Life in the Eagle Ford as Oil Prices Plummet

Added on by Carolyn Van Houten.

When I first came to Texas, I knew almost nothing about the oil industry or the people in it.  As I filled up my tank on the move from North Carolina to Texas, I was appreciative of the lower gas prices.  I did not realize the profound effect those prices have on the thousands of people who work in the oil industry.  Oil prices have dropped from $100 a barrel last year to below $50 last week.  With that drop, Texas could lose 140,000 oil field jobs this year.  Since February, I have worked on a project that looks into how life in the Eagle Ford Shale is changing as oil prices plummet.  

Please take a moment to read Jennifer Hiller’s story.  It is absolutely beautifully written.  

Devin Meurer, a former marine, lays in bed with his dog Rocco in his apartment in Pleasanton, Texas on August 6, 2015.  Meurer is facing eviction after getting in a motorcycle accident and losing his third oil field job since December 2014.  Rocco died a few weeks later.  "Rocco was my savior," he said. "I am just trying to make it another day." “I’d rather go back to Iraq," he said.  "At least I know who’s shooting at me over there. Here, every angle something is wrong. Everyone is shooting at you.”

Devin Meurer, a former marine, lays in bed with his dog Rocco in his apartment in Pleasanton, Texas on August 6, 2015.  Meurer is facing eviction after getting in a motorcycle accident and losing his third oil field job since December 2014.  Rocco died a few weeks later.  "Rocco was my savior," he said. "I am just trying to make it another day." “I’d rather go back to Iraq," he said.  "At least I know who’s shooting at me over there. Here, every angle something is wrong. Everyone is shooting at you.”

A pump jack stands next to a picnic area outside of LaGrange, Texas on February 19, 2015. 

A pump jack stands next to a picnic area outside of LaGrange, Texas on February 19, 2015. 

The Cotulla Vaqueros watch as Breyon Deltoro, 4, of the Little Vaqueros, races back to the finish line during the goat tagging relay for children six years and under at the LaSalle County Fair and Wild Hog Cookoff in Cotulla, Texas on March 13, 2015.  Their fathers all worked in the oil fields. 

The Cotulla Vaqueros watch as Breyon Deltoro, 4, of the Little Vaqueros, races back to the finish line during the goat tagging relay for children six years and under at the LaSalle County Fair and Wild Hog Cookoff in Cotulla, Texas on March 13, 2015.  Their fathers all worked in the oil fields. 

Joy Tipton and her son Evan Tipton laugh as they joke about how much Evan works at the Tipton family's roadside store The Little White House in Fowlerton, Texas on August 5, 2015.  The store is along the highway between Tipton, Texas and Cotulla, Texas, and mainly serves hunters and oil field workers.  Joy Tipton said that she hears fewer oil field trucks driving by everyday and that business is dwindling.

Joy Tipton and her son Evan Tipton laugh as they joke about how much Evan works at the Tipton family's roadside store The Little White House in Fowlerton, Texas on August 5, 2015.  The store is along the highway between Tipton, Texas and Cotulla, Texas, and mainly serves hunters and oil field workers.  Joy Tipton said that she hears fewer oil field trucks driving by everyday and that business is dwindling.

Bianca Chaires, 8, holds her family's puppy Brisket as she walks down the road that winds through the Cotulla RV Park in Cotulla, Texas on March 7, 2015.  The RV park serves the oil field workers and their companies who want to have a more affordable and home-like living arrangement.  She lives in one of the trailers with her family. 

Bianca Chaires, 8, holds her family's puppy Brisket as she walks down the road that winds through the Cotulla RV Park in Cotulla, Texas on March 7, 2015.  The RV park serves the oil field workers and their companies who want to have a more affordable and home-like living arrangement.  She lives in one of the trailers with her family. 

The LaQuinta Inn and Suites looms over the backyard as children go on an Easter egg hunt at Jessie Galindo's house in Cotulla, Texas on April 5, 2015.  Her husband, father, uncle and other members of her family all work in the oil field.  "Jessie hates having the hotels around her house because now any random stranger can watch her and her kids play in the yard.  There is no privacy in this town anymore," Galindo's sister JoAnna Gonzalez said.  Towns like Cotulla that experienced great growth in the oil boom did not have zoning policies in place to deal with that growth.  

