What we could get from Steve is that he used to work in a seafood restaurant in West Virginia, before leading a single, traveling life, criss crossing the country and ending up in the Biggest Little City.
His words are like poetry but they usually don't make much sense to outsiders. He ran the gamut from talking about being victimized by the Ku Klux Klan, to once using steroids and also being the father of quadruplets. As reporters on the streets, it's hard to verify the stories we hear.
We want to give a voice to the voiceless, but what if that voice is lost in a static fog, in a jumble of incoherence, accusations, conspiracies and pain?
Mental Illness on the Streets
We aren't doctors, we are just trying to relay stories which don't usually make it to the front page, six o'clock news or social media feed, but it seemed to us Steve suffered from unfortunate mental ailments.
According to research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about a quarter of the homeless population in the United States suffers from some form of what is qualified as severe mental illness.
This includes disorders producing psychotic symptoms, such as schizophrenia, major depression and bipolarism. In comparison, according to this research, only 6% of Americans are severely mentally ill.
Our Society's Deinstitutionalization
Over the last 60 years or so there has been what's called deinstitutionalization in this country, with more and more mentally ill pushed out of public psychiatric hospitals onto the streets and then often in and out of jail. Would Steve be better off in a psychiatric hospital at this point? Hard to tell, and who are we to judge?
This is how our interview ended as Steve had enough of being asked questions.
Do you love music? "Yes." What kind of music do you like? "My brain is tired. I've said all I could say to you..."