To be poor and homeless in Rochester

Corey Jacob can’t catch a break.

The Rochester man lives on disability payments that allow him to spend only $300 a month on housing, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports. That’s not enough, so Jacob lives in a 19-year-old van he bought with what little money he had two weeks ago.

On Good Friday, a drunk driver slammed into it, disabling it.

The drunk driver had no insurance.

Rochester police have given him until Thursday to move the van. If it’s still there on Friday morning, it’ll be towed to the impound lot.

He has no money for a tow, he’s got no phone, no money, and his bicycle is broken.

“There all kinds of stories like mine. It’s like it’s illegal to be homeless or poor,” he tells the paper. “Rochester’s often called the best place to live, especially now with DMC (Destination Medical Center.) I think places should really be judged on how they treat their most vulnerable.”

“People in neighborhoods don’t want us there. We can’t be in the parks after dark. There are not a lot of places where we can park without bothering people,” he said.

The DMC is going to make life tougher for people like him, he figures. Rents in the downtown area will go even higher. The poor could be shunted to the city’s outskirts, but then transportation becomes a problem.

“People think we (the extreme poor) are just leeches, but we still contribute to society,” Jacob said.