He is a good-looking man and he came to Portland from California to visit his sister and friends for two weeks. Struck by the sight of so many homeless people, he began to sketch people sleeping in doorways, on the street. On that first day, he became absorbed, insatiably curious, fixated. Declining to stay with his sister that first night, he decided to sleep on the street. What was it like to be homeless? Why wasn't more being done to help these people? What are their stories? How do people end up on the street? He began to talk to the street people and he began to journal, collecting their stories, growing his understanding. He has been seven nights on the streets now and has slept in each of the four quarters of the city. What with police and guards moving him along and business-owners hosing down the areas in front of their shops, he has rarely been able to get more that two or three hours of sleep at a time. He now realizes that it is not food that homeless people need the most, it is sleep. And a safe place to be while they are sleeping. Rapes and assaults on street people are a daily occurrence. Your few precious things get stolen by desperate others the moment you get distracted or close your eyes. Without sleep, you go insane. Have you seen crazy, homeless people on the street? Chances are, they are experiencing long-term sleep deprivation, thought it takes only one night without sleep for the hallucinations to come, for sanity to evaporate. He says he will spend the next seven nights on the street. He says he may never go home.
 


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