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Truckin' On: Being Homeless in the Bay Area

Joe Auteri is homeless contractor residing in the Bay Area. Living in the backseat of his white Toyota, Auteri struggles to maintain a living while facing the rising cost of living in the Bay Area.

Once owning his own company, Joe was forced to sell his home and live in his truck in the past year. With a bit of humor, Auteri found himself adapting to his situation quickly.

“There are a few benefits [as a contractor] being homeless,” says Auteri, “given that I work geographically in the greater Bay Area.”

Since then, his truck has become a staple to his livelihood. He eat, sleeps, and maintains a business in this truck. When he's hired for a job, he'll drive over to the client's home and set up shop nearby. While allowing him certain benefits living close to his contracts, Auteri still faces challenges daily.

“Most people don’t understand is how much it costs to be homeless,” says Auteri. “If you want to live in a motel, that’ll cost double what you pay in rent… or just feeding yourself. It costs a lot to eat out constantly.”

Auteri deliberately tries to separate himself from the common stereotypes of a "homeless person." While working on his contracts, Auteri will bathe and freshen up his appearance.

Despite this, Auteri doesn't see an end to his current situation.

“I do have aspirations to at least rent again,” says Joe. “I just don’t see it happening anytime soon.”

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