A 24-hour diary of living homeless in Knoxville

Adrift: A 24-Hour Diary of Living Homeless in Knoxville. Words and photos by Clay Duda.For nearly two years now, Drew Krikau, 45, has lived homeless on the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s had two “permanent” living arrangements during that time, although when you’re living outside you quickly learn nothing is permanent—fortunes often ebb and flow with daily changes, and few things come easy.

Both of his more permanent homes were self‐made campsites erected in the dense brush of vacant lots close to the city’s core. But his camp and most everything he owned went up in flames on Christmas day, and since then he’s been hunting for a new safe place to rebuild.

His life story, the chain of events that left him homeless after getting out of jail in 2014, and his daily struggles are personal and unique, but they’re not unlike the trials faced by thousands of other men and women in Knoxville and other cities across the U.S.

This may be a day like any other. This is a day in the life of Drew Krikau.

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>> Photo gallery: 24 hours on the street

 

“Project Hollywood” sweetens deal for corporate move

When private negotiations to move Regal Entertainment Group into a new corporate headquarters faltered in early 2015, Knoxville city officials stepped up to the plate, tax dollars in hand, to offer a sweetened deal that allows the entertainment giant to relocate into a renovated office building rent-free for 10 years.

According to more than 400 pages of emails obtained through a public records request, the deal for Regal and developer Southeastern Development Associates became a whole lot more lucrative once the city offered up $9 million and rent-free accommodations. County and state agencies kicked in another $3.5 million, offering the largest theatre chain in the U.S. a combined $12.5 million to stay in Tennessee. Negotiations were dubbed “Project Hollywood.”

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