Well, you could say I chose the lifestyle, it’s not only in La Crosse I lived this lifestyle. I mean, we’re talking about almost 39 states I lived this lifestyle. The only loving part was the, the churches. So I slept pretty much in the street. I slept in laundry mats, I slept in stairwells, in the parks. I guess my major, uh, activity was panhandling. And that’s where it really, next, for the next four years I lived downtown.
The places I mostly stayed was at the Cathedral. They have a little, it was a garden back there that had like a chair and a table. And Father Gorman was the pastor; he did not mind. I told him I was Catholic from the start, and so I built up a rapport with him. So he let me sleep out there, and that was, um, Winter, Summer. You know when it got too cold I find me a stairwell. There were some people in the downtown area that would even bring me blankets, you know if they caught me, you know, sleeping on the landing.
The bad side was that I was, you know, still an outcast, you know; because you know, get a job, do this, do that. It’s like I have a college background, I have a homeless background, I have the jail background. I’ve been in their shoes, I’ve been out of their shoes.
My name is Martin Jude Peeples, I live here at 1918 Denton St. I’ve stayed here for four and a half years. My role to the community is not really much. That’s about as truthful as I can get. I don’t really have a role. Mostly I’m just undecided what’s gonna happen in my life, particularly you know, um, I am disabled. What is my sense of direction, I don’t know if I have one, you know – I used to. Pretty much that’s my story.
More information is available on the Hear, Here website, https://www.hearherelacrosse.org/stories/martin-jude-peeples/.