Joe Ryes was homeless and living on the streets for five months in Los Angeles when he died of a heart attack on August 20, 2018. He was 56-years old. After he died the Los Angeles City Council held a moment of silence in his honor.
Reyes had lived eleven years in his Koreatown apartment when the building was sold, and he was evicted when the new owners evicted all senior citizens including him. Then he lived in a tent on the street with his cat Jessabel near his old apartment. He got food stamps and tried to get odd jobs but found out people pay the homeless cheaply. On a video on youtube he said he couldn’t get a steady job because he’s disabled.
On July 11, 2018, Joe just didn’t see a posted notice of the coming LAPD cleanup of his campsite. He left his tent in the morning, and when he returned, he discovered the LAPD had taken his possessions. He said they took “everything—my heart medication, my contacts, my clothes, my new sleeping bag, my new tent, my cat’s stuff I can’t replace.” Jane Nguyen, who works with Shelter for all Koreatown, said that Joe “was devasted because this was everything he owned. The only things that he had remaining were just the clothes on his back and whatever he had in his backpack.” She added, “He was so motivated to get off the streets and into housing. All he wanted was to be in a home with his cat.”
Reyes’ neighbor on the street Diana has also lost many…