Ronald (Ron) Herrera, narrates his day to day struggle to survive homelessness in Santa Clara County at age 64.
Ronald Roy Herrera (64), “Ron”, was born in Sacramento, CA and has lived in the bay area his whole life. Herrera was put on disability when he fell off a building while at work. “I was working doing tear off at a warehouse, but all I remember was waking up in a hospital bed” he said. He awoke from his unconscious state after four days; unfortunately he no longer had a job. Because of his accident and his minimal education, it was extremely hard for Herrera to find a job. He lives off his social security monthly paycheck, but it is not nearly enough to rent a studio in San Jose.
Like many other homeless people, Herrera struggles to find shelter and a safe spot for his belongings. He roams the Santa Clara County looking for community centers offering services such as shelter, food, and clothing. Although many homeless take advantage of these shelters, other homeless people take advantage by stealing from others. “I went to the doctor to get a checkup, and when I came back all my stuff was gone,” Herrera said. He was left with the ripped jeans and black hoodie he was wearing. Unfortunately, centers like this have time limits. After three months Herrera was asked to vacate and look for other shelter. Currently, Herrera sleeps on the street, wherever there is a crevice protecting him from the wind. “I got nothing, so I sleep with my shoes on.”