NYC

Occupy Wall Street, Faces Of Zuccotti Park: The Homeless Artist (VIDEO)

Nov 09, 2011 | Updated Jan 09, 2012

This is the third in a series of profiles focusing on the protesters of Occupy Wall Street.

Sleeping on the street or in illegal squats has become a way of life in recent years for James, a 40-year-old silversmith. Friends persuaded him to leave New York and start a business in Arizona a few years back, but things didn’t work out the way he had hoped.

"I heard there was a lot of cheap silver, but going out there, I actually ended up homeless," James says.

Since returning to Manhattan, he’s found comfort in the community of Zuccotti Park. Like James, many of the city’s homeless have come to seek refuge here, where free food is offered three times a day and extra blankets and warm clothes are readily available. "If this wasn’t going on, most of these people who are really homeless would be on the west side by the water," he says, "living under a bench."

Watch the video above to hear more of James’ story.