The LaQuinta Inn and Suites looms over the backyard as children go on an Easter egg hunt at Jessie Galindo's house in Cotulla, Texas on April 5, 2015.  Her husband, father, uncle and other members of her family all work in the oil field.  "Jessie hates having the hotels around her house because now any random stranger can watch her and her kids play in the yard.  There is no privacy in this town anymore," Galindo's sister JoAnna Gonzalez said.  Towns like Cotulla that experienced great growth in the oil boom did not have zoning policies in place to deal with that growth.  

Harvey Howell, center, looks at data from the mud log with Hans Helland, right, and Frank Sitterle, left, in a trailer on a rig site in Hallettsville, Texas on May 22, 2015.  The richest pockets of oil and gas in their drill site are indicated in the data on the mud log. 

Harvey Howell, center, looks at data from the mud log with Hans Helland, right, and Frank Sitterle, left, in a trailer on a rig site in Hallettsville, Texas on May 22, 2015.  The richest pockets of oil and gas in their drill site are indicated in the data on the mud log. 

Hans Helland and Harvey Howell discuss the mud log while standing next to an oil rig in Hallettsville, Texas on May 22, 2015. "We're really like the '49ers but instead of using a shovel we are digging a hole to China.  It is an adventure," Frank Sitterle, Helland and Harvey's business partner, said. 

Hans Helland and Harvey Howell discuss the mud log while standing next to an oil rig in Hallettsville, Texas on May 22, 2015. "We're really like the '49ers but instead of using a shovel we are digging a hole to China.  It is an adventure," Frank Sitterle, Helland and Harvey's business partner, said. 

Trine Tellez, who has two sons who worked in the oil field, sits for a portrait in her bedroom in Cotulla, Texas on June 19, 2015.  She said she worried when they would go to work.  "Who would take care of me if something happened to you?" she would ask. One of her sons, Ysmael "Smiley" Tellez who has since left the oil field, lives with her now and helps to take care of her.

Trine Tellez, who has two sons who worked in the oil field, sits for a portrait in her bedroom in Cotulla, Texas on June 19, 2015.  She said she worried when they would go to work.  "Who would take care of me if something happened to you?" she would ask. One of her sons, Ysmael "Smiley" Tellez who has since left the oil field, lives with her now and helps to take care of her.

Isaac Rodriguez, 10, looks back at his dad Eduardo Rodriguez as his brother Noe Rodriguez, 3, looks at his mom Jessica Rodriguez during a soccer match between Eduardo Rodriguez's friends from the oil field and El Charro Mexican Restaurant employees at the Cotulla RV Park in Cotulla, Texas on April 7, 2015. The restaurant employees won 3-0 in their weekly soccer match, which ended when the oil field group moved to Dilley, Texas for work.

Isaac Rodriguez, 10, looks back at his dad Eduardo Rodriguez as his brother Noe Rodriguez, 3, looks at his mom Jessica Rodriguez during a soccer match between Eduardo Rodriguez's friends from the oil field and El Charro Mexican Restaurant employees at the Cotulla RV Park in Cotulla, Texas on April 7, 2015. The restaurant employees won 3-0 in their weekly soccer match, which ended when the oil field group moved to Dilley, Texas for work.

Ronnie Moore and Billy Davis eat lunch at JJ's Country Store in Cotulla, Texas on August 5, 2015.  They both haul frac sand in the Eagle Ford Shale region.  "Damn near overnight we started making half of what we used to make," Moore said. "All you hear is talk.  Nobody knows what is going to happen.  I want to retire soon, but my wife doesn't want me home all the time." 

Ronnie Moore and Billy Davis eat lunch at JJ's Country Store in Cotulla, Texas on August 5, 2015.  They both haul frac sand in the Eagle Ford Shale region.  "Damn near overnight we started making half of what we used to make," Moore said. "All you hear is talk.  Nobody knows what is going to happen.  I want to retire soon, but my wife doesn't want me home all the time." 

Melissa Rios holds her daughter Marley Rios, 5, at her mother's house during an Easter barbecue with Devin Meurer, a former Marine who has gone through three oil field jobs since December 2014, on April 5, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.  "We're broke.  We had to figure out which car had more gas to get us here because we can't afford to fill the tank," Meurer said.  

Melissa Rios holds her daughter Marley Rios, 5, at her mother's house during an Easter barbecue with Devin Meurer, a former Marine who has gone through three oil field jobs since December 2014, on April 5, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.  "We're broke.  We had to figure out which car had more gas to get us here because we can't afford to fill the tank," Meurer said.  

