Street Stories: William Coxen

When I met Mr. Coxen he was throwing away a terribly worn out pair of shoes into a trashcan in the park. He was wearing a much nicer looking pair of used dress shoes. In place of socks, he was wearing torn fragments from the sleeves of a shirt.

I approached him because he looked interesting. Speaking to him it quickly became evident that he had mental issues. He was sweet and kind and gladly shared his story with me, but what if any of it is real is difficult to say.

Here are some highlights from a long conversation.

  • A U.S. Citizen who has been living in Tijuana for approximately 20 years
  • Suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of what the State did to him.
  • Retired Industrial Arts and Psychology Teacher ruined because he nailed people in the State for what they were doing. They put him on a blacklist and tried to kill him.
  • Twenty years of volunteer work in Tijuana. Has taught skills and offered therapy.
  • Often spends the night in a place that isn’t a rehab place but helps people. He gets a bed and a meal at 7:30 at night for 16 pesos a day (approximately 90 cents U.S.)
  • University of San Diego is paying the 16 peso expense to¬†protect him.
  • Almost killed twice in Tijuana living in “tent city”, while he was waiting to qualify for asylum in Mexico under the “Forcibly Displaced Person” status.
  • Lives on donated food.
  • Homeless for ten years.
  • Almost killed in the park where we speaking about 10 days ago.
  • Feels better now than he has in a long time.
  • He has hope for the future and believes his life will improve.

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