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Name: Phil Callery

Age: 62

Number of years in Sacramento: 7

Where he sleeps: “I find a spot to crash every night”

Phil Callery came out to California for the weather. Massachusetts winters were unbearable.

He’s been in Sacramento for seven years, homeless for five of those.

Several accidents left Callery disabled. While working as a carnival-ride operator, he took a half-dozen falls. After he was unable to work, he applied for disability benefits. It took three years to approve his application. In the meantime, he ran out of money, so he took to the streets.

Callery is soft-spoken, almost gentle, even while describing being robbed.

“I had a campsite until a little over a week ago,” he said. “I had all my stuff taken.” He had left camp for a little while. When he returned, his tent, food, cooking stove, sleeping bag and cot were gone. All he has now is a blanket. “I just find a spot to crash every night.”

Callery tried to get in at one shelter. He said that not only was the waiting list too long, but stays are limited to 30 days. “Thirty days isn’t much time to get much of anything done.”

He’s also looked at places to rent, but they would eat up his entire disability paycheck and not leave him money for food or transportation. “It didn’t seem worth just having a roof over my head with no food or anything else,” he says. So instead, he sleeps wherever he can lay his head.

Up until now, he’s tried getting off the streets on his own. He hasn’t had much luck.

“It’s like beating your head up against a rock. Of course, the rock’s gonna win.”