Homeless in America for AARP

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Ventura, California, July 23, 2010 - A portrait of Tim 'Timbow' Bowman's tattoo in honor of his daughter. In 1987 Bowman's 18-month-old daughter, Miranda Laurel, died from Lyme disease. He wrote about his daughter, "Angels come in many forms. Some are as close as your friends. The Angels I have tatt[oed] are for my Daughter who died. I will carry my cross to[sic] the day I die! I will see you honey when I walk the Gates [of] Heaven!" His wife left him after the death. A year later he fell through a plate glass window while working on a construction site, leaving him disabled and unable to work construction. He says the loss of his wife and daughter and his struggles with work sent him into a spiral. He eventually lost his home. Bowman has been homeless and living in a camp along the Ventura River bottom since the early 1990's. He says he lives in the 300+ community along the river bottom because he "feels at home." Adding, "I feel loved down here. Up there is nothing but trouble." The two-mile stretch of river bottom from the Pacific to Stanley Road is home to about 300 homeless, who have carved tunnels and paths into the tall grass and bamboo. Bowman, who survives off of SSI, says, "I lead an honest life. I don't steal, I don't rob and I share whatever I can." .