PNN Roofless Radio Eugene Encampment

Tiny - Posted on 23 November 2021



I've been homeless now almost four years, going on four years 

first pretty much what started was

when i lost my mom yeah my mom was my everything 

and i know i was my mama's boy you know

and so when i lost her, i thought i could handle it for you know

but that lasted about a year or so after she passed away

and then i just kind of fell down a lot you know and i started uh getting back into alcohol and then i was in and out of jail here and when the one part that i really like

really got me going depressed is when i lost my mom when i was in prison

i was in prison for four dui and

when you when you when you can't you

know be there for your mom's funeral or

you can't even get a hug from

somebody because you know when you're

incarcerated nobody can hug you because

that's against the you know the

principle there and um

yeah so that right there was just was

just like a nightmare to me and

then yeah coming out coming out knowing that now i can't go

go visit my mom or go eat with my mom or go cook for her on her birthday or send her you know a mother's day card you know that you know that is hard and and the other part too is like i have 

you know like i can't go to her funeral

i mean to her burial because i'm from

kenya we're all from kenya and uh and to

go there on her

birthday and mother's day

is expensive and so that kind of brought

me a lot of depression um

and i i've had a chance to work working

in great workplaces that have given me

the opportunity but the depression and

there's just things just this started hurting inside me and um one time i got in this job working working um kind of a swing shift graveyard

and going going to treatment program try to get a bit of myself


actually what it started first was when i when i was living in the street working this great job i happened to be tired and i stopped at a spot just to relax uh and i got ticketed for criminal trespassing so the next day i get you know a violation criminal trespassing too now

i'm like but i'm not

on the blank i'm just sitting here well

you can't sit here okay i'm like i'm

just got off work doing a 12-hour shift

i just want to relax i'm just heading to uh to a shelter place waiting for them to open up and they give me a ticket and i go to they’re called the opportunity court so

i go there and then they they told me

for me to go through

to get the

ticket off my record i gotta go through all this program and so so they you know it's like if you

don't go through this program we incarcerate you so they gave me this

list of going through all this um

shelter place um

home for the

all this program to help me get off the


and then go through treatment

so i go through all that i go through

all that program

i go through all that program i


and next thing i'm like okay so what's

okay so what's next thing on my vehicle to

get into get off the street


the records show that

with your work

you might end up getting more than

than meets the uh the uh the property

level oh my god

i just started you know and it with me

not having a good um

uh housing history like rental history that's a big

point in the deal and i'm like well how

can i get that if you guys said you're

gonna help me after the program and then so

now i'm stuck in the street sleeping on

the course trying to go to work doing

all this stuff so i end up quitting or i

end up getting sick at work because i'm

outside and um

so i've struggled with just when i've

gone through all the opportunities that

the program offers what the city offers


they would uh you know they'll promise

all this stuff but they don't follow

through you 

and uh yeah you know like i've said i've

gone in and out of creation sometimes i

feel comfortable just go you know in the

winter because i met some homeless

people like oh again about a week i'm

gonna commit a crime so i can go to jail

and get my three meals you know hot showers

and stuff and i'm not quite gonna do

that and you know but that's not

something i understand right now yeah

god i do yeah you know in the past i

attempted to do that but that goes in my

record and i don't want to have that in

my record again

yeah so i've been working to i've been

trying to go to the program on getting

you know out of the street but sometimes

this part is for uh we got kicked out

twice out of our campsite for things we

didn't do

“oh you guys are doing this doing that”

we're like “no we're not now but we have

neighboring people come next to us and


be hoarders” and we're like ‘come on guys

keep the place clean or we're gonna get

kicked out’

