"Love is Life"
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Here are the few things I know about Melvin. I know he has a son in Sacramento that he doesn't see as often as he would like. I know that he lives in the Wentworth Holland neighborhood of East Oakland in a studio apartment that he's quite proud of. I know that he works a lot harder than you or I do, and for a lot less money. I know that most mornings he gets up earlier than most of us to take several buses to get to his job site in front of Arizmendi on Lakeshore. I know that he loves his city of Oakland and feels he had never been treated well or accepted anywhere until he came here. And I know that his life has been a constant struggle for survival, and lately he's been on the losing end of it.
Here are a few other things I know. I know that while many of Arizmendi's patrons and the denizens of Lakeshore are warm and kind to Melvin, the majority of the people he sees every day don't see him. I know that his sign is among the most moving statements I've yet to encounter in this project. And I know that most of you reading this are likely to be in Melvin's work neighborhood at some point in the next week or so.