Wesson, an affordable housing advocate and former business owner, is also someone who has used the shelter system. He said he’s also dealt with addiction, having used IV drugs for a long time until about nine years ago.

“Mental illness and drug addiction is my life. Not part of my life, my whole life,” Wesson said, his hands clasped while seated backwards in a chair.

“I got 52 years in on this. I’ve seen what can happen, I’ve seen (the) system fail and kill people … I will bring my lived experience and my energy and I will make a difference.”