next we know we got signs you gotta go

we gotta go and all right so

so yeah this is a struggle uh you know

it's just trying to get

you know everything going um everybody

that is homeless is that yeah and then

what you know we're trying to do the

best uh this week you know we got hired

at uh you know a job so we you know

friday we start a new job so hopefully

it works out hopefully we get it there

um and today we got a housing 

assessment for housing so we'll

hopefully hopefully

i'm not going to keep my you know my

hands crossed you know


i'll just look forward keep my head up

and um yeah it's just yeah

trying to get out of this at least one


as of july this year

i ‘m off parole which i've been in


almost 16 years and now it's one of my

phones that every time i don't

report they throw them in to throw me in

incarceration for stupid thing and i

lose my job already

so now

no excuse now and now um yeah so we're

doing so trying we're still homeless

right yeah we're trying

working hard yeah 


so we're trying to

stay positive and keep our head up you

know it's something that

yeah so

yeah that's all i can do is just 


We’re some of the people that try to

actually crawl out of them


you don't want to be in the hole right

all right yeah trying to get out of the

hole that's what the key is

yeah nothing beats that

we have kids grandkids

i don't have no grandkids i hope not


okay yeah oh

He’s got Emma, that baby touched his fingers three days

old oh man

but yeah i don't know yeah he's just

trying to get out of this uh and then go

back to school

i said the key is

applying for programs to get back into manufacturing engineering, i like working

with robotics and stuff and that's a lot

of my skills in the past and and guess

what i've had a chance to be in

three great opportunity jobs in robotics and 

really because i'm in the street you

know showing up to work dealing with

equipments and falling asleep or not

getting the right deal and i'm like

my boss is like what what's going on? 

I'm on the street

i'm gonna say yeah all right

you can't say it again

yeah it's just uh yeah and then

you know uh and then i'm having

struggling with my addiction

which is alcohol that's my choice of

drugs alcohol and i'm working on it i

signed up myself nobody sent me to it i

signed up myself my name like hey all

right keep asking me are you for child

support no are you up for i mean for 

custody no incarceration i mean or

legal stuff like no i'm like

i walk myself in

i'm just trying to get out of this and that's what i'm hoping to do

and we're working hard

because right now we gotta you know go

to the library to go study or go try to

sneak into you know to a place where we

can do you know just like to do some

stuff you know without being kicked out

because a lot of people a lot of areas

wants you to be there for only one hour

right now or 30 minutes

i'm like come on i'm here doing

something you know i'm not taking

advantage of it i'm just trying to get

out of where i'm at


When we got here uh we're like at

the 7-eleven parking lot and we're just trying to figure out like where we should go and stuff yeah and

we're only there for like five minutes

the lady already walks out trying to

kick us out


yeah just yeah it's just something

like that

There are some people yeah there are

some bad homeless people no doubt

but there are some good that they they keep their stuff clean

they don't cause drama they stay quiet

they don't bother people yeah because we

don't like that 

you know and i would

like to pay for it but like when i get

paid or not and have money extra money

on me someone said hey man can i there

you go

and i've you know paid for it i believe

in that strongly believing that i may

have had happiness the last 24 hours

like positive things has happened and um

you know in swahili we have the same

akuna matata and that's unless i've

learned that since i was a baby when

growing up in kenya hakuna matata people keep saying it's the lion

king saying right it's not it's swahili it's the origin of swahili and i'm like

and then they'll trust me i can keep

smiling at this situation i mean i've

been called still smile my

they can't take my soul away they can do

you know i'm still looking for i'm still

going to walk out that door you know um

and be you yeah just be me kind of thing

that's what i love best about it so so

so all i can do is just be


and yeah let the guy upstairs you know

lead my way you know that is

that's all i can do he's almost got me

ready to go to church

it's a choice not you know i don't know

but it's just because

i have been through so much stuff in my life even before i got here 

yeah oh she tells me memories about her history in georgia i'm like yeah


Yeah it's just homeless is sad yeah and it's scary 


It’s positive in a way too sometimes

it's positive i've seen people who have

been homeless for 20 years and they love

it but they keep clean some of the

people when i become eating her some

people that i met that taught me the way

people live in the street i'm like wow

you're so knowledgeable about this i've

done it for so long and they don't tell

me where to go

when i used to work 20 miles away and i

had to ride my bike and i was living

underneath a bridge and the guy's like

no under this bridge this one spot i was

there for two years and they just keep

it clean let's keep it to yourself and i

did that for a year and i'm like

there i had to rebuild the bridge so i had to move out of there i'm like oh it

was cool too i was kept asleep i like

what you guys are doing yeah thank you



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