“We’re about to cook some hot dogs!” Stella Stradtner said.
Camped on the northern side of 14th Street, behind the Office Depot, Stella and her husband Scott Stradtner huddle near a small grill. Scott loads up the grill with fresh coals before they catch fire and begin to glow.
“They’re self-starting coals, not a big deal,” Scott said.
Their dinner, fresh sausages on organic sliced bread, had Stella jumping up and down as Scott set-up the grill and began cooking the weiners.
Though they’ve only been married for a year, the Stradtners only started living in a tent six months ago. Scott has lived in San Francisco for ten years and has only been homeless for about a year, he said. Stella was born and raised in the Fillmore before leaving for Vacaville. She’s been homeless for about six months, she said.
Scott said he and his ex-wife separated a year ago and he was hoping to qualify for low-income housing so that he could live with his three kids. His ex-wife had custody of his kids, he said.
Stella, a Fillmore district native, said she came back to the city from Vacaville to try and get a job.
Calling himself a builder, Scott Stradtner wishes he could have his car back – a mid-90s Volvo V70 that had all his tools. If he did, he’d be able to work as a mechanic or do some construction work. He last saw it parked at the top of the East Bay hills.
At least if he had his car he would have more to do than just keeping the sidewalks clean.
Smirking, Stella looks at her husband.
“He’s going to build me a house one day,” Stella said