“I’ve seen - - I don’t know how many friends get murdered and die. I mean, Knoxville is a cool place, but it’s treacherous for the homeless. I’ve seen them die. That’s why I’m up here in West Knoxville,” Steven Henn told me. Evidently, the West Knoxville area is safer for homeless due to the upper income of West Knoxville residents.
The 55 year old then paused while describing his current life, “I lost my girlfriend.” When I asked how she died he said with tears in his eyes, “She… I think her liver… She did not tell me things that were wrong with her because she did not want me to know that she was dying. I knew she was dying, but it happened real quick - - gosh darn I miss her so much.”
His leathery skin was a mix of red and orange. His body covered with scars followed by tattoos.
I asked him about his childhood and he stated, “I was born in Indiana and my dad moved us to North Carolina when I was 13.” He went on to describe the atmosphere of where he spent his teenage years, “Back when I was a kid a guy use to put a gun to our head and he said – You beat this boy up or we’re gonna shoot ya.”
“Poverty entails fear and stress and sometimes depression. It meets a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts that is something on which to pride yourself but poverty itself is romanticized by fools.” - J. K. Rowling, screenwriter and film producer