« 99% Invisible

Chapter 1: Tulicia

2020-12-01 | 🔗

When we think about homelessness, we often have a certain image in our mind—people pushing shopping carts, or big sprawling tent encampments.

But for the vast majority of homeless people, the experience is less visible. Many people who are unable to afford a place to live end up sleeping on a friend’s floor or inside their car.

This is what Tulicia did for years, until finally, she reached out to the system for help.

Chapter 1: Tulicia

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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seated. Tiered strategy is everywhere. shall we go, go straight decorate their homelands. most of my interviews with Chile. Shelly took place in a car, come to think of it most of my interviews with homeless people in general took place in cars. Cars are good As studios quiet, they don't have an echo. They are less good as homes, but many many people in Oakland are using them that way. their fair right. There because pointing out all the people sleeping in cars on just a few blocks and EAST Oakland, Sometimes you really can't tell when a car has a person living in it, but often signs blank its covering windows. Suitcases strapped roofs
Colors right there This car right here no deal right here and now these people are here. I know them people right there. Ah, Hamas, I always had a curse: Oakland recorded seven hundred and twenty seven people sleeping in cars and twenty nineteen, although that's widely considered to be an undercurrent, especially because folks in vehicles tend to be less visible than say, people in tents, it was good at spotting these cars, because she knows this neighbourhood, but there is another reason to Sometimes she and her eleven year old Son, Jordan, also sleep in the car diplomacy. Depths of villages said to accord array of cover grandma
noble so Fremont, be Coke, Zella Middle name, Phoebe real coal. Deletion in the driver's seat and our Sun Jordan is and shot gun. She has around face and a wide smile with little gap between our front teeth. there's a be needed, keep her head warm and to cover the short hair. She hasn't had the money to get done. The way she likes it with extensions mouth, good, though, when you think about that We need our house to House occur when the house, Jordan, has his mom same round face plus around bellied match, he's gentle and shy. He likes video games and math intellectual says she's thankful. He is trying to act all grown like some kids, his age. By the way, Jordan has a disability that affects his speech and language. We use
some could drive and for a moment and goes so far as the desert with dignity. listen to me like that. by twenty nineteen deletion. Jordan had been homeless for five years. Sometimes they stayed with family or friends, and sometimes they ended up in the car. For five years. They mostly just struggled through homelessness on their own, but then something changed and they finally started trying to get some help. This is according to need chapter one
I want to zero in on the time when Felicia started asking for help so that we can see what that looks like and start to see how the system works for who it fails. But first I want to go back said I get another yours I get in your car. You, like Tunisia, told me about her life in a series of interviews we did in the car. She had never had an easy, the stuff that I was when I was little. It taught me my survival skills to his family was poor growing up both of her parents struggled with addiction, and she had her first kid at sixteen. I didn't get a jest enjoy my teenage years because I was a man, so there were so many obstacles and so much instability and delicious.
but somehow by the time she was in her thirty's she'd, manage to get her g d, her fork lifting licence and a good union job with benefits at Berkeley farms. Milk plan but then things started to unravel it felt like there was one family crisis after another, I just wish to elaborate emotionally and dear Mamma. She was saying: can using drugs in a non hospital in and it s got to the port charges. I was tired: Katy Felicia started missing work at the plan. Eventually she lost her job and shortly thereafter her apartment in twenty fourteen. She became for a while. She and Jordan found places to crash, and she worked term jobs on and off but they could only say in one place for so long.
eight or so people leave differed from hardly used to live, swampy board dirty sandpaper cling. Some people get high. You don't get high a body blow you come up here for a few days. You get him some money staff, then, after that they act funding our films. They want they space and put you out. They stay somewhere for a few months or a few weeks, and then it would be time to move on. years passed like this. Eventually, the instability started to wear until issues mental health. Because better oh bliss mentally, is trouble smash your your child edge. You, when you pick above from school mob where we're gonna go mob, where we gonna eat Tunisia,
like. She was treading water, just barely staying afloat, her, maybe she wasn't saying afloat at all- was actually slowly drowning. She, desperately needed a life raft, but there was no stable enough in her life to grab onto everyone around her was also struggling. was it a point to which I was really trying to figure out where killer place put Massa. There's a k provide for him. The way I wont to light, let a family member Havel for a wow. You know where he is sleep baby, please smoke free virus. You know stuff like that, an accurate picture or figure out what person and twenty eighteen after four years of bouncing around from place to place,
