A millionaire has welcomed a homeless couple to his $ 4 million mansion in California to show people that street life is not “contagious.”
Greg Dunston, a former security guard injured at work, and Marie Mckinzie, a former cashier and certified nurse assistant, lived in the streets of Oakland, California, for a decade before generous Bay Area homeowner Terry McGrath offered them a roof over their heads.
McGrath gave the couple the in-laws of his country house in the Piedmont neighborhood in the upper class after seeing a story published about this in the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2019.
Otis Taylor, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, told ABC news Last year there was a great inequality between the rich and the homeless in the Bay Area.
Greg Dunston, a former security guard injured at work, (left) and Marie Mckinzie, a former cashier and certified nurse assistant, (right) lived for a decade on the streets of Oakland California before moving to Piedmont’s home
Generous Bay Area homeowner Terry McGrath (above) gave the couple his in-laws from his mansion in the upper class Piedmont neighborhood after seeing a story published about them in the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2019
San Francisco is both the richest city in the US – with more billionaires per capita than any other – and one of the poorest, with a homeless population of nearly 8,000 people.
“You have people who can buy millions of dollars in cash and then you have people who don’t even have enough money to eat every day. Those who sleep in rags, sleep in doorways and parking lots next to waste containers, “Taylor told ABC News.
Taylor said that when he met Dunston and McKinzie, he acknowledged that although they both suffered from disabilities, they “were still meeting people and they still loved each other.”
After hearing about their situation, property developer McGrath offered them the space in his house on a hilltop where they have lived since their move on February 1 last year.
“The thing that struck me and immediately came to mind was the love between Greg and Marie and how it could survive in probably one of the toughest environments on earth,” McGrath told ABC Nightline.
He said he hopes the move will help break down perceptions that many people have about homeless people.
The black couple (above) had been confronted with obstacles moving into the rich white neighborhood, with different neighbors calling 911 to see them
New footage released by BBC News in February showed that there was some tension between the couple and the homeowner a year after they moved in, because McGrath encouraged them to get paid work while trying to volunteer to help others in similar functions as they had been on the street. They talk about their differences and learn from each other’s experiences
“Our natural tendency is to get rid of that kind of pain,” he said.
“That’s why we turn our eyes away. That is why they just become part of the background, part of the wallpaper and it is easier to just go past it. ”
Taylor said: “There was no decision, there was no thought, there was no judgment. I had something like ‘this is done’.
“I didn’t examine them. These are people and they are not serial killers. They want to come out of the weather. They want a roof over their heads. They want to be warm. ”
McGrath said that many people have lived in the unit over the years, including his own children, other family members, and a trainee.
Yet McGrath told ABC Nightline that the black pair encountered obstacles when moving to the rich white neighborhood.
The growing homeless case in California Figures from August 2019 include San Francisco with 8,011 homeless and San Diego with 8,576
According to data from the US Census, the population of Piedmont is nearly 72 percent white. Only one percent of the population is black.
Despite McGrath saying that over the years several people had come and gone into the unit, he had never received messages from neighbors about his previous white tenants.
“I got a phone call on my cell at 9:30 in the night – I thought she was calling about organizing the summer block party in the neighborhood,” McGrath said of one of the first responses.
“I realized when she mentioned the word” situation “that she was referring to Marie and Greg. And I said, “What situation?” Do they destroy cars? Are they going to break into houses? “”
“I just said,” This is one of the most offensive conversations I’ve ever had. “He added.
Various complaints were also raised with the police when residents noticed the black couple in the rich white area.
Dunston and McKinzie said they were happy to leave life on the street
The number of homeless people in the entire state has increased by no less than 16.4 percent in the last 12 months, meaning that over 140,000 California residents have no accommodation on a given night
“I just entered the driveway and a few strange people are hanging around the house,” one resident told 911 dispatchers.
Another said, “I just wanted you to know that this woman is in Lexford and Hampton … She smokes a cigarette – can be drugs.”
McGrath had anticipated such an answer and said he had already informed Piedmont, chief of police Jeremy Bowers, that Dunston and McKinzie had entered his house, meaning that officers knew how to handle it.
Dunston and McKinzie said they were happy to leave life on the street.
“I don’t want to live on the street. A lot of people do that, but I want to come in, “Mckinzie told ABC Nightline.
“I love to cook, so I wanted a kitchen, bed, and shower.”
“We wanted to do that,” Dunston said about moving to McGrath’s house.
“There are many people on the street, but they have no choice.”
He added that they “never dreamed or thought we would live in Piedmont.”
McGrath said that Dunston and McKinzie are now “family” and that they are welcome to stay in his house for as long as they want.
Homelessness in California accounts for more than a fifth of the total homeless population in the US.
The epidemic was used by Donald Trump to close his political opponents. He tweeted in December that homelessness was’ easy ‘to solve and that the governors of California and New York, where the issue is big,’ should ‘call and’ politely ‘ask for help’
“They are like family. I am not going to let them go back on the street in any way, “he said.
“Most people who know me well know that it is easy to start and difficult to complete. And I’m never going to end. “
New visual material released in February BBC news showed that a couple of tensions had arisen between the couple and the homeowner a year after they moved in, because McGrath encouraged them to get paid work while trying to volunteer to help others on the street.
They talk about their differences and learn from each other’s experiences.
Kind acts like these are crucial because the homelessness crisis continues in California.
