The man to the left seems like an affable and friendly person, right? His name is Peter Bis. Upon closer inspection, you can see a series of bags containing miscellaneous personal items, all stashed upon a cart. He is wearing a large coat covering what seems to be a black t-shirt, while also drinking his favorite beverage from what appears to be a coffee cup. Sitting on this bench, he probably considered this street his “home.”
From the 5 seconds you spent looking at that picture, you probably deduced that he is a homeless man due to his unkempt hair and ragged clothes. You are correct!
But… did you know that he graduated Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in History and continued on to Law School. After his first year, he even started a car-painting company and worked shifts as a hotel night clerk. Amazing!!
Peter Bis, who lived on the streets near Union Station (Capitol Hill in Washington), recently died of a heart attack at age 61. A shrine can now be found around the base of the tree where he has held his ‘home’ for the past decade.
He was a very cheery man (diagnosed with schizophrenia) who always greeted strangers and had made himself known throughout the community.
Taken from the Washington Post Article:
Peter was a “harmless kind of schizophrenic,” his brother said, who rarely lost his temper but also avoided getting help for his condition.
“He never drank alcohol or took drugs,” James Bis said. “He just smoked cigarettes and drank coffee and thought he was from another planet.”
Peter Bis became well-known as a homeless guy who never asked for money, although he gratefully accepted bagels, leftovers and free coffee from hundreds of sidewalk benefactors.
I wish his family and anyone who knew him blessings and all of my condolescences.
Maybe, if he had gone to the hospital sooner, he may not have experienced a heart attack and would still be alive.
It is my hope and goal that the homeless community will have better access to healthcare and medical treatments to prevent circumstances and dire situations like this.