LISA suffered a psychotic break for a couple months. She had delusions that she was famous and wealthy and she got aggressive when people try to convince her. Otherwise, when I start doorstep, I don't usually do that's what I knew I need help during this time. While she was driving by herself to leisure, crashed her car on purpose into a wall. Shootin wanna die. It was more like a cry for help and I said to myself: I had their pole die if I had Deborah, while I guess a lab, so I say let the poet I just turn the wheel after the crime. Still, he show into a regular hospital and then a psychiatric hospital where she was diagnosed with PTSD, among other things, and then like she's, always done. She Claude our way back to some fragile semblance of sanity, and that brings us to
Nineteen, when deletion Jordan still homeless, had exhausted every last family, our friend connection? There was no way to go except for the car. The car is sacred Felicia, where the keys on a lanyard around her neck. If it wasn't for the car, she tells me they'd, be living under a bridge is put mercy. My little David cover up the thread windows. We have our smacks in what areas we are cover: wages go to sleep, kill, leg were Tell me where you live type in the black sea. We were debating
George, that's how this summer rolled forward stiff necks and backs sleeping in the car wash, their faces and Mcdonald's, but then, when the, lawyer starts something kind of incredible happens. Felicia finally, get a life raft, her name, His Trish Anderson bless. You gotta, keep it. Ok, you too did you know, because I did not know that every school strict in the. U S has a person whose job is to help her was families, Trish Anderson is that person in Oakland title the Mckinney ventilators on comes the federal legislation that established the position. Tricia's office is in a little portable building behind an elementary school.
is about a dozen bracelet funny tress they're playing on the table when she talks and Let me interview her between emails and phone calls high Leslie Trish High, select, I have a situation. I have a mom and a daughter they're, not in a card. They have no place to go so mom moved here from the course of the twenty seventeen two thousand and eighteen school year. Public school data shows that some one and a half million students experienced homelessness across the country These students tend to move with their parents from one part of town to another to another and a big part of the Mckinney ventilators on job is helping homeless, pants and roll and reenrolled their kids in school. Trips does a lot of that, but you can also help with things like bus passes and uniform, and they alone I offer they might add me transportation by your house. I mean that's. Real trash can offer housing per se, although she can help parents feel
applications for apartments or search for affordable places on the internet when a family in her programme finally finds housing or shelter, they get a little construction paper house to put on the wall. So this one someone went from car to shelter, decorators Amy any movement. We now to these Turkey has a big warm personality, but there is also something guarded underneath When I asked her, if she ever takes work home, she says she tried not to. She has her own problems at home. the caregiver for her son, whose gets a frantic and for her elderly mother. He needs a lot of help with dated eight tasks. But every now and again someone slips passed her force field. Tunisia was like that, treasure members seem to Asia at the beginning of the school year and she came to pick up the bus pass for Jordan. Shoes slid down the chair I have looked very tired, so I said come here every day, come here every
it have oatmeal hang out volunteer help me with my closet, Owsley. Ok, as it has like. Ok, actually start go every day. Every day I have it on a computer look for resource. Then, while to issue, is there a trick, encourage her to do something else to something Shen tried in a while called to one one and asked for help to one one is a kind of hotline for homeless people who are looking for help with things like shelter or Housing and Alameda County. Thank you so much provoking Can I see today? Yes, me and my eleven Euro zone in an where have you in your son with sleep? Now? Where do you fear sleep last night,
in my car that don't ruin so tomorrow you can go at one p m at TAT, Henry Robinson Multi Service Centre to join assessment for the sea. He s programme when the operator says the Sea S programme she's, using an acronym for the coordinated entry system, You can understand a lot more about this system by the end of this series, but for now to say that most communities in the- U S have a system like this, and one thing it does is create a big master list of homeless people that all the non profit, in particular community or working off of. This helps to ensure the two different organizations aren't trying to assess the same person without knowing in any the operator is telling Felicia she needs to get into this system in order to get help with housing and
Unfortunately, there are no shelters to stand in the meantime, there was now mom with child available right now that I'm just trying to buy something before way, yeah some ugly, ok, they'll get away. Thank you all right. Thank you for coming. The next day Tunisia took the bus, the nonprofit in downtown o plan that the operator had told her about while she waited she eyed. The other people who are also there, everyone homeless, everyone in need, eventually. It was delicious turn and she answered some questions with a social worker unnamed Yolanda. What is it monthly income Yolanda, faster it honey Thirty six dollars to LISA answered Felicia's and have a job at the time she got some money from the state because of Jordan's. Doesn't
