The body of a homeless man was found in Pershing Park on Friday afternoon at around 4 p.m. The man was discovered between the bandstand and the bathrooms. His full name and age are still unknown but he went by Shopping Cart Ray and was in his sixties, said Jennifer Ferraez, a social worker for the county’s Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services Department (ADHMS).
Farraez said she’d known Ray and that he had various medical conditions, including bad lungs. The cause of death hasn’t been determined. Ferraez said Ray was a “gentle man” and “pretty quiet.”
Ray’s friends Shaky and Gator, who are also homeless, were in the park when he died. They said that Ray was a Vietnam veteran, and had been living somewhere in the harbor area. He would occasionally come to the park for a daytime nap because he felt safe there. He would spend most of his time reading. “He would smoke like a train, and just sit there and read,” said Shaky. Shaky said the he knew Ray had been in Santa Barbara for at least 10 years. To read more see homelessinsb.org.