Jesse was a psychotic man whose crazed, robotic appearances rendered his age and national origin difficult to identify (this also served as protection from predators). Over several years of observation he scarcely spoke when others were present. He ignored all outreach overtures with the same robotic indifference. People cleared a path whenever he entered a drop-in center because of his odor and appearance. He came only to collect day-old doughnuts and loaves of bread that was regularly donated in large quantities by area bakeries. No one knew where he spent his nights. Just before the onset of winter, the heavy coat the Jesse wore all year round had progressed to a state of severe disrepair. Most of its lining and insulation material dangled outside of the coat and remained attached to it by mere threads. Drop-in staff feared Jesse's survival in the cold but he refused to acknowledge their offers of a replacement coat. Subsequently he was offered a plastic bag with holes cut into it for his arms and head. It was hoped that he would use this to keep the coat's lining against his body. He would not acknowledge this offer either. Eventually he dropped out of sight; later it was learned that he had been committed to the state hospital after being found on the night of winter's first freeze. A police sweep of abandoned buildings had discovered him still wearing the favored coat with its dangling lining. (Kuhlman 120).
People like Jesse continue on a cycle of depravity; moving from shelter to shelter, refusing help and medication, further perpetuating their poverty. What if a loved one was in Jesse's situation, wouldn't a person insist on top-notch care? Sadly, most people do not consider such things, but instead ignore the growing problem of the homeless mentally ill. As an intern working at the local private mental hospital, I unfortunately saw plenty of cases like Jesses'. Countless homeless mentally ill individuals would shuffle through the cycle of depravity, receiving little to no intensive care.