commented on Evicted Ballard Resident Who Has Autism Stares Down Homelessness
I worked with Joel for 7 years as a Direct Support Professional at The Arc. He is not a hoarder, he is a collector, mainly of music and rock and roll memorabilia. His landlord is a colossal douchebag who always did the bare minimum of maintenance to pass the section 8 inspection. The cottage he lived in was only about 400 square feet.
commented on Seattle Rallies Around Beloved Ballard Resident Who Is Being Evicted
#6 I used to work with Joel as a support staff person. Joel does not speak though he does laugh and smile a lot. He has unfortunately been harassed by the police a lot. One time he was walking by my house and I heard him outside. 2 officers were approaching him from opposite sides. One of the officers was reaching for his weapon. I went running down the street in my stocking feet to reassure the officers that he was harmless. Apparently one of my neighbors had called the police to report his behavior. Sorry folks, but being weird isn't illegal.
I believe that Joel had these encounters fairly often. He would show up at my office with drawings of a cartoon Mother Goose in a police uniform waving a ruler at him, angry looking teddy bears and him behind bars.
As Joel has expanded his connection with the local community in the form of folks like the Moped Army, musicians and admirers of outsider art, his reliance on paid support has waned. He really is the very model of a success story for a person with a disability living on his own. Not sure that I'd describe him as a "hoarder" so much as a collector, and his house is quite small. It is unfortunate but I think it unlikely he will be able to stay in Ballard. His living situation has been really ideal.
A bit of Joel trivia - his real last name is Abel.