Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC
I came upon Jeffrey in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC. I first spotted him from across the street as I noticed he was yelling at passersby and causing people to make a wide path around him. As these things rarely matter to me, I stopped to see if I could engage him in a conversation. The best I could do was to learn his name which may or may not be correct as it was part of a long disconnected and quite psychotic run on sentence. Jeffrey is quite mentally ill and very delusional about the FBI and the Government in general. When I inquired where he slept at night his reply was he had no need for sleep as he had to be vigilant 24 hours a day. Despite his paranoid and delusional thinking Jeffrey was quite willing to talk with me, sadly he made no sense at all and I eventually had to disengage myself. Surprisingly he agreed to this photograph in exchange for a bottle of water, a cup of coffee and a granola bar. He insisted that he had to display his FBI badge in the photo, which of course was no such thing.
Jeffrey is one of hundreds of seriously and chronically mentally ill men and women on the streets of Washington, DC. They are the most at risk and vulnerable members of our community and at the same time the most ignored and underserved. This is a human tragedy and should be a major embarrassment for a city as wealthy and large as Washington, DC. Sadly, Jeffrey and others like him are invisible.