The state-wide homelessness rate has increased by no less than 16.4 percent in the last 12 months, meaning that more than 140,000 California residents have no shelter on a given night.
Homelessness in California accounts for more than a fifth of the total homeless population in the US.
The epidemic was used by Donald Trump to close his political opponents.
He tweeted in December that homelessness was ‘easy’ to resolve and that California and New York governors, wherever the issue is widespread, should ‘call’ and ‘politely’ ask for help. ”
He also attacked House Speaker and Californian democrat Nancy Pelosi and told her “to clean up her filthy dirty district and help the homeless there.”
Then, on Christmas Day, he threatened to intervene if Gavin Newsom, California, didn’t solve the problem.
“If he can’t solve the problem, the federal government. will participate! said the president.
The president has repeatedly proposed plans to conduct a police action in California to clear the streets of homeless people.
“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco, and countless other cities destroy themselves,” he said in September.
Trump has been beaten by activist groups for further feeding the problem.
Housing and urban development Secretary Ben Carson rejected a request for housing assistance from Newson and mayors of the 13 largest cities of the state, who requested additional funds to combat homelessness, including 50,000 home checks for the poor.
In December, California officials announced plans to channel nearly $ 12 million in emergency money to clean up a long homeless camp that has grown to more than 200 people on a popular bike path and is considered a public health emergency after cockroach reports .
California officials are threatening to clean up a mile-long homeless camp (photo) that has grown to more than 200 people on a popular bike path and is considered a public health emergency
In December, the Sonoma County Supervisory Board approved nearly $ 12 million in emergency money to provide housing and other services to people living in the campground (photo) of tents and temporary shelters along the Joe Rodota Trail in Santa Rosa
The $ 11.63 million plan was approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to provide housing and other services to those living in the camp of tents and temporary shelters along the Joe Rodota Trail in Santa Rosa.
The funding includes around $ 7 million for district officials to purchase existing multi-bedroom units and also to open at least two indoor-outdoor shelters where people can connect recreational vehicles and have safe parking places if they live in their cars.
There will also be protected areas where people can sleep outside if they refuse to enter.
The mood came in the midst of growing complaints from residents and businesses about filthy, unsanitary conditions, including rats and other vermin and a rash of used needles in the area.
Sonoma County is not the only part of the state where homelessness prevails.
A Guardian Research found that homelessness in Los Angeles had increased by 16%, 17% in San Francisco, 42% in San Jose, 47% in Oakland and 52% in Sacramento County last year, with many people becoming homeless for the first time.
The problem is perhaps most in the news in San Francisco, where improvised tents and cardboard boxes are in stark contrast to Silicon Valley’s global brands.
In February, London Broad, the mayor of the city, announced that a center for people with methamphetamine-induced psychosis will be opened in San Francisco to help them become sober in a safe place.
The center, which is believed to be the first in the US, specifically for people using a lot of methamphetamine, will open late this spring in a city parking lot in the Tenderloin district, where streets are strewn with syringes and addicts meet.
In February, the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed announced that a center for people with methamphetamine-induced psychosis will open in San Francisco to help them become sober in a safe place
Mayor London Breed said the 24-hour center takes high people off the street and connects them with addiction care and other services.
Each tent has 15 beds.
Breed is largely praised for her efforts to tackle the homeless crisis in the city.
But last month she was startled by revelations that a high-ranking official who had to help solve the crisis and an influential businessman were central to corruption claims.
Mohammed Nuru, director of public works in San Francisco, and the man who had to keep the city of San Francisco clean, including cleaning up trash, removing vandalism, repairing sidewalks and tackling the crisis of homelessness in the city, used to be charged with corruption, following an FBI probe.
Meanwhile, race received a gift from the second man involved in the scandal, Nick Bovis, 56, a well-known local restaurant manager on her way to her mayor campaign in 2018.
Breed is largely praised for its efforts to tackle the city’s homeless crisis, but was shocked by revelations that a high-ranking officer in charge of resolving the crisis and an influential businessman were at the center of corruption claims
Mohammed Nuru, 58, (right) and Nick Bovis, 56, (left), a well-known local restaurant manager, have been accused of alleged attempt to bribe an airport commissioner to win a bid for a restaurant contract at San Francisco International Airport
Bovis and Nuru were charged in January reportedly trying to bribe an airport commissioner to win a bid for a restaurant contract at San Francisco International Airport.
Four other allegations of corruption are still being investigated, the authorities said.
It includes one that Nuru Bovis is believed to have provided insider information to bid on contracts for the provision of mobile homes and toilets for the homeless in the city.
Since becoming Director of Public Works in 2011, Nuru has been shot at by a lack of progress in tackling the city’s homelessness problem.
The so-called Mr Clean has difficulty cleaning the city, with waste, used needles and human droppings a major problem.
Officials have given a mixed response to the news of his arrest.
Aaron Peskin, supervisor on the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, said the news was “explosive” and “extremely disturbing.”
It’s not just about the people we’ve heard that have been arrested, but many other people, including commissioners and developers, “Peskin said.
“I am ashamed of the city and county of San Francisco that this could happen and I think the mayor and the administration should do some research and do some house cleaning.”
David Anderson, an American lawyer for the northern district of California, said at a press conference that the FBI investigation had discovered a “web of corruption.”
Variety issued a statement that the allegations were “extremely serious” and that the city attorney “would perform a thorough assessment of all the city contracts or other decisions involved.”