People of Berkeley
Introducing “People of Berkeley”—a new installation that allows people around Berkeley, whether they are in our clinic spaces or not, to share anything they’d like us to know about them. Though the people of Berkeley are much more than the biography and quotes cut out and shared on this page, we hope this series can be a way to get to know the people of Berkeley just a bit more.
Our first feature is Monica! She is a familiar face in our clinic spaces who is known for her cheerfulness and infectious smile. She is originally from Oakland and enjoys listening to music and coloring during her free time. Some things that make her happy are Suitcase Clinic and her kids.
“Suitcase Clinic is always one on one. It's so exciting--there's always so much to do and always starts my week off. I like having the attention, the supplies, the conversations, and encouraging you guys to get an A in all of your guys' classes!"
"I'm happy right now. I'm happy with my kids. I'm happy because they're happy. I'm just happy."
Meet Mike--he’s 6 feet tall, got a bald head, is very slim, and always has a boombox—up and down Durant Ave near the Asian Ghetto. He usually carries a “Good luck on your midterm” sign throughout the semester for UC Berkeley students. “I’m the guy who carries the finals sign. Good luck on your finals and good luck on midterms. A+. I’m the guy that gives the student inspiration when they see my sign—not to mention I went to several graduations. I have gotten the chance to meet professors, scholars, teachers, and even football player Aaron Rodgers—go Green Bay Packers!”
“You know when I’m out there sparing change. It’s like I want to give something back to the students. I go to church with them—Livingwater, the Arc, and even the church out there in Solano. I know masses of students that ask me to go to their church throughout the time I’ve been sparing change. They come back to me and give me their grades. It’s like I started to feel as if I were the teacher because I wanted their results—the results of their midterms and finals. And I make sure the homeless don’t mess with the students. It’s like I want to put a protection on them."
"And to see at Berkeley, they’re not trying to do any look out for homeless here – there’s no rehabilitation out here. The only rehabilitation here is that we rehabilitate ourselves. They don’t want you sitting in line by certain buildings. They don’t want you sitting by the curb. I got citations sitting on milk crates. And I got arrested for sitting on a milk crate and had to go to crate. Then the next time, I wasn’t sitting on the milk crate but my radio was and I got cited again—a $1400. I have been through the grill. What they try to do in Berkeley is make the homeless identify wih the homeless – they give everyone the same raincoat, the same beanie. So if the homeless were to do something, all the homeless people be wearing the same colors—so they are easily identified. The homeless out here stand out like a sore thumb—they’re different than the ones in San Francisco. I feel safe in Berkeley—I would hate to go somewhere else in Berkeley. It’s safe to be around the students and all my hippie friends. And I never thought I’d become a hippie—been around here so long I’ve become one. Here, it’s like I have no problem—I was neglected there and I’m not feeling deprived here. I’ve laid down by Unit 1, Unit 3. I’ve got my fair share around here—sometimes I feel like I’m going to die on the street."
"If the whole world yelled at one time, do you think half the world would hear? If they listened to everyone, would it make a change?"