California’s economy is booming. Yet, there are tens of thousands of people living on the streets and not benefitting at all. There are as many homeless people in Greater Los Angeles as in the whole of Germany. Michael J. Diehl is one of them.
The Texan-born Michael J. Diehl, aka MJ, has lived in a tent in California for four years. Instead of an apartment, he has a guitar and a dog. He used to be a deep sea diver in the Gulf of Mexico, working on oil rigs and pipelines and earning thousands of dollars. Then he was shot in the head. The bullet is still there today. As a consequence, he lost his health, his work, his family and his home. Now, years later, he has created another family and home for himself on the banks of the Santa Ana River. But the local authorities are threatening to move them on. MJ and many others are ready to put up a fight.
"Where are we supposed to go?"
Down and Out in California
Report by Alexandra von Nahmen