Breaking News
More () »

'This is real freedom' | Man living on the streets says he doesn't need housing

Ray was one of a handful of people who had to gather their belongings and leave as the city cleared out a homeless encampment at 9th and Market.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — At the corner of 9th and Market, a handful of people worked to salvage as many personal items as they could before they lost their temporary homes Thursday.

One of those people was Ray. Ray said he served two tours in the Marines and came home a changed man, unable to live in closed spaces. For the last three years, he and his family have chosen to live outdoors.

Ray said he came to this area three weeks ago "out of necessity," after an incident drove his family from where they were living before.

"Someone lit my tent on fire when my wife and daughter were in it so we moved up here on the fly," he said.

The city of Louisville announced Monday that crews were planning to clear out the homeless camps at 9th and Market because it had become unsafe. People living there had 72 hours to gather their belongings and leave.

RELATED: 'It's overdue' | Affordable housing advocates respond to city's plans for ARP funds

Ray said even in this state, rushing to pick up everything he owned, he wouldn't want to live any other way.

"This is real freedom out here," he said. "I have no obligations. Nothing holding over my head. I literally get up and ask myself every what I want to do and that's what I do."

He said living on the streets has taught him that there's more to life than material possessions.

"You learn when you have less life's a lot easier, simpler and when you get it the way we do, if someone comes and steals it, I go and find it in another dumpster."

Homeless outreach groups were available Thursday to help the people living there find a new place to go. Unlike others who've already made their way to another downtown encampment, Ray said his group is looking to go more off the grid.

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch atbhasch@whas11.com. Follow her onTwitter (@WHAS11Hasch) andFacebook.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out