Nolan: I grew up in a small country town on the North Shore but I've lived in New Orleans since 1984.
What's so good about New Orleans is you'll never be homeless if you don't want to be, because they're gonna find you a place to live. You're never gonna be hungry, believe that, and you're never gonna be lonely.
BW: You said you would never go hungry in New Orleans?
Nolan: That's right, you'll never go hungry. I've walked up to restaurants and asked for food. Or I've asked one of the chefs taking a smoke break, "Man, can you fix me a little something to eat?" and before you know it, they'll go in and bring you something. It never fails. There's one pizza place down here, at one in the morning, you can go by there... it's crazy, they just give you pizza. It's that kind of city.
BW: I think people understand here, to have the city embrace you, you've gotta give something back.
Nolan: That's right, you've got to give it away to keep it. They understand it. I've even seen homeless sharing with each other and everybody else too.
BW: Have you been homeless out here?
Nolan: Yeah, I am now. I'm waiting on a place to live. While I wait, I've managed to get into the new shelter. It's a low barrier shelter. It has 100 beds. It's open 24 hours a day. You can come and go any time. If you come in at four in the morning, they'll let you in, drunk, sober, as long as you don't cause any problems. They even have lockers downstairs for all 100 people. They call it an amnesty locker. They don't ask you any questions about what you put in that locker, just don't bring it inside. It is the coolest place I've ever seen.
I know God put me out here for a reason, to share him with other people. No matter how down I am, I'm gonna be a positive person. If I catch somebody who's down and out, I'm gonna help in some way, whether it's opening the door or giving a kind word. You're never alone in New Orleans. Someone is gonna reach out to you.