Want To See What It Looks Like To Be Homeless And Dying Of Cancer On The Streets Of Missoula, Montana?

by Travis Mateer

When Harley asked me to get him some vodka yesterday, my answer wasn’t an immediate yes. Cigarettes? Yes. Food? Hell yes. But vodka? Yes, but only in certain cases. So I went through a quick mental check list.

Did he look like he might suffer medical complications from NOT drinking? Yes. Was he physically incapable of getting it himself? Yes. Were other booze runners around that he could trust? No.

With the check list done, I told Harley I’d be back, but I warned him I was going to document my travels, which I definitely did. If you want to find the part where I deliver the goods to Harley, who is sitting in his own feces and had recently pissed on the sidewalk, it begins at 1:56. Here’s a screen-shot:

Before getting to the footage, I’ll mention a few things not mentioned in the documentation of this sad story.

Harley had his wallet stolen a few weeks ago, and a conversation I had with a member of his street tribe leads me to think it was an inside job. Harley even showed me where the wallet was literally cut out of his pants with the precision of a knowledgeable hand.

The wallet, of course, had money. Probably at least $100 in cash, maybe more. But more important was the ID. That will take a miracle to re-obtain before the snow flies.

So I got Harley some vodka, cigarettes, and the promise I’ll do what I can to see what can be done. And since I’ve established such a constructive line of communication through email with our County Commissioners, maybe I’ll send them a link. So they can watch this:

Have a great summer weekend in Zoom Town, Missoula! And thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Want To See What It Looks Like To Be Homeless And Dying Of Cancer On The Streets Of Missoula, Montana?

  1. Sam says:

    Thank you for showing this footage. I wish the city/county would show more footage of the horrible conditions people are living in. It brings much needed awareness.
    I saw a post on Facebook this week stating the authorized camp by Mullan Walmart doesn’t have any water? And that all the shade was removed too? Has anyone heard about this or know if it’s accurate?

  2. Djinn&tonic says:

    Fuck, that was hard to watch. All alone and dying of cancer on the streets of Missoula. Harsh realities of our liberal town. Needs a song dedication to it. How about this one: https://youtu.be/9bwnrkapUBk

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