Llewellyn Oil Company Supply Store stands permanently closed down in Fowlerton, Texas on August 5, 2015.

Llewellyn Oil Company Supply Store stands permanently closed down in Fowlerton, Texas on August 5, 2015.

Before dawn Tino Gaona prays in his bedroom on the morning of his youngest daughter's 24th birthday, which he is missing, in Cotulla, Texas on August 6, 2015.  "I miss a lot of birthdays and holidays, but that is how it goes," he said. He prays every morning before going to work in the oil field.  After 20 years in the oil field, he considers it very dangerous work. Of God, he said, "He's the reason I am still here, so I pray for everybody on my crew."

Before dawn Tino Gaona prays in his bedroom on the morning of his youngest daughter's 24th birthday, which he is missing, in Cotulla, Texas on August 6, 2015.  "I miss a lot of birthdays and holidays, but that is how it goes," he said. He prays every morning before going to work in the oil field.  After 20 years in the oil field, he considers it very dangerous work. Of God, he said, "He's the reason I am still here, so I pray for everybody on my crew."

Rebuilding After the Flood | Part 1

Added on by Carolyn Van Houten.

It was Memorial Day weekend when the floods hit Texas.  In Wimberley, first responders said that the Blanco River rose 43 feet in three hours.  A house containing a family was washed away before the family could escape.  Their truck was still running--still waiting to carry the family to safety--long after the house and family were gone.  Rescuers pulled people to safety as the water fell almost as fast as it had risen.  In the following days, news crews and volunteer groups rushed in.  Meanwhile, just 30 minutes down the road from Wimberley, Blanco families were also struggling, but without the same aid.  The Bambergers were one of those families.  When I met them, it was a few days after the flood.  Their house was not cleaned out the way Wimberley homes had been.  Volunteers were nowhere to be found.  Everything they owned was caked in mud, overturned, beginning to mold or long gone.  Their three young daughters roamed the property, showing me the river that had ruined their home and changed their lives.  Their dad's business, a mechanic shop, was located on the property next to their house.  Most of his tools and equipment were also ruined or washed away.  Eventually, FEMA dubbed their county a disaster area and came in to offer assistance.  With the approximately $20,000 they got from FEMA, the Bambergers bought an RV to live in temporarily and began construction on their new house.  The house will sit on the same property, but is going to be on 8 ft stilts.  With extensive help from their family members, the Bambergers are building the home themselves.  The Express-News ran the first part of their story on Monday and will continue to run installments of their story as they rebuild their home and their lives.  These photos are only from the first three days I spent with the family, but those first three days felt like so much more.  Perhaps that is part of being on a journey with a family recovering from a tragedy or perhaps that is just how wonderful the Bambergers are.  I personally think it is a bit of both.  

Glenda Bamberger looks out of the back door of her home in Blanco, Texas on Friday, May 29, 2015. Bamberger, who was born and raised in Blanco, said, "We put everything into buying this house and now I am not sure we will want to rebuild."  The line on the wall to Glenda's left shows how high the water rose. 

Glenda Bamberger looks out of the back door of her home in Blanco, Texas on Friday, May 29, 2015. Bamberger, who was born and raised in Blanco, said, "We put everything into buying this house and now I am not sure we will want to rebuild."  The line on the wall to Glenda's left shows how high the water rose. 

Serenity Bamberger, 7, looks at the damage in her home in Blanco, Texas on Friday, May 29, 2015. Of the donations that have flooded in to help Serenity and her family, she said, "It is like Christmas."  However, her mother Glenda Bamberger said that Serenity and her sister Cielo were very upset at first.

Serenity Bamberger, 7, looks at the damage in her home in Blanco, Texas on Friday, May 29, 2015. Of the donations that have flooded in to help Serenity and her family, she said, "It is like Christmas."  However, her mother Glenda Bamberger said that Serenity and her sister Cielo were very upset at first.

Glenda Bamberger puts her hands on her head as she waits for her husband Jarrell Bamberger to pick out wood at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas for the construction of their new home on July 11, 2015.  Their previous home was destroyed during the Blanco River flooding in May.  During the more than 13 hours that they worked on their new home that day, they visited Home Depot twice. 

Glenda Bamberger puts her hands on her head as she waits for her husband Jarrell Bamberger to pick out wood at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas for the construction of their new home on July 11, 2015.  Their previous home was destroyed during the Blanco River flooding in May.  During the more than 13 hours that they worked on their new home that day, they visited Home Depot twice. 

