In the short film Quarantine Diary, Yesica Prado has documented her personal experience living in an RV in Berkeley. Prado, a multimedia journalist, has spent the past year examining the culture of vehicle living in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her reporting and photojournalism are featured in “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis,” which she produced for the San Francisco Public Press in collaboration with the Bay Area visual storytelling nonprofit CatchLight through its CatchLight Local Initiative.
Prado, who has a master’s in journalism from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, is a first-generation Mexican immigrant from Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico, who immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 9.
Thousands of Bay Area residents are “vehicularly housed,” living in cars, vans, RVs and campers. They, like many others in search of alternative shelter, are victims of a decades-long affordable housing crisis affecting the whole region. Prado, who has a unique longstanding connection with communities of vehicle dwellers, takes us behind the scenes to tell the stories of people finding ways to protect themselves and their friends in a sometimes-hostile political climate that restricts their movement and makes daily life more difficult.
The Driving Home project includes coronavirus resource guides for vehicle dwellers in San Francisco and Berkeley in English and Spanish; and an interview with Yesica Prado discussing the project on “Civic,” SF Public Press’s daily news and public affairs podcast and radio program.
Berkeleyside is republishing this story with permission from San Francisco Public Press. (Featured photo by Yesica Prado.)