When you lose your home, you lose everything," Sean tells me.
And he knows. Sean's been either homeless or institutionalized for the majority of his adult life. At 13, his dad told him that he was strong enough to raise himself, so he did.
"I walked out of his house on June 9th, 1983, never to live there again," Sean says. Soon thereafter, he was sentenced to five years in a juvenile hall, where he spent the entirety of his teenage years.
He came to Seattle upon release to live with his older sister, just a week after his 18th birthday. Twenty-one years ago. She was staying at the Pioneer Square Hotel.
"Back then it used to cost $160 a week," he laughs, "Now, it's $160 a day."
A life of street crime -- working as a "money collector" for higher-ups -- led Sean back to the penitentiary, where he spent the next 18 years of his life. Now 39 years old, Sean has spent 23 of those years in prison. Four years ago, he was released to the streets, homeless again.
"You don't even know what hard times is until you're scrounging, trying to feed yourself from day to day," he tells me of his experience.
Then, as if destined to make a positive change, Sean found Real Change.
"Real Change is a grassroots paper," he says, "that fights for something that I believe in: That's bringing everybody together and getting everybody off the street."
Putting words into action, Sean has served on Real Change's editorial committee, testified before city council members and legislators in Olympia with the Real Change Organizing Project, and volunteered at numerous community events. Not to mention selling the paper.
"Real Change was my turning point," he says. "[Because] everybody deserves a place to sleep.... Everybody."