Glenda Bamberger, right, and her husband Jarrell Bamberger, left, widen holes dug in their yard in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015.  Their home was destroyed in the floods that occurred in May along the Blanco River in Central Texas.  They poured a concrete pillar in each of the twelve holes for the house they are building to replace the one that flooded.  The house will be eight feet off the ground in the hope that it will not be affected by future floods on their property.  

Glenda Bamberger, right, and her husband Jarrell Bamberger, left, widen holes dug in their yard in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015.  Their home was destroyed in the floods that occurred in May along the Blanco River in Central Texas.  They poured a concrete pillar in each of the twelve holes for the house they are building to replace the one that flooded.  The house will be eight feet off the ground in the hope that it will not be affected by future floods on their property.  

Serenity Bamberger, 7, falls from a rope swing behind her house into the Little Blanco River on July 11, 2015 in Blanco, Texas.  Two months prior, the same river flooded their home destroying the majority of the family's belongings.  Despite the toll the river has taken, Bertha Rivera, Bamberger's grandmother, said, "The river bed was dry for years, so now that the water is here I tell the girls to take advantage of it all that they can."

Serenity Bamberger, 7, falls from a rope swing behind her house into the Little Blanco River on July 11, 2015 in Blanco, Texas.  Two months prior, the same river flooded their home destroying the majority of the family's belongings.  Despite the toll the river has taken, Bertha Rivera, Bamberger's grandmother, said, "The river bed was dry for years, so now that the water is here I tell the girls to take advantage of it all that they can."

Glenda Bamberger, right, tosses a towel at Serenity Bamberger, 7, after Serenity finished swimming in the Little Blanco River behind their home in Blanco, Texas on July 1, 2015.  A month and a half prior, the same river flooded their home destroying the majority of the family's belongings. 

Glenda Bamberger, right, tosses a towel at Serenity Bamberger, 7, after Serenity finished swimming in the Little Blanco River behind their home in Blanco, Texas on July 1, 2015.  A month and a half prior, the same river flooded their home destroying the majority of the family's belongings. 

Jarrell Bamberger talks to his wife Glenda Bamberger about what they need to start building their home while their daughter Esmebella, 9 months, sits in their shopping cart at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas on July 10, 2015.  They began construction on their new home the next day.  

Jarrell Bamberger talks to his wife Glenda Bamberger about what they need to start building their home while their daughter Esmebella, 9 months, sits in their shopping cart at Home Depot in Bulverde, Texas on July 10, 2015.  They began construction on their new home the next day.  

Glenda Bamberger rubs her forehead while she looks at a receipt for the sand and rocks needed to make the cement for the pillars that will hold up their new house.  The supplier only delivered a portion of the order and the Bambergers were concerned about whether they had enough to finish pouring all of the cement pillars that day. She and her husband Jarrell Bamberger drove to the sand and rock supplier to ask for the delivery of the rest of the order in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015.   The supplier was closed when they arrived. Before her parents left to see the supplier, Cielo Bamberger, 10, said, "I always heard the saying 'cheap as dirt,' but this dirt ain't cheap."

Glenda Bamberger rubs her forehead while she looks at a receipt for the sand and rocks needed to make the cement for the pillars that will hold up their new house.  The supplier only delivered a portion of the order and the Bambergers were concerned about whether they had enough to finish pouring all of the cement pillars that day. She and her husband Jarrell Bamberger drove to the sand and rock supplier to ask for the delivery of the rest of the order in Blanco, Texas on July 11, 2015.   The supplier was closed when they arrived. Before her parents left to see the supplier, Cielo Bamberger, 10, said, "I always heard the saying 'cheap as dirt,' but this dirt ain't cheap."

Cielo Bamberger, 10, and Esmebella Bamberger, 9 months, hang on their mother Glenda Bamberger while their sister Serenity Bamberger, 7, digs in the dirt outside of their RV on their property in Blanco, Texas on July 1, 2015.  The family is living in the RV, which is parked in front of their flood-damaged home, while they build a new house on eight-foot pillars on the same property.  The dog, known as Buddy or Bear, showed up on their property after the floods and has stayed since.   Glenda said that she thinks he was carried far from his home in the floods, because none of their neighbors in the area have claimed him.  

