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Extravagant Simplicities: Roger's Neighborhood

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

On July 15, 2022, Mr. Roger Melz signed a lease agreement and obtained house keys to his first apartment in over 6 years.

Roger participated in BOSS' Housing Community Supports Program in San Leandro. BOSS assists homeless individuals in locating and maintaining secure homes by offering housing support, accessible housing choices, and assisted independent living and emergency shelter.

The suffering Roger endured during his period of homelessness meant not knowing where he would sleep each night or what he’d eat each day, plus exposure to crime, violence, and incarceration. “There’s a certain posture you take being homeless,” said Roger, “I’ve lived in squats, bandos, sheds, and cars.”

Often the shame and embarrassment of living on the streets will soften the hardest of human beings and harden the kindest.

Yet, the extravagant simplicities of signing a lease can somehow restore an individual’s dignity and self-respect, reminding us of who we are and what we are capable of.

A Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency signing a lease for his new apartment
On 7/15/22 Roger Melz signing a Lease Agreement

Did You Know:

  • Roger was born in Los Angeles

  • Roger’s favorite color is green

  • Roger loves music and is a drummer/composer

  • Roger is a mechanical engineer who participated in the construction of 26 nuclear plants in China

The mission of BOSS is to help homeless, poor, and disabled people achieve health and self-sufficiency and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness. BOSS develops solutions to mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence and is dedicated to the inclusion of people marginalized by addiction, trauma, criminality, incarceration, poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness, and violence.

BOSS was founded in 1971 by a group of volunteers from the Hillel Streetwork Project in Berkeley, CA, who responded to the needs of mentally ill individuals being released to the streets by state hospital closures.

Cesar Chavez, BOSS Supported Independent Living and Service Coordination

Over the years, the number of people experiencing homelessness exploded throughout our communities, and BOSS expanded County-wide, adding programs in response to changing needs: emergency shelters, transitional housing, employment, and education programs, family and child development services, mental health care programs, leadership development, organizing initiatives, re-entry initiatives. All BOSS programs are designed to improve the quality of life for marginalized and disenfranchised people in our community.

Today BOSS continues to find innovative, creative ways to address and meet the needs of the people.

We always seek sponsorships and support from individuals whose forward-thinking align with BOSS’ mission - to remember that:

  • Everyone was born somewhere.

  • Everyone has a favorite ____.

  • Everyone loves something (and someone).

  • Everyone is a professional, SOMEBODY!

  • AND Everyone deserves Affordable Housing!!!!!

Written by: Ronald Broach, Associate Director of Housing


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