by Travis Mateer
On the same day I learned the Providence Health Care system won’t release their policies unless legally required to, I ran into Michael sitting in his wheel chair with his pants half down, trying to fish out some dirty cash from his soiled jeans.
Michael is old school, meaning I’ve known him since the OLD Pov days, when the shelter was located downtown. When I say Cockeyed Joe, Michael knows exactly who I’m talking about.
Before running into Michael halfway between the NEW Pov location and St. Patrick’s Hospital (run by Providence), I spoke with him near Target, where he was panhandling, so I already knew a bit about why he was back on the streets.
But I hadn’t seen his foot.
The video I recorded, with Michael’s permission, is focused on his foot and it is graphic and unsettling if you’re not a first responder or someone with similar experience.
Then, for additional context, I biked a few blocks to record myself non-professionally assessing the situation with St. Pats in the background.
If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s the gist: Michael is a Veteran and was paying a nightly OFF season rate at one of the Motel 6’s (but not the one Adam stayed at), meaning he was paying, allegedly, nearly $3,000 a month.
When the seasonal rates hit, Michael couldn’t afford the cost, so he was back on the streets.
I’m sure there’s more to the story, but, at the end of the day he IS a Veteran and Missoula DOES CLAIM to be able to deal with this kind of stuff.
Anyway, here’s the video of Michael’s foot. If it ruins your next meal, I’m not sorry.
If you got this far, you get extra bonus points if you can tell me what color Michael’s skin is.