September 29, 2016
Nick is a 21-year-old former honor student and college hockey player who quit school and abruptly moved to California to pursue his dream of becoming a rap star. He says he’s been living on the streets of Los Angeles for a little more than three months.
Nick’s parents, Jennifer and Nick Sr., say their son has always been impulsive, but they never expected him to end up homeless.
“He just walked out the door. He had no I.D., no money – he didn’t even bring a phone,” says Nick’s mom, Jennifer. “Homelessness is affecting our son in a very negative way.”
Nick’s father says the family is trying to convince him to get off the streets. “We’re trying to help him understand; it’s not a good thing – the streets are dangerous – it’s just not a healthy way to live.”
WATCH: Life On The Street Is Violent Says Former College Athlete, Now Homeless In L.A.
His parents claim the months leading up to Nick’s sudden departure were full of bizarre and unexpected behavior.
“A few months ago, I think Nicholas had a psychotic break,” says Jennifer. “He said that the CIA were going to get him.” Jennifer says she and her husband suspect Nick’s recent behaviors may be related to multiple concussions he received over the years while playing hockey.
Nick, who admits to being diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, says he’s in survival mode and doing fine. “I love the rush of trying to survive. I truly realize how keen my survival instinct really is.” The aspiring rapper says he is happier than he’s ever been.
WATCH: From College Athlete to Homeless Rapper: ‘I Love The Rush Of Trying To Survive’
Nick Sr. says he cut Nick off from getting cash but his mom, Jennifer, admits to sending Nick small amounts of money since he’s been gone. Nick’s sister, Sarah, says he knows how to manipulate their mom to get what he wants.
“My mom enables him in a lot of ways because they’re totally codependent,” says Jennifer. “It seems to be a vicious cycle – he relies on her – she sends him the money. If she doesn’t send him the money, then he makes her feel guilty. “
After months of worrying, Nick’s family says they decided to come to L. A. for a visit. In the video above, watch how the family is coping with Nick’s homelessness.
And tune in to Dr. Phil on Thursday to see whether Nick says he is ready to get off the streets.
Check local listings here.