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BRAD

 

I’m 53 years old. I raised up in the SF Bay area, at 50 miles north from here. In 2008, when a crash happened, I lost my job, my house, everything. In 2010, I broke my leg. From that I got SSA... [a SSA disability allowance]. It’s a little better. But I’m still on the street. The hard part is to find an affordable housing. The food is good, the food is free a lot of time over here. I’m striving to get better and I’m striving to get a permanent place to live.

Otherwise, the life is pretty good. I have a couple of friends. We are all on the streets together.  We usually hang out together. We walk around, play baseball, do a lot of things.

Here’s one shelter for men, it has 16 beds and it is always full. And there is always along a waiting list of 50 guys. And there is one women shelter, and it has 10 beds. Berkeley [administration] doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on the homeless. They would rather see them go, then see them here. And this is kind of bad. They get a lot of money from the students. They give free food and showers, but as far as you ask housing – no. I got an SSA allowance, but this is only 900 dollars a month. And this is absolutely nothing. When you live on the streets, everything costs. And you get fired from everywhere. It’s hard to save some money. It’s hard to get sick, if you don’t have insurance. And I don’t. MediCAL [Californian „Obama Care” medical insurance for people with low income] is the basics. It doesn’t cover major operations, like for my leg.

Before, I worked in different places, cooking, cutting red wood trees, landscaping... With that I tried to keep my appartment and my truck. In 2010, I had my truck stolen and I tried to start my own landscaping business. But it costed me too much. I went back to school and I took a computer course. I learned how to use computers. I did graduate a high school. But I never went to college. I went to summer school, learning computers, but it was it. At 53 it is hard to get re-learned, you know? I did it three times: I reinvented myself. I turned myself to the sun. I was a cook for 15 years. Then I became a construction worker for five years. Then I became a landscaper for two years. The economy, that’s what [kept] me down. And it’s hard to get up and to get money to keep.

My dream at the moment is to get housing. Somewhere to put my head on and sleep at night and don’t worry about people stealing my staff, or the cop waking me up.

I was married. I did that part in my life. I was married in Hawaii for seven years. I got no kids. I had a kind of successful carrier. I was the number three chef for seven years, in Hawaii... I made something of myself. But it came down with finances.

 

BRAD

 

I’m 53 years old. I raised up in the SF Bay area, at 50 miles north from here. In 2008, when a crash happened, I lost my job, my house, everything. In 2010, I broke my leg. From that I got SSA... [a SSA disability allowance]. It’s a little better. But I’m still on the street. The hard part is to find an affordable housing. The food is good, the food is free a lot of time over here. I’m striving to get better and I’m striving to get a permanent place to live.

Otherwise, the life is pretty good. I have a couple of friends. We are all on the streets together.  We usually hang out together. We walk around, play baseball, do a lot of things.

Here’s one shelter for men, it has 16 beds and it is always full. And there is always along a waiting list of 50 guys. And there is one women shelter, and it has 10 beds. Berkeley [administration] doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on the homeless. They would rather see them go, then see them here. And this is kind of bad. They get a lot of money from the students. They give free food and showers, but as far as you ask housing – no. I got an SSA allowance, but this is only 900 dollars a month. And this is absolutely nothing. When you live on the streets, everything costs. And you get fired from everywhere. It’s hard to save some money. It’s hard to get sick, if you don’t have insurance. And I don’t. MediCAL [Californian „Obama Care” medical insurance for people with low income] is the basics. It doesn’t cover major operations, like for my leg.

Before, I worked in different places, cooking, cutting red wood trees, landscaping... With that I tried to keep my appartment and my truck. In 2010, I had my truck stolen and I tried to start my own landscaping business. But it costed me too much. I went back to school and I took a computer course. I learned how to use computers. I did graduate a high school. But I never went to college. I went to summer school, learning computers, but it was it. At 53 it is hard to get re-learned, you know? I did it three times: I reinvented myself. I turned myself to the sun. I was a cook for 15 years. Then I became a construction worker for five years. Then I became a landscaper for two years. The economy, that’s what [kept] me down. And it’s hard to get up and to get money to keep.

My dream at the moment is to get housing. Somewhere to put my head on and sleep at night and don’t worry about people stealing my staff, or the cop waking me up.

I was married. I did that part in my life. I was married in Hawaii for seven years. I got no kids. I had a kind of successful carrier. I was the number three chef for seven years, in Hawaii... I made something of myself. But it came down with finances.