Originally from Boston, 50-year-old Mike Souza has been homeless for about 6 months. He resides on the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL. “It’s not fun being homeless,” says Souza.
Numerous homeless people throughout Fort Lauderdale gather on the corner of St. Andrews and Broward Blvd. Food trucks, clothing donations, and other volunteer services occur on a weekly basis here, bringing the community together.
Souza and his best friend Tommy, aka “Top” walk to their favorite spot in downtown Ft. Lauderdale by the inter coastal. “It is where we go to meditate and reflect,” says Souza.
A local officer questions Souza about other homeless people and their acts. Souza does not comply to the officers wants. Mike Souza had just been released from jail a few weeks prior for an open container. “It’s pretty funny that teenagers can run around with alcohol everywhere but nobody charges them for an open container,” says Souza. “Especially on a day like today [St. Patricks Day].” Souza is currently in debt with the county because of his arrest and not being able to afford it. Apparently, it costs money to be arrested now. “Police will do anything to arrest the homeless and make their numbers,” says Souza.
After being robbed at his old sleeping “camp grounds” Souza rests at an abandoned home in downtown Broward on the corner of 3rd avenue. On most nights he sleeps behind the house, but due to weather conditions, he sleeps under the roof tonight.
“Life on the streets isn’t easy,” says Souza. “It’s depressing and it’s a daily struggle. I am doing what I can to move forward with my life.”