WEATHER »

Kickstand Just Wants Social Security Disability

The Disabled Panhandler Turned Down Again for Benefits


Just about everyone in Santa Barbara knows who Kickstand is. He spends a few hours every day outside The Habit on lower State Street asking for money. He’s a professional panhandler; the epitome of what many believe is driving tourists away and causing the economy here to tank.

But besides being the stereotypical homeless person, who is this guy? Well, it’s hard to know entirely, but this blog was able to learn a little bit about him recently. What we discovered is that he’s a perennially cheerful disabled 48-year-old man whose real name is William Lee Armstrong.

Nick St. Oegger

Kickstand

And actually, besides detracting from the upscale, kickback atmosphere of Santa Barbara by panhandling, Armstrong is in fact doing everything he can to get off the streets. At least the facts point to that. What that means for a guy in his position—someone who has a crushed vertebrae, a mental illness, is missing a leg, and has a broken prosthetic—is that he’s applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the nation’s safety net for disabled workers. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Foro Público Proporciona Estado de Inmigración

Este evento gratuito será traducido en español.

Public Forum to Provide Immigration Status Update

The Santa Barbara event is free, open to the public, and will provide Spanish translation.

Family Favorite Palazzio Italian Restaurant Won’t Reopen

Water damage and downtime killed the State Street eatery.

Criminal Investigation Delays Dream Home Raffle

Museum of Contemporary Art won’t comment on the vendor they say caused the trouble.

Red Flag Warning for North Santa Barbara County

National Weather Service predicts high winds and low humidity for backcountry areas.