Most recently, Atwater City officials visited several homeless encampments in Atwater. Atwater City officials, CalTrans, and Highway Patrol are working together and are working diligently to help those who want help.


Merced Daily recently interviewed one homeless man that lives in one of those encampments. He was willing to talk, as long as his name wasn’t mentioned in the article.

Merced Daily: How old are you?

Transient: I’m 57

Merced Daily: Were you born in Atwater?

Transient: I was born in Redwood City, but my father moved our family to Hopeton to work on my grandpa’s ranch in Snelling. After high school, I moved to San Jose, my friend said his dad could get me a good job being an “Installer” putting panels up for some big companies. I was making good money.

Merced Daily: You had a good job what happened?

Transient: It gets personal. I had to move back to Merced.

Merced Daily: Do you do drugs?

Transient: I did, I was also an alcoholic. I actually lost my license due to having too many DUI’s.

Merced Daily: How many DUI’s have you had?

Transient: 4

Merced Daily: Did you ever kill anyone or hurt anyone while drinking and driving?

Transient: Yes, the first accident should have been an eye opener. I crashed and the vehicle rolled over. My friend and I were badly injured. I spent 21 days in the hospital with a broken femur and leg. My friend had a fractured spine. We were not wearing seat belts at the time.

Merced Daily: How did you become homeless?

Transient: After the economy hit in 2007, everything went downhill, I was still recovering from the accident, I also had problems with the insurance company. My wife was involved in real estate and lost her job when the recession hit, We both went our separate ways after that. I was able to stay at our house in Merced for two years and not pay rent. Iv’e been homeless ever since.

Merced Daily: What made you come to Atwater?

Transient: I came to Atwater for personal reasons.

Merced Daily: How do you get money to eat?

Transient: I get food stamps.

Merced Daily: Has anyone offered you a bus ticket out of here?

Transient: No, but I’ve heard stories from other homeless people.

Merced Daily: Would you accept services to help you?

Transient: Well…I would have to.

Merced Daily: Do you like the lifestyle of being homeless?

Transient: No, but you just get used to the lifestyle.