All posts tagged: Money

“I’ve been in and out of jail since I was 13”

Pookie (pseudonym) walks briskly down W. Chambers St. at the south end of Clinton Rose Park as the sun begins to set on Juneteenth Day. A gaggle of Milwaukee police turn down a nearby alleyway but Pookie walks on, un-phased. “Born and raised here, right here on the east side,” he says. “I didn’t have no momma — momma was a crackhead — so, you know what I’m sayin’, I sold drugs.”

“The best job I had was the military”

Christopher Lee looks out on a cold, rainy day from the top step of the Dryhootch cafe on West National Avenue. Lee, who’s missing his three front teeth and has a bloodshot eye, holds a white cup in his right hand; the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Ave., sprawls behind him. “I joined the military comin’ out of Bay View high School back in ‘89 and, uh, I was still in high school,” Christopher says. “I’m just hangin’ out — they’ve got weekend hours, which is good. Right now, I am currently homeless — been that way for a little while, technically. But, for the most part, everything is halfway good.”

“It’s a little bigger than us”

Leon Douglas leans on a car in the parking lot of a McDonald’s on 35th and Juneau. Douglas, who’s homeless and had been canvassing the outside of the establishment hoping for some charity, scarfs down a cheeseburger, with one still waiting in the bag; an order of fries and a large Sprite sit on the sidelines. “You had to learn the hard way,” says Douglas, who grew up without a father near 35th and Center. “All I seen was pimps, prostitutes, whores, things of that nature; nothing productive, nothing that offered me any real insight as to what the future might bring, as far as goals.”