Tech Photos show what it's like for Silicon Valley's 'working homeless' who live down the street from tech giants

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What life is like for Silicon Valley's working homeless population.

Where some "working homeless" live and sleep in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California. play

Where some "working homeless" live and sleep in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)
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In Silicon Valley — the home to tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple — tree-lined streets are filling with tents, cots, and dilapidated RVs.

A photo series by the Associated Press shows what life is like for the area's retail clerks, plumbers, janitors — even teachers — who go to work and sleep where they can.

Silicon Valley has the highest median income in the nation. But a worsening wealth gap has caused homelessness to surge. More than 10,000 people were living without shelter across San Jose and Santa Clara Counties on any given night in 2016, though that figure is probably low.

These photos give a glimpse of life on the streets in Silicon Valley.

The area's tech boom has created a new economic class: the working homeless.

The area's tech boom has created a new economic class: the working homeless. play

The area's tech boom has created a new economic class: the working homeless.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


In the same affluent, suburban cities where Google, Apple, Facebook, and Tesla built their headquarters, thousands of people work regular jobs and come home to cars and RVs.

In the same affluent, suburban cities where Google, Apple, Facebook, and Tesla built their headquarters, thousands of people work regular jobs and come home to cars and RVs. play

In the same affluent, suburban cities where Google, Apple, Facebook, and Tesla built their headquarters, thousands of people work regular jobs and come home to cars and RVs.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: AP



"We still need to eat," said Tes Saldana, who works in the restaurants of two hotels in Palo Alto. She lives with her three adult sons in a camper she parks on the street.

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(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


An influx of tech workers along with decades of under-building has created a historic housing shortage in the Bay Area. The cost of living is sky high.

An influx of tech workers along with decades of under-building has created a historic housing shortage in the Bay Area. The cost of living is sky high. play

An influx of tech workers along with decades of under-building has created a historic housing shortage in the Bay Area. The cost of living is sky high.

(Melia Robinson/Business Insider)


In 2016, nearly one-third of people living in California put more than half their total income toward rent and utilities, according to a report by the California Budget and Policy Center.

In 2016, nearly one-third of people living in California put more than half their total income toward rent and utilities, according to a report by the California Budget and Policy Center. play

In 2016, nearly one-third of people living in California put more than half their total income toward rent and utilities, according to a report by the California Budget and Policy Center.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: Los Angeles Times



Working-class wages don't stretch far in a city like San Jose, where the median rent is $3,500 a month. Food service workers make a median wage of $12 an hour there.

Working-class wages don't stretch far in a city like San Jose, where the median rent is $3,500 a month. Food service workers make a median wage of $12 an hour there. play

Working-class wages don't stretch far in a city like San Jose, where the median rent is $3,500 a month. Food service workers make a median wage of $12 an hour there.

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Source: AP



Living in a vehicle allows people to save up money that they would lose in rent.

Living in a vehicle allows people to save up money that they would lose in rent. play

Living in a vehicle allows people to save up money that they would lose in rent.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


Benito Hernandez, who works as a landscaper and roofer, pays $1,000 a month to rent an RV that he shares with his pregnant wife and children. They live in Mountain View.

Benito Hernandez, who works as a landscaper and roofer, pays $1,000 a month to rent an RV that he shares with his pregnant wife and children. They live in Mountain View. play

Benito Hernandez, who works as a landscaper and roofer, pays $1,000 a month to rent an RV that he shares with his pregnant wife and children. They live in Mountain View.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


The family was kicked out of their apartment two years ago, after the rent increased to nearly $3,000 a month. "After that I lost everything," Hernandez, 33, told the AP.

The family was kicked out of their apartment two years ago, after the rent increased to nearly $3,000 a month. "After that I lost everything," Hernandez, 33, told the AP. play

The family was kicked out of their apartment two years ago, after the rent increased to nearly $3,000 a month. "After that I lost everything," Hernandez, 33, told the AP.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: AP



Despite her full-time job teaching English classes at San Jose State University, Ellen Tara James-Penney sleeps in a car she parks at a church that shelters homeless people.

Despite her full-time job teaching English classes at San Jose State University, Ellen Tara James-Penney sleeps in a car she parks at a church that shelters homeless people. play

Despite her full-time job teaching English classes at San Jose State University, Ellen Tara James-Penney sleeps in a car she parks at a church that shelters homeless people.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


She eats her meals at the school's dining hall and the church.

She eats her meals at the school's dining hall and the church. play

She eats her meals at the school's dining hall and the church.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


At night, she grades papers and prepares lessons in her car by the light of a headlamp. She sleeps in her station wagon.

At night, she grades papers and prepares lessons in her car by the light of a headlamp. She sleeps in her station wagon. play

At night, she grades papers and prepares lessons in her car by the light of a headlamp. She sleeps in her station wagon.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


During a lesson on John Steinbeck, a students said that she was tired of hearing about the homeless. "I said, 'Watch your mouth. You're looking at one.' Then you could have heard a pin drop," James-Penney told the AP. "It's quite easy to judge when you have a house."

During a lesson on John Steinbeck, a students said that she was tired of hearing about the homeless. "I said, 'Watch your mouth. You're looking at one.' Then you could have heard a pin drop," James-Penney told the AP. "It's quite easy to judge when you have a house." play

During a lesson on John Steinbeck, a students said that she was tired of hearing about the homeless. "I said, 'Watch your mouth. You're looking at one.' Then you could have heard a pin drop," James-Penney told the AP. "It's quite easy to judge when you have a house."

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: AP



Albert Brown III, a security officer, said his feet have been hurting him but he can't afford to miss a shift. He recently signed a lease that he can barely afford on his $16-an-hour salary.

Albert Brown III, a security officer, said his feet have been hurting him but he can't afford to miss a shift. He recently signed a lease that he can barely afford on his $16-an-hour salary. play

Albert Brown III, a security officer, said his feet have been hurting him but he can't afford to miss a shift. He recently signed a lease that he can barely afford on his $16-an-hour salary.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)


"It's a sad choice. I have to decide whether to be homeless or penniless, right?" Brown told the AP. He previously lived in his car and is working overtime to pay for its pricey repair.

"It's a sad choice. I have to decide whether to be homeless or penniless, right?" Brown told the AP. He previously lived in his car and is working overtime to pay for its pricey repair. play

"It's a sad choice. I have to decide whether to be homeless or penniless, right?" Brown told the AP. He previously lived in his car and is working overtime to pay for its pricey repair.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: AP



Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency, a nonprofit based in Mountain View, told the AP that a "crisis of unemployment" is not to blame for the homelessness epidemic in Silicon Valley. "People are working," he said.

Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency, a nonprofit based in Mountain View, told the AP that a "crisis of unemployment" is not to blame for the homelessness epidemic in Silicon Valley. "People are working," he said. play

Tom Myers, executive director of Community Services Agency, a nonprofit based in Mountain View, told the AP that a "crisis of unemployment" is not to blame for the homelessness epidemic in Silicon Valley. "People are working," he said.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Source: AP



But working does not mean living comfortable in the tech capital of the world.

But working does not mean living comfortable in the tech capital of the world. play

But working does not mean living comfortable in the tech capital of the world.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)