things that matter

The Los Angeles Times Wrote A Story About This Homeless UC Berkeley Student And People Are Questioning His Circumstances

Help Ish's Family Find a Home / YouCaring

The California housing crisis continues to get worse.

California is in the middle of a severe housing crisis. Staggering prices for rent have left many homeless, despite having jobs or going to school. Simply, there just isn’t enough affordable housing in major California cities and residents are fighting plans for development to ease this pain to keep their neighborhoods as they are. According to the Los Angeles Times, 29 percent of Californians pay more than 50 percent of their income towards rent. The national average in 25 percent.

Ismael Chamu, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, is one student feeling the crunch of the growing housing crisis. Chamu was living in a trailer in someone’s driveway with his brother and two sisters and says he was paying $650 a month. The trailer is not connected to a sewage system and it is barely big enough for one person.

The siblings live together in Hayward and Chamu makes the commute daily to Berkeley, about 40 miles round trip. Chamu is the child of Mexican immigrants who have fallen on their own hard times, according to the LA Times. The parents have moved from place to place chasing jobs and eventually ended up living out of their car. That’s why Chamu’s sisters moved into the trailer in Hayward. Eventually, the parents followed.

Now, Chamu and his siblings are homeless again after city officials sent notice that they were not allowed to live in the trailer. The landlords who evicted them claim they never paid rent and were doing a favor for a friend at church.

“I wouldn’t be living somewhere without paying rent,” Chamu told ABC 7. “That’s a little absurd.”

All of the attention to Chamu and his family’s homeless situation has led to a fundraising campaign on YouCaring that has raised more than $80,000. But it has also brought attention to a recent felony arrest and charges that Chamu denies are legitimate.

According to Berkeleyside, Chamu was one of two people arrested by Berkeley Police Department for vandalism. Police allege that Chamu participated in spray painting graffiti on cars, buildings, and fences, as well as slashing tires. The vandalism caused $400 in damage. Chamu was originally arrested, according to police, when he was allegedly seen hiding an illegal spring-loaded knife.

Chamu said, in a now-deleted Facebook post, that the arrest was racial profiling.

“I was kidnapped by armed agents. I was humiliated. I have been traumatized,” Chamu wrote, according to Berkeleyside. “The Police racially profiled me for being Mexican. For looking like a ‘Burglar’ for appearing ‘Dangerous.’ I will never forget this.”

Berkeleyside reported that Chamu was held for 39 hours and never spoke with an attorney when he requested one. He was also never charged with a crime when he was released.

According to a current Facebook post, Chamu says he and his family have found temporary housing for the next two weeks.


READ: This Harvard-Bound South L.A. Teen Was Able To Pull His Family Out Of Homelessness

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25 Images From The National School Walkout Will Bring You To Tears

things that matter

25 Images From The National School Walkout Will Bring You To Tears

Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms on March 14, 2018, to participate in the National School Walkout, a nationwide protest and call to action to ban assault weapons. Students and teachers stepped out for 17 minutes to honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Flo., exactly one month prior. The images captured will move you, give you chills, and fill you with hope for the future.

Images from the National School Walkout that took place earlier this week are nothing short of heartbreaking.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: tko.creative / Instagram

Kids from a school in New York carried signs that read “I’d rather cheat on a test than cheat death.”

Students form San Francisco rallied to protest.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: treglef / Instagram

They carried signs that pushed for Gun reforms and argued to put an end to the national debate of gun control.

Many of the young women at the march also used the march to highlight women’s rights.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: rainbowsonmyfrontlawn / Instagram

This young woman underlined that women’s bodies seem to have more regulations than guns do.

How heartbreaking is it that young kids have to go out and protest?

National School Walkout
CREDIT: activistandco / Instagram

Or, even have to protest a concept they shouldn’t even have to be worrying about at an age like this.

Some students even acted out scenes from a shooting.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: sparkletony / Instagram

The images were haunting and extremely stirring. 

Others pressed lawmakers to envision what it would be like if a shooter hit too close to home.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: pcwitte / Instagram

So many parents across the country have felt the effects of lawmakers inertia to create better gun control laws. Here’s hoping this protest helps.

This image is completely haunting.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: marimayangelofficial / Instagram

No child should have to look scared like this. 

Tons of the art work created for the event were also powerful.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: even_edit / Instagram

No child should have to go to school and be afraid. All kids have a right to pursue their education in safe environments. Punto.

These kids protesting the event with their drawings are also heartbreaking.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: wzrgrl923 / Instagram

People have to look at these images and realize that something needs to be changed. 

All of the protests radiated peace and love.

National School Walkout
CREDIT: d.m.reed / Instagram

This moving protest led by Penn Alexander Student Council leaders pushed for a more safe future for students. 

Fear has no place in school.

CREDIT: 15anxela15 / Instagram

The protest marked one month after the Parkland shooting, here’s hoping all of these kids efforts create reform.

This poster highlights that we have to start treating our futures seriously.

CREDIT: ellie1williams / Instagram

Because if kids are the future we have to start treating them that way. 

The kids at the event were so proactive, we ought to be proud of them as a country.

CREDIT: neomi_torres_agent / Instagram

They’re a reminder that as separate as our lives may seem they are also extremely interconnected and we have to be responsible for one another. 

These kids have a right to be safe.

CREDIT: ltxl / Instagram

These kids have the right to be safe and get an education. We have to do better. 

For the most part, all of the posters emphasized that enough is enough.

CREDIT: humansofquimby / Instagram

And that children, kids, teens and students all around have to be taken more seriously. And they must be better appreciated.

These kids are giving the world an example of peaceful protest.

CREDIT: mart_sf / Instagram

There’s no doubt the pain and agony that so many schools that have had school shootings went through during this time that reminded them of their school shootings. But there was so much peace and love at these protests as well. 

Something has to change. Now.

CREDIT: elysedashew / Instagram

These kids at Whitewater Middle School are pushing for their voices to be heard and to be included in the national debate of gun reform. 

It’s a beautiful thing to see kids demanding to have their voices heard.

CREDIT: frugalonthefly/ Instagram

How moving are the photos above? They facts that they include are also strike. “48% of civilian-owned guns are in the USA.”

This Latina activist got real about how easy it is to buy a gun.

CREDIT: itsnotkarmen / Instagram

“Not only were 17 lives lost a month ago but from what I know there have been more than 14 school shootings in the US so far in 2018 which is one school shooting a week. Around 25 people have died.”

What a haunting message.

CREDIT: octaviozaya / Instagram

Students are standing up and standing out against gun violence in the National School Walkout. This sign was inspired by the words of AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz said of aids “what it would be like if, each time a lover, friend or stranger died of this disease, their friends, lovers or neighbors would take the dead body and drive with it in a car a hundred miles an hour to Washington DC and blast through the gates of the White House and come to a screeching halt before the entrance and dump their lifeless form on the front steps.”

Medical students lied on the floor in protest during the National School Walkout.

CREDIT: steelanaaustin / Instagram

Students lied on the floor during the National School Walkout die-in at St. Louis School of Medicine. 

Students at this protest used their imaginations to send a message.

CREDIT: rmkcounselor / Instagram

This first graders response to the practice is absolutely chilling.


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