Highline College

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Homeless man rests where he can

Thompson has all manner of tricks to negotiate his life’s journey
including enhanced bus fare to keep his travel costs to a minimum.

Joe Locher Staff Reporter April 14

Dominic Thompson has been homeless since 2006 and spends time at Highline resting in the library. His favorite spots are the fifth and the fourth floors, depending on where he finds an empty couch.

Dominic is 46 years old and has been on the street since his grandmother died. She was supporting him by paying his rent until she passed. Since then he has been negotiating life by finding places to sleep, eat and spending his days in the greater Seattle area.

He complains about his ears ringing constantly. “If I had a microphone, I could hold it up to my ear and record the sound,” he said.

“I remember when I first became homeless, I was arrested three times for sleeping under the freeway overpass to the Auburn Super Mall,” he said.

“They have built a fence around it, although I think I can climb over it,” he mumbles.

Thompson has all manner of tricks to negotiate his life’s journey including enhanced bus fare to keep his travel costs to a minimum.

“I can go pretty much anywhere around here by swiping my ORCA card. I especially like to travel to Bellevue or Kirkland because they have covered bus stop areas where I can sleep. I have to position myself around the metal bars, but if I sleep on my side, it’s pretty comfortable,” he said.

“I bought a sleeping bag liner from 7-11 and I have a police blanket that I take with me when I have to sleep outside,’ he said.

Dominic Thompson
Photo by Joe Locher/THUNDERWORD

Thompson has found all manner of food sources, showering and computer use through community outreach programs such as Day Center located off South 326th Street and 13th Place in Federal Way. He also knows the Denny’s restaurants, Starbucks and shopping malls where he can find periods of relaxation and shelter from the elements and the world.

Thompson appears clean and presentable with freshly washed clothes and a comfortable disposition.

“I make it a point to make sure I am sanitary and approachable. It is important if you want to find refuge in public places,’ he said.

Thompson does not take drugs or consume alcohol. “I was sitting around some people who were smoking pot and I hoped it would stop. I do not like the smell.”

Thompson is on Washington state disability that provides him with $780 cash assistance monthly.

Asked why he is on disability at his age, he becomes agitated and turns red.

Thompson is concerned that the Outreach Shelter funded and operated by the Catholic Church is going to close soon and he will have to find other housing options.

“I can sleep at Angle Lake Park in the covered area, but I must be out of there by 7 a.m. A cop always comes through there at precisely 7 a.m. and I do not want to get arrested again,” he said.