Cielo Bamberger, 10, and Esmebella Bamberger, 9 months, hang on their mother Glenda Bamberger while their sister Serenity Bamberger, 7, digs in the dirt outside of their RV on their property in Blanco, Texas on July 1, 2015.  The family is living in the RV, which is parked in front of their flood-damaged home, while they build a new house on eight-foot pillars on the same property.  The dog, known as Buddy or Bear, showed up on their property after the floods and has stayed since.   Glenda said that she thinks he was carried far from his home in the floods, because none of their neighbors in the area have claimed him.  

Hearst Photojournalism Championship 2015

Added on by Carolyn Van Houten.

The Hearst Journalism Awards program has done a lot for me these past three years.  Each time, I have come away with new friends, great experiences and a renewed appreciation for the quality of journalism that can be done on a tight deadline in an unfamiliar city.  This year's topic was:

"The demographic of San Francisco has been changing the last couple of years and its impact is being felt by many long-term residents as real estate prices continues to sky-rocket and high tech businesses establish themselves in the city and the rest of the Bay Area. Activists are raising their voices and political agendas are forming. Who are the people, what are their stories and how is this new demographic challenging the way people live in this historic city of San Francisco?"

We had about 36 hours to visualize this issue.  Every one of us took a slightly different approach to the topic, but every single take was very strong.  In my three years at Hearst, I think it was collectively the strongest photojournalism I have seen at the Championships. It was an honor to work alongside Andrew Renneisen, Callaghan O'Hare, Leah Klafczynski, Tim Tai and Zack Wittman.  I hope that they share in my feeling that, although we were competing against each other, we were also working together to give a voice to the people affected by this issue--an issue I think we all came to care deeply about.

Hector Osorio, a student at the City College of San Francisco, stands for a portrait in the Clarion Alley in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  "Power in San Francisco is intense," Osorio said.  The neighborhood has long been known for its art and culture, but many residents fear that, with the increase in evictions of long-time residents as well as the increase in the number of luxury housing options, the Mission will lose its identity.  Many Clarion Alley murals address the gentrification and evictions in the Mission.  

Hector Osorio, a student at the City College of San Francisco, stands for a portrait in the Clarion Alley in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  "Power in San Francisco is intense," Osorio said.  The neighborhood has long been known for its art and culture, but many residents fear that, with the increase in evictions of long-time residents as well as the increase in the number of luxury housing options, the Mission will lose its identity.  Many Clarion Alley murals address the gentrification and evictions in the Mission.  

Marti Sousanis puts her hands over her face as she tells a story in her home in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Eight years ago, Sousanis was evicted through the Ellis Act, which is a state law giving landlords the right to evict all of the tenants in a building in order to shut down their business, often with the intention of selling the building for a profit.  After getting pushed out of the Mission neighborhood years ago, she now faces eviction for a second time.  Her rent has increased by $650 since January.  Before the increase, Sousanis, who has lived in the city for over fifty years, said she was already living solely on her social security checks.  "Since the increase, I have maxed out two credit cards and am working on a third just paying for food and doctors," she said.  "I don't qualify for food stamps, because my rent is too high.  The irony! ...I had to go to a charity to ask for money for the first time in my life, just so I could avoid eviction for a little while longer.  I am a part of what has made this city the creative, tolerant city that it is.  You are taking me away from my home, my friends, my business, my everything."  

Marti Sousanis puts her hands over her face as she tells a story in her home in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Eight years ago, Sousanis was evicted through the Ellis Act, which is a state law giving landlords the right to evict all of the tenants in a building in order to shut down their business, often with the intention of selling the building for a profit.  After getting pushed out of the Mission neighborhood years ago, she now faces eviction for a second time.  Her rent has increased by $650 since January.  Before the increase, Sousanis, who has lived in the city for over fifty years, said she was already living solely on her social security checks.  "Since the increase, I have maxed out two credit cards and am working on a third just paying for food and doctors," she said.  "I don't qualify for food stamps, because my rent is too high.  The irony! ...I had to go to a charity to ask for money for the first time in my life, just so I could avoid eviction for a little while longer.  I am a part of what has made this city the creative, tolerant city that it is.  You are taking me away from my home, my friends, my business, my everything."  

Oscar Ramos, 17, stands for a portrait outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Ramos was born and raised in the Mission neighborhood.  "My family moved here from Puerto Rico 89 years ago," he said.  "We have lived in the Mission for five generations.  Our community is fading away, because people are getting evicted."

