A thousand words beyond the Hill

Price Chambers

“I’m homeless by choice because I won’t give up my dog for a house,” said Steven Caine as he sat in his car, legs out the door, feeding dog biscuits to his dog, DT.

Caine, almost 51, made the choice to live in his car after he lost his home. He was unable to find an apartment he could afford that would allow him to keep his dog.

“Every where I went they didn’t want to take a pet,” he said.

Since Caine went bankrupt about a year ago he has been living in his broken-down, red Chevrolet Cavalier off Scottsville Road. He previously owned a farm outside of town, with a donkey, Bob.

“The first thing I get is ‘Why didn’t you go to the shelter?'” Caine said.

His answer is simple.

“The shelter didn’t want the pet on the premises,” he said.

Although living in his car was Caine’s decision, it isn’t an easy one.

“It’s cutting my circulation off sleeping in the car all night,” he said. “. Usually I clean up in the bathroom in Waffle House. If I have to take a sponge bath. I do that around 3 in the morning.”

Right now Caine survives solely on unemployment and disability, but his disability checks will stop coming after Dec. 1.

Though he isn’t working right now, he said he isn’t a slouch, just a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

“They just don’t understand because they’ve never been there,” he said.

Caine is now estranged from his family. He isn’t really sure why.

“My own son doesn’t even stop by here no more,” he said.