Doug was born in Kansas on November 15, 1985, and moved to Loveland when he was a teenager, in 2000. He attended high school in the dawn of the new millennium and graduated from Thompson Valley in 2004. Doug went to Front Range Community College in Fort Collins for a semester, but dropped out when he started making good money with a local tent and awning company. He did that for a few years before moving to Texas, to help his dad with 14 acres of property outside of Dallas.
“It was nice down there. Not so crowded. The police don’t give you so many speeding tickets – unless you’re brown,” he says plainly. “It’s much more country-ish than here.”
Doug came back to Colorado in 2012, closer to his siblings. His brother graduated from CSU with a Computer Science degree, but couldn’t find work locally. “It’s hard to get jobs in Colorado when you’re fresh out of college. This is more of a retirement place. The jobs are in California and Texas.”
The homebuilding industry was starting to pick up and Doug worked as a plumber doing new construction. Things were good. But some bad decisions lead to losing his driver’s license, and Doug wasn’t able to make it to the construction site anymore.
Now he’s living with his sister when he needs to, but she has a 10-year old who’s impressionable. “I don’t want to appear to be a bad influence.” So, Doug sleeps outdoors when he can. “I’ve slept at the 137 Connection shelter, but it’s not my thing. I sleep outside by choice, so I can be first in line at the day labor company when they open their doors in the morning.”
While some homeless folk have grown resigned to their situation for whatever reason, Doug does not. When asked what he thought would benefit the homeless in Loveland he said, “I’d get rid of the shelters and the kitchens because a lot of the people on the streets are addicts and alcoholics, and those places are enabling them. It’s like a trap.” Doug puts on a smile and a Hank William’s voice. “There’s drunks, there’s preachers, there’s (Boulderites?) and there’s tweakers.”
“As soon as I get my license back and get my shit together I’m probably going to be leaving. It’s too expensive here. I can live in Texas pretty cheap, and come up here to visit whenever I want to.”