PNN RoofLESS Radio: Eugene Encampment Stories -- John

Tiny - Posted on 30 November 2021


what's your name or what would you

like to be called? 

my name is john


how long have you been in this

encampment or houseless in general?

i've been houseless since

the end of 2019


So what's your story?

My story is i was born and raised here in eugene oregon. 

i struggled all my life with addiction and 

i finally got a foothold on that when i

was 25 and had my first child

my son

he was born in 2005

And that gave me the ability and the courage

and strength to sober up and get clean

off of amphetamines. 

I was clean for about 10 years off of amphetamines.  

i was married for seven

years, i got divorced and

i started drinking heavily, and my

addiction problem reared its ugly head

just with something else and that was alcohol. 

about a year into that i ended up going to prison

for a burg charge because i tried to beat up my neighbor

in his house for assaulting my son. 

i went to prison for 30 months for that

gave me time and clarity to actually

be sober it was the longest period of

time in my life that i was actually

sober from all substances 

The 10 years i was clean off amphetamines

i was still drinking, smoking pot here

and there. I was a functioning addict.

I got out of prison in 2018.

i moved up to portland

because my kids and their mother moved

to washington so i want to be closer to them

things were going fairly smooth and

then i started having problems with their mother.

she had remarried and she

didn't trust that i was completely sober

and that really affected me a lot actually

because i was i was actually sober i was

the healthiest i'd ever actually been in

my entire life 

i got a job with union carpenter's union

i was making really good money i was on

the path to be able to buy my own home

within a year. 

but she was able to convince

her new husband along with my kids that

i had been using and i was no not safe to be around

even though my parole officer continued

to tell her that every time she called and accused me of

using he never got any dirty UA from me, it was always

clean, i was clean so as far as he knew

and he was convinced I was clean. 

she still pushed and persisted and

my kids ended up stopping talking to me 

towards the end of 2019. 

They broke my heart. 

I wanted to commit suicide but i just didn't

have the courage to so i tried heroin

for the first time at 36 years old. 

It was the biggest mistake of my life.

because that started this this cycle

that i found myself stuck in along with

the pandemic.

things were hard and

once family members found out that i had

a problem with heroin even though they knew who i was

without heroin, they've heard horror

stories about heroin and heroin addicts

and they just couldn't trust me.

so i found myself on the streets. 

i couldn't hold a job since the end of 2019 up until

six months ago and i finally got a job

at the jiffy lube across the street and

i've just been kind of bouncing back and forth

from this camp to other spots

trying not to be here because my heroin

addiction makes it really hard to stay clean.

but it's so convenient for work.

And here I am. I've recently relapsed. i was clean for two

months and then i relapsed again and here i stand. 


Thank you for your story. 


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