He is a veteran who has been homeless for twenty years. Under Houston freeway underpasses, the tents are lined up like chess pieces. Each slightly different but all part of the same board.
Brock has been living under the underpass by Hamilton and Polk, just east of downtown Houston. He says his time serving in the military weighed heavily on him and he began drinking to cope.
This tent that I’m in here right now, as you see I live here. I have some citizens from other parts of the state in the other.Roger Brock, Person Experiencing Homelessness
Death is also a normal occurrence here. According to the National Coalition for Homeless, life expectancy for those on the streets is 20 years less than those who are housed. Roger lost his friend who served with him in the military. He passed in the tent next to him.
We talked about structure, know what I’m saying? Where you been? And umm what got you here? He was the gentleman that I looked too he was my brother at heart.”Roger Brock, Person Experiencing Homelessness
Houston Police Department also has an outreach team comprised of HPD officers and Case Managers from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD. The outreach team began in 2011 and works with organizations like SEARCH Homeless services. SEARCH Homeless services have provided Brock with an apartment.
After Twenty years of being homeless and being under a bridge, I have seen a lot but I don’t judge I just do what I have to do and most of all I’m just grateful and thankful for getting the opportunity to put God first.Roger Brock, Person Experiencing Homelessness
Brock says despite everything he’s lived through, he is grateful every morning when he wakes up he gets a second chance.