Brenda Romero Media Portfolio

Pushing Through Student Loans

Unemployment Issues

After receiving his mechanics certificate from CET, Joseph Garcia, 24, thought that he finally had his life figured out. Turns out, the certificate in which he invested so much money, actually pushed him back instead of pushing him further to his aspirations. Now he finds himself balancing his student loans and getting back on track.

Informing the community

Elections

It's election year! Benito Link an online news site, took initiative and decide to join forces with the Farm Bureau, to inform the "bedroom" community of San Benito County, about the current election.

Searching for Help

Homelessness in Santa Clara County

Manuel Garivay, immigrated from Mexico at age 15, with his single mother, to the Bay Area in hopes for a better life. He held steady jobs, helping him support his mother and himself. Garivay, started hanging out with the wrong crowd, which led him to some trouble and ultimately, putting him in jail. Coming out of jail, he was hit with news that his mother had passed away, Garivay says, “no house, no mom, no help.”

He has been living in shelters and on the streets for 10 years.

Garivay has a case manager from Down Town Street team, a non-profit organization, that serves Santa Clara County. He has been with them, since he found himself on the streets, but says, “some of them want to help, some of them don’t.” Garivay is feeling frustrated with his case manager and the way the system is set up, “she is supposed to work 50 and 50…” he explains, he keeps hearing the same thing from her, “I really want to get out of here.”

Taking matters into his own hands, he went to the Silicon Valley Living Center to start finding housing opportunities on his own, “I don’t care if it’s not here, I just want to go inside and be with my dog and be like the normal people,” he says.

One of the common problems he faces when finding housing is that no one wants to take him in with his dog Boo Boo, “they used to tell me to get rid of the dog,” says Garivay. His dog is the only family member he has and helps him with depression, “when my mom passed away, I got depressed…he helps me keep my mind busy,” he says. Garivay has registered the dog as a companion dog to be able to keep him and get help, “I prefer to be on the streets then to lose him,” says Garivay.

Garivay is working on himself to find a job and housing, “one more step to reach my goal.”

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