Homeless in America for AARP

Image 6 of 116
< Prev Next >
Ventura, California, July 23, 2010 - A portrait of Tim 'Timbow' Bowman playing harmonica in his tent that is hidden by the 16-foot tall grass and bamboo on the Ventura River bottom. Bowman has been homeless and living along the river since the early 1990's. "Playing a little music makes me happy," says Bowman. . In 1987 Bowman's 18-month-old daughter, Miranda Laurel, died from Lyme disease. His wife left him soon afterwards. 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. 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." .