– [Interviewer] Kimberly and Bee, you’re homeless here in Oakland. Tell me about it. – It’s rough but we’re, we’re making it. We’re making it. – He wants to know the
story of how we got here. – Okay, that’s you. (laughing) – Well, from the beginning? – [Interviewer] Well, whatever you want. This is your story, raw
and unedited, you know. – Well, we’re married. Been married 15 years this year. Well, I don’t know where to start. It’s so long, it’s really. – Well, your dad passed.
– Let’s start, yeah. My father passed away in 2015. I took care of him. Well, we did ’cause he fell. And so we were his home care people. We lived around the corner from him. We were paying rent and everything. A year later he died. He had cancer and didn’t
tell us and he passed away. So, we moved into his house. Right up the street here, matter-of-fact. And it was my uncle’s house. My uncle owned that house,
but my father lived in it. And a year after we, two weeks after we moved
into my father’s house, my uncle passed away. So, there was nobody that
he left that house to. So my cousin, their first cousin– – Well let me get, let
me get to the main point. Since the, since the rent
and stuff is going up out here in Oakland, the
house was sold, and– – We had no idea it was so high. – And yeah. – No idea. – The rent, the rent was
gonna go up to like $2,500. And we don’t have that kind of money to– – Yup. – Pay for rent or and even to move in, we don’t
have that kind of money. – Well it was, it had been that long since we had paid any rent. – So since we couldn’t
pay that kind of rent, we just set up living in our truck. – Oh yeah, oh yeah. – And then into a little small tent. – Yeah, in the backyard of my dad’s house. – So now, we staying down here on 77th. – With the Rangers (laughing).
– Yeah. – We’ve been here for…
January 4, 2018 we moved here. Before we moved here,
we were in a vacant lot, behind the Church’s Chicken
on 73rd and Bancroft. We stayed there for like, seven months, like seven months, and then we moved from there to here. And this is, it is what it is. We’re ready to go. Resources are starting to come to us. – [Interviewer] Trying to get out of here. – Yeah.
– Oh yeah. – We need help, most definitely. – Main thing we do is, we cut lawns. And we got quite a bit of– – Clientele.
– Clientele. – Yeah. But things happen, like our
vehicle that we was using. – It’s broke. – It broke down so now we’re on bikes. – Oh yeah, you should
get a picture of those. – Bikes. – We travel all over
Oakland on those bicycles with the trailers connected, with lawnmowers and weed eaters
and all our yard work tools. – We go from here from Oakland to Hayward, riding on our bikes. You know, tryna, tryna make it, so. – We’re senior citizens too. So, we feeling it. Every bit of it. – [Interviewer] Even though
this is a sanctioned tent community which gives you porta-potties– – Yes. – [Interviewer] It’s still homeless. – It’s still, it’s still–
– We’re still outside. – It’s still homeless. – [Interviewer] No privacy. – Yeah.
– Pretty much. – [Interviewer] Because
your door’s kind of like, a filing cabinet, or locker, or closet– – It was a storage cabinet.
– It’s a storage cabinet. – [Interviewer] Yeah, and I didn’t know. Earlier I thought you’s away, because that’s how you figured out how to give yourself some kind
of security or privacy. – Yeah. – [Interviewer] But,
anybody could still walk in. – Yeah.
– Oh for sure. – Once we gone, you don’t know if somebody’s gonna come
in and take what they want. Because basically everything that we had, that we had in the house, – Is in here.
– Is in here. – We have a generator so we have our TV and our lights and stuff. But you never know once
you come back to the house if you’re gonna have anything. – The door’d be wide open, ’cause they not gonna close it back. – [Interviewer] Well, I
met Kimberly the first time when I was here I think a week ago, and you’re doing your
dishes with the lawn hose. – Oh yeah, I was doing that.
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] People don’t
realize the basic things we take for granted like
doing your dishes in the sink. You’ve got a little wagon, and you’re doing your
dishes in a lawn hose– – In a bucket. – [Interviewer] that knows
where that water’s from. – Yeah.
– Right. – We like camping, but we’ve been camping
a little bit too long. – Right, it’s not fun any more. – [Interviewer] Yeah, I
was telling Jerry, I think, “Homelessness ruined my homelessness.” I used to love camping. But since homeless I don’t camp at all. – No. – I haven’t been camping– I’ve been camping since I was a teenager with my family in Oroville,
and they still go. This is the first year
that they’re not going. But I’m 54 now. I was like 13, going
to Oroville every year. It’s not fun. It wasn’t fun in the
beginning, but it was new. It was something that
I’ve never been outside. Not like this, every day. – [Interviewer] You made the best of it. – Yeah.
– Calling it my home. – Yeah. We’re making the best of it. – It’s an adjustment. – Doing the kind of work
we’re doing, I’m doing, I come up with a lot of stuff, and basically everybody down here call me, I’m Mr. Wilson. (laughter) Go to Mr. Wilson. He got this, he got that.
