Corey Perrine | Photojournalist

Essay: Voluntary Solitary

After spending seven years in prison, once married with children and eight years of service in the U.S. Army, Bill Johnson, 58, has decided it to be less stressful to live in homelessness. He could go back to Florida with his mother but says uprooting at this point would be starting over again. He spends his time going to churches everyday and involved in calligraphy. He hopes to make a business out of his penmanship. This is his chosen solitary life.

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A piece of cardboard made into a bed sits on the Augusta, Ga. side of the Savannah River in Augusta, Ga. This was Johnson's old area before moving to the S.C. side with less police, he said.
  
Bill Johnson takes a smoke break Sept. 5 in North Augusta, S.C. Not a heavy smoker, it helps him to relax.
  
Bill Johnson worships at 15th St. under the Calhoun Expressway in Augusta, Ga. New Hope Ministry hosts a bridge church monthly catering to the homeless. Johnson bikes 16 miles to worship with them in Grovetown, Ga on Sundays.
     
  
Bill Johnson tries to patch a hole where he erased too hard at church Aug. 14 in Augusta, Ga. His writings are spiritual musings and
  
Augusta Police officers received a call Sept. 5 about a vagrant outside of a building off Broad St. in Augusta, Ga. Johnson joked with them afterward to their discovery it was a church, The Well, in an industrial area.
  
Pinup girls give Bill comfort on lonely days of solitude.
     
  
Bill Johnson breaks wood by throwing boulders Sept. 5 at his home under the 5th St. bridge in North Augusta, S.C. This is his primitive but simple way of getting the job done. Thieves will come and steal vital equipment in the night and when camp is unattended from others that live the similar fashion in the vicinity.
  
Bill Johnson looks on at his cat Aug. 12 in North Augusta, S.C.
  
Bill Johnson is seen amid his clutter that is his desk under the 5th St. bridge in North Augusta, S.C. Johnson has been there over two years.
     
  
Bill Johnson walks back to his sheltered area living under the 5th St. bridge in North Augusta, S.C. His next move is going back to college. If you ask him if he's homeless he responds,