‘We Are Additionally Worthy of This Place’: Mountain View RV Residents Wait in Limbo Amid Impending Road-Parking Settlement

The town has been encouraging individuals dwelling within the RVs to pursue different housing packages, like shelters and secure parking websites, city-sanctioned parking tons that additionally supply companies. Ramirez Vasquez has regarded into a few of them however discovered they don’t work for her and her husband.

There are some shelters, however she heard they’ve curfews. Her husband works the late shift at a McDonald’s close by and doesn’t come dwelling till 11 p.m. or midnight. She has additionally tried to use for residences, however many require a credit score verify and different paperwork. “If you happen to don’t have that, they gained’t settle for your utility, will they?” she requested.

She is hopeful town will enable her to remain on Crisanto Avenue. This avenue has turn out to be her dwelling, her neighborhood. It’s tough for her to go away it behind.

smiling man wearing blue shorts sits in a folding chair outside the side door of his RV
Hector ‘Max’ Hernandez traveled all around the world whereas serving within the Marines earlier than coming to California and dealing as a chef at a Palo Alto Italian restaurant. When he misplaced his job in the course of the pandemic and needed to transfer out of his house, he determined to purchase an RV for a extra secure dwelling scenario. He stated that when life gave him lemons, he made limoncello. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Hector “Max” Hernandez, 70, labored as a chef at a elaborate Italian restaurant in Palo Alto for 18 years. Earlier than the pandemic began, he was dwelling in a one-bedroom house in Mountain View, however his landlord slowly raised his lease from $1,500 to $2,000 per thirty days. Finally, his landlord requested for $2,500. His restaurant shut down within the pandemic and he misplaced his job. He was pressured to maneuver out and purchase an RV, which he now parks near Ramirez Vasquez on Crisanto Avenue.

“It’s not a palace, nevertheless it’s a spot that I name my dwelling,” he stated in Spanish. “There’s a saying in Italian, that when life offers you lemons, make limoncello. I’m not homeless. I’ve a spot to sleep.”

Hernandez is initially from the seaside city of Mazatlán, Mexico, and owns a three-bedroom home there, however moved to the USA to function a Marine and earn sufficient cash to help his household. At this time, he’s divorced and has household all around the nation; his daughter is all grown up and has a job in Japan. He had deliberate to work for a number of extra years whereas the lawsuit performed out, however has turn out to be bored with the uncertainty round whether or not he’ll have the ability to keep on Crisanto Avenue.

“I hold considering, nicely, Max, you’ve gotten a alternative,” he stated. “Both you may hold doing this or return [to Mexico] and dwell fortunately ever after, I hope.”

He plans to maneuver again to Mexico in December and at last retire. “I’m going to eat huge prawns and seafood and fish and drink Pacifico beer,” he stated. “That’s my plan.”

photo looking into distance down long street, with one side of street fully lined with RVs
Continental Circle is without doubt one of the most densely packed Mountain View streets for RV residents, a lot of whom select to park right here as a result of it’s near the Palo Alto Medical Basis’s places of work. Many of the RV residents KQED spoke with on this avenue are aged and require quick access to medical care. (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

Continental Circle, a 15-minute drive from Crisanto Avenue, can also be densely full of greater than 30 RVs. On one aspect there are house buildings, and on the opposite is the Palo Alto Medical Basis (PAMF), which homes docs’ places of work. That’s what has saved Harry Epstein, 72, parked right here for the previous 15 years.

Epstein began getting chronically sick in his 30s and was unable to maintain a constant job. He has various well being points, however his continual fatigue impacts him probably the most.


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