This is Jermaine

Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC.

I heard Jermaine before I saw him outside the Department of Justice building in Washington, DC. He was running back and forth in front of the building singing some gospel tune and asking passersby to pray with him. Being the gullible soul that I am I agreed to listen to the prayer and was able to get in an amen when Jermaine paused to take a breath. Jermaine is quite mentally ill and says that he should be taking haldol (a major antipsychotic drug) but hasn’t been to the clinic since he was released from Federal Prison a few weeks ago, where he served ten months for trespassing on Government property. Jermaine, although psychotic is an affable and gregarious man. Sadly, he frightens people with his behavior so they cut a wide path around him making panhandling a losing proposition. Jermaine was probably stabilized on medication when he left the Federal Prison system but as often happens he fell between the cracks and has not received any aftercare. When asked about his plans to get back on his meds he just launches into another prayer. I gave Jermaine a food voucher in exchange for his permission to take this photograph. He thanked me by saying he would pray for me… I’m sure that is true.

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