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Faces of Capitol Hill | Bear

(Image: Tim Durkan for CHS)

Bear had been homeless and a heroin addict for many years in the streets of Capitol Hill. Facing four years in prison for drug related crimes, he turned himself over to authorities earlier this year in hopes of “beating” the drug and getting his life back on track. He agreed to share his story and his picture with CHS. (Image: Tim Durkan for CHS)

Photographer Tim Durkan is a regular contributor to CHS. This is his first contribution in a new series on CHS dedicated to capturing the faces and the stories of people on Capitol Hill. You can view more of Durkan’s work at

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21 thoughts on “Faces of Capitol Hill | Bear

  1. I wish nnothing but the best forr him. I’m concerned that we have slashed so many social programs to help him.

    • Thanks… I’ll pass that along to him. The sheer amounts of cheap heroin on the streets of seattle is also a huge challenge/roadblock in addressing addiction issues.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I would expect with a feature like this the length of stories would vary. Longer form is welcome.

    This brings more depth to this blog, as not everything is the latest artisanal popsicle emporium.

    • Agreed. Having worked with the homeless, addicted, and mentally ill, the general public would learn a lot (maybe gain some compassion, too) if the stories behing these damaged lives were told. One day I hope to share Denise’s story…a tragedy created over years of trauma. Denise is well known in Seattle, especially Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, but no one knows her name or story.

      • thank you both very much… Great words/thoughts. CHS has given me an opportunity in introducing some of these folks to you so please stay tuned for more. In 25 years of living on the Hill NEVER have I seen the scourge of addiction and untreated mental health issue take more of a toll than in recent times. Sad to watch in real time, every night…

    • Thanks for being part of the ongoing experiment that is CHS :) We’re always working on new feature and series ideas. Still working on the rhythm of this one but it is intended to be focused on portraits. Some of the explainer text leaves an expectation that we’re going to give you more — and Bear is compelling enough that you might like to read more. We do a lot of explaining on the site in so many of our posts. Maybe something this open-ended won’t fit in. Still working it out.

  3. Bear’s photo looks like he has been clean & sober for awhile. Hopefully that will continue. I wish him the best of luck in his new life.

    • Agreed…. Tim, tell Bear he looks great and healthy, and lots of people he might not even know are pulling for him and wishing him only the best.

      • Will do. He is currently serving out his 4 year sentence but I am slated to go visit with him soon and will pass that along. I think he’ll be encouraged by yours and other’s thoughts – and that can go a long way.