he does anyone in your household suffer from depression. Yes, in the past thirty days, and we had to do things that felt unsafe to survive. Yes, how often daily. There were more questions and Yolanda entered Felicia's enters into a computer. While they talked The fact that they wanted to know so much about her seemed like a good sign to LISA. She felt hopeful, even though they still sleeping in the car, so love so ass. You play The greatest chicken and clearly Greer Whistle Sally FISH Hence rises, salad, Tebow's state potato?
a roast legs Eugenie here. What's your favorite desert, like banana pudding, now sharply chocolate cake as king screen K K some Sammy Sandy medicines I've had a Sunday, and what do we shall we did you hear back about whether she was gonna, get hope with housing or shoulder she kept going to see. Trash is interesting, Felicia cause each
I have boundaries and there is always one or two or a few. In our view where the boundary is like is really hard, keep their boundary cause, there's something else daily or they draw on you and she demanded it, and it happened It just happened that way in that everybody does that it wasn't that long before Toledo started calling Trish, big Mamma and telling us she loved her. The two of them recounted this to me entrenches office like people uncommonly say I love you, you don't I'm thing, and then I found myself fan it back ass. She needed it. So that was the demand. She wasn't. Gonna accept anything less a star say in it. because I want to know you know I really I do love you getting a must boys, always gaily bullshit. emotional creature,
I know this site of Felicia too. I've tried to keep it journalistic boundary with her, but she takes me out of the blue late pay Katy. Would he do in her she'd, say I'm sad and I find myself giving her a pep talk, another case in point. For some reason. At this very moment in Tricia's office, she was squeezed under the same chairs me I'll just go. Share with others. I just saw the arms. Russia's support and a place to be everyday Felicia, was finally in an emotional state where she felt she could work again and to encourage her to apply it attempts agency she did and you got a temporary position, washing dishes for circus away in the evening.
Of Tunisia. Had enough money she'd by herself in Jordan, something for dinner. Jordan would spread his homework out on the table, a k of Sea or Mcdonalds. Sometimes she even have enough money to do something fun like a movie. They were still sleeping in the car, but it felt like maybe things were turning around county to what my? How can I help you? a couple weeks after that first call Felicia tried to when one again. Good morning. How are you doing you? I've had any went on your listing or any traditional. How are you asking me for companies going up? Ok, brave. Thousands have been living with a disability. The operator.
as if should already done, an assessment for the coordinated entry system. She said she had other than referring people into that system, where maybe hopefully they'll get assistance with housing to one. One also maintains their own database of subsidized housing options that you don't have to be harmless to get into just poor, but all of those options have waiting lists. In the waiting list that from one to five year, that's the problem. They can also give you a list of apartments on the private market that aren't subsidized. The landlords might be willing to work with tenants that have less than sparkling rennell histories. But their doesn't seem to be much of anything that would be affordable for two LISA. Ok variable I'm a room for rain in open the bright. His six hundred perversion three had debate to a hundred.
For a you can tell the operator things. Twelve hundred for a room is an absolute garbage option to my car. from now on will no doubt be deluded business. We need our own Tunisia told me later she didn't and pursuing that room. It was too expensive before they hang up to each of us again about shelter. The outbreak. It tells us that the only thing available for victims of domestic violence and the now, Sir, in it that can only be described as hopeful. If she happens to be one, the aperture there are your big them of domestic violence, Emma pass the night read to me. I know where to American Hackney, thereby labour right now
Trish told me: she tells Oliver homeless parents to call two hundred and eleven before most of them. It doesn't lead to housing, which she doesn't think is two hundred and eleven fault, but it's still frustrating every time you call you get the same energy over and over and over again, and it's like their collecting on this data. But there's no movement what's a case. That's really stuck with you in a without naming names, but lake. the man who says if I don't find housing this year, I'm going to kill myself and my kids will be better off without me, because at least those on the foster care and now get Houston. This is a lot to attempted suicide. Last year. I never saw that before. So. The mental health has really been on the decline for these families, the story, his trick here. All day from these parents are hard. She tells me, while she
without a few emails, how she manages to hold so many sad stories for my faith, is what makes me have more the most capacity to do. The work not religious person put it feels I too have childlike tat was: is the place to put it all soon, uncaring, other things you can solve all the things you can characters. You gotta carry something else. The place like you know your purse, you put all your in Geneva the day the purser Baggert come back. And so you are able to carry more still true says, the purse is filling up and she's not sure how much more it where she can carry us forever. agenda for a long time already part of its hard for trade?
