Homeless in St. Rose: Man compares himself to a Timex, but struggles with despair

Homeless in St. Rose
Charles Slatten at his makeshift camp in St. Rose behind the levee.

Charles Slade displayed a Facebook page where he keeps his memories at the St. Rose Library, but it’s also a place he goes to for air conditioning because it’s hot at the tent he calls “home” behind the levee.

“I had everything I wanted in life and it started falling apart,” Slade said. “I get very depressed, but I keep going. If I were a watch, I’d be a Timex. I take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”

He lost his home, wife and job, which he blames on them as a couple and his Baton Rouge company that went bankrupt. He also said he drank too much and the couple spent too much money.

“It was both of us,” he said. “But losing her … I just gave up. Sometimes this feeling of doom comes over me.”

Slade shows the bicycle he salvaged that he rides around the area. The brakes don’t work.

The downward spiral of his life has left him hopeless and homeless in St. Rose.

“I lost pretty much everything I had,” he said. “This includes my home, too.”

He lives in a tent behind the levee that few could find without Slade’s direction.

It’s hidden in a grove amid willow trees waving in a cool breeze from the Mississippi River nearby and the bellowing horns from distant boats passing by. The river is so low now that Slade walked his path to the bank and down it to an area that looks more like a beach, but it also means his makeshift home will be gone when the river rises.

Even so, it’s only a place where he stays, and barely a step up from the time he really considered himself homeless when he slept on the ground with no tent.

Under the canopy of trees, Slade pointed to his “main tent” where he sleeps and keeps his few belongings, and an attached tarp that provides shelter for him to sit outside. There is even a crude fire pit where he cooks his meals – and there are few of them that depend on finding odd jobs at “ridiculously low rates.” A swing he made from driftwood hanging in a tree nearby is where he deals with stress and reflects on his life.

Slade said he was an electrician and had money until his life fell apart.

Today, he wears most of the clothes he owns and goes to a nearby baseball field to get a shower. He said he feels bound to his despair without a permanent address, dealing with health issues and his own fears about resuming his life for the last two years.

“Nobody is going to hire somebody living on the streets,” he lamented. “They’re not going to do that. I wouldn’t hire somebody off the street.”

Slade added, “I could go take a piece of cardboard and just stand on the corner and get money, but I won’t do that.”

Behind the levee, life is hard fighting mosquitoes and intense heat, he said.

Slatten visits the St. Rose Library to visit his Facebook page where he keeps his memories and reaches out to friends.

“I started seeing alligator tracks and coyotes,” he said of his initial location on the riverbank that warranted he relocate to his current encampment. “I’m closer to where the fishing is good. It’s kind of like camping in a vacation that never seems to end. It’s not that great because of the heat, the mosquitoes and just being outdoors all the time.”

A lack of good food has caused health issues, including blisters on his hands that he believes is from malnutrition. Slade said he has no health insurance and can’t afford medical care.

“I don’t see a future,” he said. “I don’t see a tomorrow.”

Yet, he recalled last Christmas when someone left him a bag of food with $20 in it. Day to day, he’s survived insects, snakes and alligators, and even storms that made his tent collapse. He’s begun to study birds and noticed cardinals get along with wrens, and mockingbirds chase away crows.

But his biggest struggle remains finding hope about his life and particularly about finding another home.

“There are times I just want to give up and I want to swim out to the middle of the river and give everything up, but it’s like something keeps me from doing it,” he said. “A lot of people tell me it’ll get better. It’s been over two years, it’s living like it’s hell.”

 

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13 Comments

  1. If I am not mistaken this mans name is Charles Slade who lived in Charlestown in st rose his wife was servely beaten by him about 2 years ago . He has mental problems before he married her he told her that he fled the Swended because his family was in politics n someone wanted to kill him. But his wife found out that he was from it think Boutte or Pascagoula I’m not sure wher Mr Slade did a lot of horrible things to his wife he does read a lot This man does need help he is an acholic n has a lot of mental problems

  2. Karma’s a bitch isn’t Charles Slade.I helped you get out of Baton Rouge,gave you a home, gave you a job,gave you hope. All you gave back was lies and deceit.

  3. I also would like to know this man lives, I am sure my church would help with bag of food twice a week. There are places that the state has for those that are homeless. At leSt we could get him a complete tent, so he could get out of the rain or away from the bugs. A cot to sleep on and some additional clothes. For those that want to get out of his situation, there are people who would help him.

  4. This sickens me as my family reads and explorers his newest con. Charles has done this his entire life. Previously before his short time marriage to the older lady he used up his life gas always been like this on purpose. He never owned a business and would never work. His short term marriage ended because he was arrested for strangling the woman and he never owned anything she did. Her name is Colleen. He gas lives with family members only to lie on, steal from, get drunk and destroy. He has covered south Mississippi and South Louisiana. His brother helped him get numerous jobs through the years to only show up drunk or not at all. He gas lives in church Sunday school rooms and numerous old people that he used up after preying on their sympathy. He gas a brother, a sister and numerous nieces and nephews who all know from experience. This is just a short story. I think everyone has tried and been burnt with the I am a victim act through the years. Unreal!!!! Yes he’s lived in the woods and at the park in our small town too. That was after the fact of even myself paying him yo do work but yet he drank up his rent money and was evicted. His first cousin in baton rouge a preacher and p.o. officer set him up in an apartment etc etc etc but he refused to work and keep it. That was just a few years back. He gas been in Angola prison, WCI prison, Chalmette La jail, Franklinton La, Pearl River County Mississippi and even down y’alls area. From what I have researched he ow has an active warrant. Thank God he us down that way playing his act but it’s because it ran out up this way. I can’t stand such mess as this. If need more info feel free to inbox I can give you more names with proof than you can even imagine. Thank God for social media.

    • I can agree with everything this lady is saying. My mother is the woman who was mentally abused daily and beaten by this man.

  5. Read Charles Slades Facebook. I’m the troll that’s hacked his go fund me with the truth that is a metal case hiding behind the Pentecostal religion that is his brothers ex wife that needs to be ignored because I will cause your family problems. I divided his family for years. I thought he didn’t have family???? Wasn’t it the Pentecostal church YOU lived in Charles Slade in fact that YOU hid behind. Your family is not divided a yore Jeff and Liz communicate tha k God. Jeff is my best friend. The father of my children and grandpa to my son you in fact called a nigger to my daughter on Facebook. Didn’t want him having the Slade name? He doesn t have your name he has his paw Paw’s name you have disgraced the name not my precious 4 year old child. Brenda Slade that’s my name on Facebook. Jeffery Slade on Facebook. We have all mended our lives worked hard and helped you Many many many times. The reason you hate me is because I hate liars manipulators users receivers and a lazy sorry ass man.
    Mental case I prob a my was for helping you since you were 19 even when your brother said NO but I stopped.
    Get off your sorry ads and work you never would and stop drinking it up bet you still sucking them cigs free too. You’ve been gave more clothes than anyone I’ve ever encountered. Just Sorry!
    These folks some disable buying your bull shit. Looks like to me you keep finding a fire ant bed and scratching yourself up. I’ve seen self inflicted crap before. Good story though! Even for someone like you!

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