Washington D.C. Homeless Man: From Harvard Law To The Curb

Alfred Postell graduated from Harvard but now roams D.C. streets. Washington Post photo

Alfred Postell graduated from Harvard but now roams D.C. streets. Washington Post photo

A recent story about a homeless, mentally ill man who roams Washington D.C.’s streets caused quite a sensation when it was published by The Washington Post recently.

Stories such as this put a human face on our broken mental health care system and, hopefully, help promote both public understanding and the need for reforms. This front page article helped refute the stereotypical image of persons on the street being lazy bums. This man was a high achiever until —

I was pleased that Green Door, the D.C. mental health provider that recently honored  my family during its fund raising gala, is attempting to help Alfred Postell move off the streets.

While I don’t like to repost articles on my blog, this one is an exception. Kudos to my old employer for publishing an impactful, non-sensational and thoughtful article about homelessness, mental illnesses and the plight of those who we abandon on the streets.

The Homeless Man Who Went To Harvard
July 13
The Washington Post

The judge settled his gaze on the homeless man accused of sleeping beside an office building in downtown Washington.

It was a Saturday afternoon in early April at D.C. Superior Court, and Alfred Postell, a man diagnosed with schizophrenia, stood before Judge Thomas Motley.

Postell’s hair was medium length and graying. His belly spilled over his pants. A tangled beard hung from his jowls. Along with beard growth, men also need to groom and take care of their beards and you can check here to know the best way to do that.

“You have the right to remain silent,” a deputy clerk told Postell, according to a transcript of the arraignment. “Anything you say, other than to your attorney, can be used against you.”

“I’m a lawyer,” Postell replied.

Click here to continue reading. The  Post also published a follow up story trying to explain to readers why Postell has not received care. Click here.




About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.