Random encounter leads to outpouring of support for a man who refused to leave his dog | Local News

Generally speaking, homelessness almost always results from a combination of factors, including bad luck, bad decisions, loss of a job or family support, financial hardship, substance abuse and/or disabling health, both physical and mental.

“It’s complicated, for sure,” admitted Parks.

Among other things, Parks is dealing with polyarteritis nodosa, a rare version of vasculitis, which he has had since elementary school. In recent months, it has left him unable to wear a shoe on one foot and a painful, slowly healing leg injury.






Spencer Parks pets her 12-year-old Staffordshire terrier mix, Duchess, in their hotel room on Friday.


Allison Lee Isley, Diary


(Polyarteritis nodosa is an autoimmune disease that attacks the vascular system and internal organs by inflaming and bursting blood vessels. It leaves open sores, constant pain, and is incurable. Symptoms are managed with steroids and painkillers.)

When he could, Parks, 33, said he worked in construction. He’s on disability now, but a few hundred dollars a month from Social Security isn’t enough.

For about three years, he and the Duchess lived in a tent. His sister sometimes stays with them. “It wasn’t that bad,” he said. “There was a queen-size mattress with a topper, a sofa and an ottoman.”

Paying for food, medicine, and gas for multiple trips each week to a High Point clinic quickly depletes his meager monthly disability payment, so Parks begs (with a city-issued permit) to get by. to go out.

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