Oscar Ramos, 17, stands for a portrait outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Ramos was born and raised in the Mission neighborhood.  "My family moved here from Puerto Rico 89 years ago," he said.  "We have lived in the Mission for five generations.  Our community is fading away, because people are getting evicted."

Ryan Massa stands for a portrait at Craftsman and Wolves, a high-end bakery where he works in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif., on June 3, 2015.  "[The Mission] is my favorite place to hang out," Massa said.  Expensive housing is not the only concern for long-time Mission residents.  Luxury housing brings with it luxury stores and restaurants and pushes out the pre-existing culture, which several housing advocates, including Teresa Almaguer of the Poder organization, expressed concern about.

Ryan Massa stands for a portrait at Craftsman and Wolves, a high-end bakery where he works in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif., on June 3, 2015.  "[The Mission] is my favorite place to hang out," Massa said.  Expensive housing is not the only concern for long-time Mission residents.  Luxury housing brings with it luxury stores and restaurants and pushes out the pre-existing culture, which several housing advocates, including Teresa Almaguer of the Poder organization, expressed concern about.

With an affordable housing application in hand, Jerry Chong Liangguo looks at the 400 Grove Street apartment complex in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Liangguo was told to fill out the application and take it to the apartment complex in order to put his family into a lottery for a chance at moving into one of a handful of affordable apartments in the building.  However, when he arrived at the address to apply, the apartment building was completely under construction.  When he realized that his family could not live here, he said, "I cannot believe this! How can this be?" He could not find anywhere to take the application.  There were unfinished walls on the building, so it was clear to him that the apartment building would not be an option for a long time.  When he called the apartment office, he could not understand what the automated menu options were, because he is still learning English.  He explained that his family currently lives in a very small apartment in the Mission.  He said that it smelled of mold and had rats, which makes him concerned for his son's health.  "I immigrated here for a better life," Liangguo, who is an engineering director who immigrated with his family from China, said.  "If I want to continue living here, it is so expensive.  I am going to have to move soon."  

With an affordable housing application in hand, Jerry Chong Liangguo looks at the 400 Grove Street apartment complex in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Liangguo was told to fill out the application and take it to the apartment complex in order to put his family into a lottery for a chance at moving into one of a handful of affordable apartments in the building.  However, when he arrived at the address to apply, the apartment building was completely under construction.  When he realized that his family could not live here, he said, "I cannot believe this! How can this be?" He could not find anywhere to take the application.  There were unfinished walls on the building, so it was clear to him that the apartment building would not be an option for a long time.  When he called the apartment office, he could not understand what the automated menu options were, because he is still learning English.  He explained that his family currently lives in a very small apartment in the Mission.  He said that it smelled of mold and had rats, which makes him concerned for his son's health.  "I immigrated here for a better life," Liangguo, who is an engineering director who immigrated with his family from China, said.  "If I want to continue living here, it is so expensive.  I am going to have to move soon."  

Spanky Lee stands for a portrait in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Originally from Memphis, Lee said that he works as a pimp to pay the rent on his apartment in the neighborhood.  He pays $800 a month for a small rent-controlled apartment in the Mission.  "I wouldn't trade my apartment for a place in heaven," he said. "I have lived here for years.  I didn't like it at first, but this is the coolest spot in San Francisco.  However, now they are starting to tear down the art."

Spanky Lee stands for a portrait in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Originally from Memphis, Lee said that he works as a pimp to pay the rent on his apartment in the neighborhood.  He pays $800 a month for a small rent-controlled apartment in the Mission.  "I wouldn't trade my apartment for a place in heaven," he said. "I have lived here for years.  I didn't like it at first, but this is the coolest spot in San Francisco.  However, now they are starting to tear down the art."

Roberto Mendez Cruz stands for a portrait in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Cruz is a roofer and carpenter who often works in the Mission, but cannot afford to live there.  "San Francisco is super expensive," he said.  "I did not realize coming from Los Angeles."

Roberto Mendez Cruz stands for a portrait in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Cruz is a roofer and carpenter who often works in the Mission, but cannot afford to live there.  "San Francisco is super expensive," he said.  "I did not realize coming from Los Angeles."

