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Christopher Setera: The Journey of Losing Your Home

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Christopher Setera

When faced with impossible circumstances, Christopher Setera took his future into his own hands by facing one of life’s hardest obstacles — asking for help — and tells the story of his journey.

It’s sometime around 7 in the morning and I’m greeted with the liminal red and orange of motel curtains, the cool yet uncomfortable temperature of the air conditioner chills me awake as I get ready for my mom to take me to school in a U-haul truck. I begin juggling the thought of where would we be staying after the school day ended since the past week has been a blur of different rooms in different colors and in different places.

Going in, I wanna tell my perspective of an increasingly common thing to happen to kids and teens especially in California, and that is families not being able to afford rising housing costs.

It was around early 2019 when the apartment me and my mom lived in doubled in rent with little to no explanation. Soon after the rent was hiked, my mom got into a car crash which rendered her car unusable, and her unable to get work because of the far away cost of transportation and the unreliability of it. Following this my mother reached out to my father, who although separated from my mom at the time, did help us pay the rent and basic necessities. This lasted about half the year, until my father suddenly died of heart complications during the summer of that year, leaving my mother with no one else able to help us continue living where we were.

Things happened very quickly after that. We were only given a couple weeks to get out, which caused us to leave behind many important things since we couldn’t afford getting a lot of space for it.


This drastically affected my school performance, and made me feel the most terrified and unsafe I’d been in my whole life. Eventually I couldn’t just wait and hope for the best to happen.

Despite my concerns about what might happen, they worked with the district to get me and my mom a place to temporarily stay. With a place to stay for a while, my mom was able to get into contact with faraway family members, like my aunt, to help me and my mom move up to Northern California to live with my grandmother and start again.

Going through a crisis or really any living crisis is when a person should ask for help the most, but is also when they are most likely not to ask others for help. It can be embarrassing and scary, but it’s needed for things to get better and let the people who are best able to help you actually be able to help you and let you know you’re not alone and that things will be better.

With a Perspective, I’m Christopher Setera.

Christopher Setera is a student at Encinal High School in Alameda. His piece was produced as part of KQED Youth Takeover.

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