Bill lives in his 35-year-old car, under the radar. “Cheap, cheap transportation and very dependable,” he said. His circumstances became known after the car’s transmission died and the mechanic was unwilling to let Bill sleep in the car in his repair shop.
“I feel like, at 82, I’ve lived three lives,” Bill said.
Life No. 1: Bill once farmed 880 acres of field corn in Indiana. In college, he majored in agriculture, with a minor in agricultural economics. But a season of bad weather ruined his crop and the government denied his federal crop insurance claim. So he lost the farm.
Life No. 2: He moved first to Denver, then California, where he had a small business mopping and waxing the floors of homes and renting out carpet steam-cleaning machines.
Life No. 3: He moved to Bonita Springs 35 years ago to help his brother, who has since died. Bill worked as a pizza delivery man for 22 years.
“Now I’m just not physically able to do that delivery work,” he said. Bill served in the Navy in 1957 and six years in the Navy Reserve, but never received veterans’ benefits. Soon, he’ll start receiving them for the first time, he said.
He plans to continue living in his car. “I’m a self-determining, autonomous individual,” Bill said.The food he will receive from the Care & Share: Senior Feeding Campaign will help him survive.
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