Palo Alto Weekly

News - December 14, 2012

Who lives in Buena Vista?

The Weekly spoke with several residents of the El Camino Real mobile-home park. Here are three snapshots.

Michael Hellmer, 66

Disabled.

Vietnam veteran.

Retired from Stanford University Physics Department. Buena Vista resident for 14 years.

Lives at the park with his girlfriend and two cats.

He has been a Palo Alto resident since 1953.

Quote: "There are a lot of people here who are destitute and are just barely hanging on to the junk they have. I don't know what's going to happen to them."

Teresa Lomeli, 19

Gunn High School graduate.

Her sister and brother attend Gunn.

She is studying at Foothill College and wants to be a nurse.

Her mother cleans homes in Los Altos, and her father works in construction.

Quote: "We came here to get a better education. I really love Palo Alto. To go to East Palo Alto or Redwood City or one of those cities that is dangerous, it would be really sad. I feel safe here."

Erika Escalante, 27

Married with a 6-year-old son.

She has lived at Buena Vista for 14 years.

Graduated from JLS Middle School and Gunn High School.

Received bachelor's degree in business from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Employed at Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Burlingame, working for the Peninsula Circle of Care program, which transitions elderly patients from the hospital to home.

Three generations of her family live at Buena Vista.

Her brother attends Terman Middle School, and her son attends Barron Park Elementary School.

Her mother cleans houses; her father is disabled and cannot work due to a work-related injury.

Quote: "Being able to live here in a place that's affordable is the way my mom was able to send us to college."

— Sue Dremann

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