Daniel Dupont watches as Roberto Solarzano gets a kiss from Dupont's dog Mandy while they sit on the stoop of the house Dupont used to live in with his wife in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 3, 2015.  Dupont and Solarzano are currently homeless.  Dupont's wife died two months ago, leaving him to care for her dog, Mandy.  Dupont said he loves Mandy as a way to keep loving his wife.  Solarzano has lived in the Mission for 44 years.  "Even if you have a job, it doesn't mean you can afford to live here," he said.

Daniel Dupont watches as Roberto Solarzano gets a kiss from Dupont's dog Mandy while they sit on the stoop of the house Dupont used to live in with his wife in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. on June 3, 2015.  Dupont and Solarzano are currently homeless.  Dupont's wife died two months ago, leaving him to care for her dog, Mandy.  Dupont said he loves Mandy as a way to keep loving his wife.  Solarzano has lived in the Mission for 44 years.  "Even if you have a job, it doesn't mean you can afford to live here," he said.

Supporters of the Mission Moratorium gathered in City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Making a plea to his fellow San Francisco Board of Supervisors members, District 9's David Campos said, "How would you feel to hear from your constituents and hear how powerless they feel?" Only approximately nine percent of the 500 housing units built in the Mission district in the last five years have been affordable.

Supporters of the Mission Moratorium gathered in City Hall in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Making a plea to his fellow San Francisco Board of Supervisors members, District 9's David Campos said, "How would you feel to hear from your constituents and hear how powerless they feel?" Only approximately nine percent of the 500 housing units built in the Mission district in the last five years have been affordable.

At nearly midnight on June 2, 2015, Alondra Aragon, center, led a chant in City Hall in San Franciso, Calif. immediately after the Mission Moratorium was voted on.  The final vote was 7-4 in favor of the moratorium, but the measure needed nine votes to be passed as an "interim emergency ordinance."  Aragon and dozens of other Mission Moratorium supporters had filled the room for over eight hours that day.  Of the supporters, San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member John Avalos said, "The rich fabric of the Mission is what is here today."  Katy Tang, the supervisor from District 4, said, "This was incredibly moving for me, although at times emotional, very inspirational." 

At nearly midnight on June 2, 2015, Alondra Aragon, center, led a chant in City Hall in San Franciso, Calif. immediately after the Mission Moratorium was voted on.  The final vote was 7-4 in favor of the moratorium, but the measure needed nine votes to be passed as an "interim emergency ordinance."  Aragon and dozens of other Mission Moratorium supporters had filled the room for over eight hours that day.  Of the supporters, San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member John Avalos said, "The rich fabric of the Mission is what is here today."  Katy Tang, the supervisor from District 4, said, "This was incredibly moving for me, although at times emotional, very inspirational." 

Sylvia Smith poses for a portrait in her bedroom in her Mission neighborhood apartment in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Smith has lived in the apartment for 41 years, but suddenly in the last year her landlord, Anna Swain, has begun threatening her with eviction.  Swain accused Smith of running a "1-800-SEX-TALK" operation and of selling drugs out of the apartment.  Of the accusations, she said, "I don't even remember how to have sex!" These threats have been the source of a wrongful eviction lawsuit against Swain.  Smith, 72, lives in the apartment with her grandson.  "When I moved here, I paid $60 a month," Smith said.  "Now she wants $5,000. I cry in my apartment all day.  I do not cry because I am sad.  I cry because I am so angry."  Her apartment has exposed wires, nails, uneven floors and soiled carpets.  "My doctor wants to put me in the hospital for two weeks, because I have panic attacks from the stress of this that he thinks could lead to a heart attack," she said.  

Sylvia Smith poses for a portrait in her bedroom in her Mission neighborhood apartment in San Francisco, Calif. on June 2, 2015.  Smith has lived in the apartment for 41 years, but suddenly in the last year her landlord, Anna Swain, has begun threatening her with eviction.  Swain accused Smith of running a "1-800-SEX-TALK" operation and of selling drugs out of the apartment.  Of the accusations, she said, "I don't even remember how to have sex!" These threats have been the source of a wrongful eviction lawsuit against Swain.  Smith, 72, lives in the apartment with her grandson.  "When I moved here, I paid $60 a month," Smith said.  "Now she wants $5,000. I cry in my apartment all day.  I do not cry because I am sad.  I cry because I am so angry."  Her apartment has exposed wires, nails, uneven floors and soiled carpets.  "My doctor wants to put me in the hospital for two weeks, because I have panic attacks from the stress of this that he thinks could lead to a heart attack," she said.