I met 27 year old Briley in Emeryville this morning about 1 block from Pixar studios. Noticed her standing in the middle of San Pablo with her sign so I decided to pull over and talk to her. I offered her some food and cash in exchange for her story which she was happy to share and allowed me to recorded on audio.
Briley recounted an incident of a break in involving other squatters trying to kill and her husband in retaliation for a woman who was robbed but whom they did not Rob.
“When we woke up there were four people at the foot of our bed with various weapons. One woman had a road flare and tried to set the bed in fire while we were still in it and we jumped out of the window and ran.” .
“No one thinks this can happen to them, this can happen to anyone the people who step over us and ignore us are usually one or two checks away from being one of us. We made our way here from new Orleans about a year ago, we were already Homlessness but I’ve never seen anything like this anywhwee in the country. It’s nuts here in the bay. No one cares all we want is a little dignity”
Briley says the biggest pain she feels is that society thinks all she is, is trash. “I want to interact and say good morning to people as well. I asked a woman for a light for my cigarette one morning and she looked at me like I was nothing.. usually I’m thick skinned but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back” Briel is educated as a graphic designer and showed me some of her artwork on her Facebook page. She’s been homeless for 4 years now and her friends and family have no idea.