Far away from the worst of a national crisis, heroin is still taking hold of people living on the streets.
The day started off lucky for Blake Pricer. Overnight, he had locked himself in a laundry room at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and slept a few hours in relative safety. After waking up to the sound of pounding on the door from hotel staff wanting to reclaim the territory, Pricer was back on the street and back to his relentless quest.
The one thing Pricer needed was heroin, which meant the first thing he needed was cash. Good fortune came through when he began opening mailboxes and quickly found $13 and some checks he hoped to sell later.
With that small amount of money in his hand, Pricer, who is 26, thin and tattooed with shorts hanging past his knees, easily found someone to sell him the drug. He then rode a stolen bicycle downtown to a cooling center where homeless people like him could rest, eat and take a shower. He parked the bike and walked inside to a bathroom where he clandestinely injected heroin into his arm. It wasn’t quite 9 a.m.