Sunday, May 11, 2014

Some South Florida homeless risk everything to live in storage units - Sun Sentinel

Very sad reality for some and all too many in our community. Click title for link to article. Make sure to watch the video.
After two years of homelessness, of spending most of his time hiding out in the dense woods of nearby John Prince Park, the rainy, cold nights got the better of him.
So a little more than a year ago, he started sleeping in his indoor, climate-controlled unit a short walk away. He stayed only when temperatures dropped to uncomfortably cold degrees, he said, and he knew how to melt into the background.
"I watched for the manager to leave," said Tortorella, 58, an unemployed machinist. "I knew to shut the light, keep the door closed, not to peek out, to stay out of the view of the cameras. I'd go in late and leave early."
Though hardly ideal, sharing space with his Harley, his radio and family mementos was oddly comforting.
"In desperation, you want to [be close to] your possessions," he said.
His jacket sufficed as a pillow. His sleeping bag kept out the chill of the air conditioning, and he was able to make a bed out of an old futon cushion someone had discarded.
"All the guys only stay on cold nights," said another homeless man at John Prince Park who asked to remain anonymous. "I slept in the hallway because my unit wasn't big enough to sleep in."