Dan Brekke, Perry Foster, Two Years discussed on Charlie Parker

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

The anonymity of the streets and sometimes by our own fear here's dan brekke met perry foster in february twenty sixteen while reporting san francisco mayor ed lee's decision to clear tents from division street the worst thing about being out here seen people fall apart seeing people succumb zen people break but he said the street was not going to bring down this is just a momentary blip is something that had to go through to have a voice i definitely speaking loudly about this this predicament came through because i will get through the perry did not get through this spring after nearly a decade of living homeless he overdosed and died he was forty eight years old he had told me he had family in grand rapids michigan after his death i started hearing from people who knew him he was an outstanding football player that's jim galvin who coached period grand rapids catholic central in one thousand nine hundred eighty six and eighty seven jim paseo quarterback those teams had very very special gifts both physically and to connect with with other people perry had been nearly unstoppable running back in his senior year he led catholic central to a state championship perry went onto eastern michigan university and starred there for two years but he failed academically he vanished from football and from the lives of his old teammates big was on drugs or something but at times he was doing stuff they shouldn't have been doing because he wasn't acting right anymore you know perry's father robert foster still lives in grand rapids the former tool and die maker who trained as a christian pastor says his son became hard to reach berry you know you gotta you know god gave you talent you need to use that in the right way to get where you want to go you know i made these legs i did this i oh really step back from you for a few minutes lightning gonna strike in a minute after perry came out as gay it led to a further breach with his father he left michigan and stops in atlanta chicago san diego and other cities followed in two thousand eight perry arrived in san francisco over the next decade he was shot arrested several times jailed stabbed in hospitalized repeatedly he eventually started living in a tent but the charisma his high school teammates remember it was still intact mariah master got to know perry during the two years she worked on the san francisco homeless outreach team didn't really catch some sorta elegance tim self and he really he didn't allow things to get dictated to him and how how he should be looking at how he should be treated but she says perry had a lot of health problems and it was hard sometimes to get him to take care of himself last september perry posted pictures on facebook after he'd been dragged from his tent in beaten family members pleaded with him to come home to come back to grand rapids what had those days been like for him i tracked down one friend who goes by the name memphis who got to know perry when they both lived in tents on division street was perry afraid on the streets was he afraid what was going to happen out here yes anything he was still here as far as long as you want and you still there there's always something to be because it can happen that is he says perry had made plans to return to michigan i saw them go home and months ago he's a he needs to do something here i thanks for us and then what was that thing robert foster says his son talked about trying to help others living on the street preparing the best way you can help anybody is to get a show him how to get out by you getting out and doing better they ain't going back and helping people robert foster learned april eleventh that perry died of a heroin overdose perry's remains were returned to michigan and in late april his family and his football family held a memorial mariah master said she found some comfort in that i'm really happy to know that somebody else looks carried idea i'm dan brekke k tweedy news and i'm tiffany cam hi you're listening.

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