Pio trades his shopping cart for a walker as he moves indoors

| July 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

PIO FRANCO IERVOLINO (right) enjoys coffee at Peet’s on Larchmont Boulevard with, from left, Larchmont Chronicle writer Helene Seifer and Stories from the Frontline co-founder Marilyn Wells on July 21, 2022. Mr. Iervolino (aka Giorgio for decades on neighborhood streets) moved into interim senior housing earlier last month.                         Photo by John Welborne

“It’s paradise here,” states Pio Franco Iervolino, formerly known by his street name, Giorgio, to describe his new home in a senior care facility.

Having visited him there several times, I wouldn’t describe it as such, but after 11 weeks elsewhere, including five days in a mental health hospital, the senior facility is an improvement.

“It was rough. Rough,” Pio says of his time in the hospital. He says he had no privacy there. Nurses dictated when he should take a shower, and they watched him. He was accompanied when he needed a bathroom. For safety reasons, he couldn’t have a pen or have shoelaces in his sneakers.

Pio was cooperative so he could earn placement where he would have the freedom to come and go at will as long as he took his medicine and returned when required. He’s grateful for that autonomy.

On the Boulevard

Recently Pio went back to his old stomping grounds for a visit. Years of street living and crippling back pain have left him hunched, so now he uses a walker instead of leaning on his shopping cart for support.

Passersby had double takes when they saw Pio sipping coffee with acquaintances at a sidewalk table at Peet’s instead of asking for handouts from his former place in the street behind the line of parked cars. Many stopped to tell him how good it was to see him and how great he looked. Pio beamed.

The senior care facility is near Olympic Boulevard and the Carthay Circle part of Council District Five. Pio hopes to re-learn the ropes of riding buses, which he did when he worked as a machinist, about 15 years ago.

Future articles will explore more permanent placement options and Pio’s continued struggle to receive the funding and services to which he is entitled and which he needs.


Category: News

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