– Or go the to the mansion. – Yeah. – ‘Cause that’s what ours is called. – We started off with a
little tiny, tiny tent. – And, voila. – And just kind of like the biggest– – Space other than theirs. – Yeah.
– [Interviewer] Yeah. – So, but it’s still not… (laughing) Where we want to be at.
– Right. – This is… – [Interviewer] Temporary. – Yeah, it’s past temporary.
– It’s temporary. – [Interviewer] What would
you want normal people, or house people, or the public, to know about homelessness
that they don’t know. – It’s dirty, it’s nasty, it’s… It gets scary at times. – Yeah. – You don’t know if you one thing you don’t know half the
time if you gonna wake up. – Yeah. – We’ve been, you know what, we’ve been truly, truly blessed that nobody has tried to invade our space. Especially while we’re here. Just not caring. They just want to come in, and take advantage. But we’ve been down here, I think we’ve been down here… They have a certain
amount of respect for us. I don’t know, they think
we the oldest, I think. Or maybe we act more like caregivers. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – You know, the mom-and-pop
of the community. But, let me tell people– – You see a lot of stuff. You see a lot of stuff that
go on out here, and it– – Yeah. – And you sit there and wonder, – Why?
– Why? Why. – Why? I mean it’s enough
that we’re out here. – And then you go somewhere else, and you see people that they
have three, four, or five cars. But they can’t pay the rent, or either they can pay the rent, they can’t pay their lights. – It’s a choice you have to make now. – And they there with the their kids, because you know we can’t pay rent. And you’re sittin’ there wondering, “What the heck is going on in here?” – They got good jobs.
– Is Oakland the only place– That went up on–
– No, no. – As far as I can see from this area, to well all of Oakland actually, and then into… it gets cheaper as it goes south. The rent goes down a little further. But right here where we want to live, even people that have the empty houses, that own property, that have empty space, I would like people to know that do have property, that
are living in their home that they’ve always lived in
or whatever the situation is, is that we came from a home. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – Okay, we did live inside. We haven’t lived like this all our lives. This is something that we’ve talked about. Just seeing, before we ended up outside, we’d be driving downtown, or in any area and we see the tents and stuff, and we actually joked about, “Maybe we should just get a tent. You know, we could save our
money and stay outside.” – [Interviewer] And now you’re here. – We’re here, but there is no money to be saved because this is survival. Any money we make you spend it, because we gotta buy stuff every day. That’s what I want people
with a house to know. We have to buy food every day. we have to buy gas every day. we have propane, not everyday. But all these things cost. Then we have a vehicle.
– Had a vehicle. – We have to buy gas for that. – It’s broke.
– Yeah. – [Interviewer] It’s hard to save money when you’re homeless. People don’t understand that.
– That’s right. – There is no money to be saved. – [Interviewer] Poverty is expensive. – There is no money to be saved. – Man. – [Interviewer] Poverty’s expensive. – It’s real expensive. – It costs more to stay outside, than it does to have a house. Because, once the rent is paid, once the bills are paid,
your change is your change. We don’t have any change. – And then you try to help other people with the little bit did you have– – We all try to help each other. – You try to help other people. You know, you need this or
they come ask you for it. And if you have it– – You think twice about giving it. – You want to say no–
– [Interviewer] Right, right. – But then you end up giving it to them. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – Then you gotta chase
’em around to get it back. – Yeah, but then knowing already, – They feel like you gave it to them. we already know, you already know that you’re not going to get it back. – Because y’all work everyday. – [Interviewer] Yeah. – Y’all doing something every day. Every day, every day. – [Interviewer] Well
you guys are hustling. You’re gonna be out of here soon. – We are not hustling. – Yeah, we hustle, we hustle. – I think we surviving. – Yeah, but we hustle every day we– Every day, we gotta… – [Interviewer] You’re surviving and you’re out there you know doing what you have to do to get out of here. – Our backs hurt, our legs hurt, our shoulders hurt. If we can have a place to live, we can cut down on some of this hustle. We’re gonna do it anyway, because we’ve always done it. But it doesn’t have to be like this. – [Interviewer] If you had three wishes, what would they be? – A house, or apartment,
a studio, a basement. Second? – No more homelessness, for no one. – That’s a house, an
apartment, a basement– any space–
– No one, no one. – Any space, that’s the first. What’s our second wish? – Yeah. – Our second wish is to
get our health together. We’re starting to feel
some aches and pains from, we just getting older. – [Interviewer] I’m there with you. – Getting older and I see
people older than us outside. – [Interviewer] Yeah. And I wonder how are they doing it. How are they really doing it? Because we pretty much
have the comforts of home. They’re a little slanted, and stuff, but it’s ours, – [Interviewer] Yeah. – The third wish, we need a vehicle. – No,– – Our third wish is… that is a wish. – I just don’t mind
first, second, and third. For everybody to get off the street. – [Interviewer] Okay. – That’s a good one. – All good wishes. – Yeah. – [Interviewer] Well thank you
very much for talking to me. – It’s okay.
You’re welcome. (uplifting music)