This doesn't feel like she has as much power as she's too, to make a difference and people's lives a couple five years ago. Tryst could help the family she worked with get into shelters. If she the family walkin at four p m, who had nowhere to sleep tat, night, she'd start making calls the county shifted to a system where everyone has to go through to one one and now again, Do that anymore hard. Now the silence on the street. You can make a phone call governmental shelter In this position you have to be careful that do not become a complainer, because you're having families in where the system? You don't think as it works or there has challenges and the families already feeling that so you A fine running your frustration, yes darling. To see if you guys have shown this
What was the last time we should try to one one it's about three weeks from her first call and she sounds tired operator tells us that the only shelters available or for single adults, not for a woman with a child. No good kid! You do three point on his report card. You know really gearing of oneness gap are alleged to have that guy goin away. Just thing in here to say that Alicia is right to be worried about Jordan, falling behind academically data from public schools in twenty seventeen, two thousand and eighteen showed that only twenty nine percent of homeless students were vision reading and they were similarly behind in math, but it isn't just poverty that makes them slip its instability.
Almost kids test scores are below even other low income students who are steeply housed before they get off the phone. The operator suggests we should get into the coordinated and some not seeming to realise that she was already in the system she'd been in it for weeks now. She hadn't gotten any help Nobody never call me back and checked out like I've been glad do this now for so long now. What do you like? Why do you think that is? is so many people all over as experts, same thing as me, advantages, never get me on the list. If a light somebody I forgot about me forget it
may I myself, in other words for Tunisia. The fact that help never came wasn't personal and totally was person on a couple months after those two on one cause
We shall still have gotten any help with housing from this system. She had a new job and Napa Otto parts where she made about five hundred dollars a week, but she hadn't been able to save much yet she had found a spot where she in Jordan could stay inside with some regularity, not their own place, but somewhere to crash. At least it didn't feel like home, though, even though she had a roof over head, she still felt homeless, definite enough for me to do. Look at Troy dig about, Georgia did or did not think about myself. Every night address key dazzle hold those changes, and I just came out every day of the Jews.
changes come about right now about my great right. Man thinks you're talking to me always appreciate it. I feel better to again. I feel like I worry about. The guy was already wore out there for you, I hope he doesn't get sleep tonight now. So too The police were Tunisia in Jordan, were staying? Was one bedroom basement apartment where a bunch of other people also lived one day slept the couch another person slept in her a cleaner deletion. Jordan slept on a bare mattress, sometimes Your tensions in the house, though, people manage other over bills or food or what to watch on tv and then
Tunisia in Jordan would end up back in the one place. They'd always been able to count on the car ISIS Stores, We should look at a Maccallum and make a wish. There were high dies. The big deal with a little Deborah. I made the boy so saying that it does so. You feel sorry for the dinosaurs yeah. I do.
the dinosaurs go to to sigh dp bag. A thing. Now, go to somebody logo in a cage I remain here.
I wanted to understand why Teresa had never gotten any help with housing. Who was a system helping, if not her,. One thing I did know was that when homeless people wanted help, they were almost always advised to call to one one that seem to be the starting place for everyone. If I wanted to understand how this all worked, maybe I should pay them a visit. That's next time on according to need
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me am. I tell the really about the b on the streets the month twenty, they keep requirement meeting well, I'm not gonna help the public Alameda Charlie, with a two year old willing to move anywhere that I can get up. How would you know and evaluate people? Why not RO I wanna hear no one here you need to get over to Eu Cp by six p m on criminal, Kay may want to hurry, but she wants to say she's livery homer, but I think she is actually thing at a friends house where she's gonna Deb, saying that people really get frustrated. When you tell them, they are not early homeless, I'm sleeping I've been car in ages, Let him last night,
why some homeless people never even make it into the system and what it's like to answer their calls. That's coming up on according to need according to need was produced by me. Katy mingle, with associate producer, Abbe, Madden and Managing editor Whitney Henry Lester Roman Mars was the executive pretty sir in Value everything from LISA, Pollack, Emmett, Fitzgerald, Delaney Hall, Christopher Johnson and Joe Rosenberg cabin Ramsay- was our sound engineer. In fact, checking by gains beautiful music by the beautiful sanrio branding and design by much more dot, Io Kurt Costa. Our digital director additional support from soviet class
Vivian lay and crisper Ebay. Special thanks to all the people who spoke to me for this series as well is mighty saw. Maybe my career now Alison the young entrusting according to need project. Ninety nine percent, invisible it is distributed by p r exe. Radio.
Transcript generated on 2020-12-03.