)

Brisbane celebrity Ziggy the Bagman is homeless by choice (though he refuses the label “homeless”). He became a public figure in 2000 when politicians claimed his presence and hygiene were a hindrance to local businesses. When a television network began a program to get him a home Ziggy made it known that he wasn't interested. Despite being forced to move several times he seems to genuinely enjoy how he lives.


The Leatherman (b. 1839, d. 1889)

This man (whose real name is unknown) would walk a three hundred sixty-five mile path from Connecticut to New York and back gain, over and over, in handmade leather clothes. Allegedly fluent in French, he'd buy supplies (how he made money, no one's sure) but kept conversation brief, ending it all together when asked about his past.


The Cadillac Man (b. unknown)

Here's a story of someone falling on hard times and rebounding. Upon becoming homeless this anonymous man kept journals of his life on the streets in Queens. He eventually had a book published (“Land of the Lost Souls: My Life on the Streets”) with excerpts of his writing appearing in several magazines and newspapers. In late 2015 he was able to acquire housing.


Raymond Lee Harvey (b. 1944)

This vagabond saw himself at the center of a presidential assassination plot. The mentally ill man alleged that three Latino men wanted him to serve as a distraction while they fired upon president Jimmy Carter from their hotel room. The case has never been solved: the only evidence of the plot at all was a shotgun and shells found in one of the conspirator's rooms, though they were long gone by then. Harvey was cleared on all charges and disappeared shortly afterward.


Peter Joseph Bis (b. 1951, d. 2012)

A schizophrenic man in the D.C. Area, Bis was incredibly friendly, striking up conversations with anyone who passed him by. Bis was known for his deep intellect and memory, often surprising people with how much he knew and could recall from past conversations. A lot of his past is difficult to decipher, however, since he was known to make wild claims about himself, such as holding several doctorates.