Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 1425 C St. Sacramento, CA. our team will be hosting the 25th annual “Feast in the Streets.” It’s a live auction fundraiser event where all proceeds and donations will go to benefit Francis House, a program of Next Move, supporting our region’s homeless populations. I will be the auctioneer and what follows is why.
In 2009, I was homeless. I’ll never forget being at home the day the young man (about my age now) delivered the foreclosure papers on the home I was born in. Filing bankruptcy, my mom, dad, and I moved in with my dad’s cousin (Dias family). I lived in a small squeaky day bed that hardly fit my 6’1 frame. By no means, were these conditions as difficult as many but it’s the feeling that is shared amongst like-kind. The feeling of judgement.
Insult to injury, we lost everything else. In the process of moving, our nice stuff like my mom’s China (plate set) was stolen from where we temporarily held it during the stressful time. Our cars repossessed. But the hardest part… My mom was going into serious life-threatening cancer surgery. Pseudomyxoma peritonei is a 1 in a million abdomen cancer. They split her open neck to pelvis and took out many organs in the process of eradication.
In 1998, our family was in a car accident where a drunk driver hit us. Since that night, driving home from my mom’s birthday dinner, she has been bed-ridden in chronic back pain. Literally, she has laid in bed for the past 17 years. I will leave this (my mom’s health) at… I’ve seen and felt things people my age shouldn’t have to bare.
My dad is the best man to walk the face of this Earth [when your throat chokes up a bit and tears try to initiate] … [now a tear, in starbucks]… His business as a Chiropractor took a hit as my mom (who was the heart of the business) became sick and in pain. The stress, the stress, the stress. Moving office locations multiple times, going in to help and do whatever it took. Hearing the creditors call. Avoiding going to the mailbox. Deciding to go to public high school, partly because I didn’t want to add Jesuit HS to my parents plate.
The straw that broke the camels back. In a final effort, my dad decided to move his practice to Yuba City (over an hour away). For three months, the summer of 2009, my dad and I drove to Yuba City everyday to open up a new Chiropractic office. The stress built up so much that my dad would get to the office and deal with ulcers everyday, rushing to the bathroom between patients and on his lunch. Shortly after, we then went homeless.
Luckily, I went off to Saint Mary’s College where I was the happiest I’ve ever been! (This is why I love you so much Saint Mary’s). All the while, my parents found a small duplex to move into a mile from my dad’s office. Then, I came home from school the first time. I had an address in my phone and late one Fall Friday evening I drove down a old rustic paved street. Then, my notes said turn right between two houses. Down a dirt path, behind a fence, I found my parents duplex.
The low rider. My dad was without a car and he was riding a bike to work at age 56. We rented a car and drove it one way together to Las Vegas. There we picked up a car that was being donated to us. It was a beautiful pearl white Buick with this psychedelic red carpet interior. The “low rider” barely made it over the Tehachapi mountains and died three times up highway 5 to Sacramento. I’ll never forget it was right before dusk and my dad called. The “low rider” died less than a 1/2 mile from the duplex. I ran down the street to help and nothing we could do could bring back this car to life. I remember the pain and frustration of all our financial struggles coming to a head as I got mad with my dad. I told him to get out of the way, “I will push this thing home!” I put it in neutral, got behind the car and with all my might pushed and pushed. Yet, there was a slight incline in the road that I just couldn’t get over. We left the car there on the side of the road and walked back to the duplex where my mom laid.
I remember times when I lived off canned beans, tortillas, and (sometimes) cheese. These were times when I realized how expensive cheese was! I remember one thanksgiving when the Myer’s family brought over a Thanksgiving Basket because they wanted to make sure we had a “proper” meal. I remember how embarrassed I felt that my friend Jeff came over to our duplex one night while he was in town for new years. I remember how embarrassed I felt when my friend Nick came over to pick me up because my car was struggling to run. I remember my friend Barakah coming over to meet my family. I remember these three people because they were the only friends that ever came over because I didn’t invite anyone for the 3 years we lived there.
I gave a graduation speech at Saint Mary’s College that ended with our institutions motto, “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.” My life has been one of caregiving and service to others. I’ve known the feeling of being homeless and it’s my intention to raise as much money as possible at this auction. The auction supports Francis House of Sacramento and Next Move. Directly from their website, “For more than 45 years, Francis House Center has served as a beacon of light and hope to the most vulnerable among us. It is a place where people are treated with dignity as they arrive seeking help for some of the most basic needs.” Faith and family are what I value and next Wednesday (May 25,2016 at 1425 C St. Sacramento, CA) I intend to bring my heart and fun-loving personality to the stage. Buy a ticket, practice raising your bid paddle, and let’s have some fun giving a hand up to those in need in our community.
Highlight of event: 1 minute