Homeless at 97, Begging in L.A. Area
(Oct. 17) -- The sign on the window of the old black Suburban, published in The Los Angeles Times, says it all.
"I am 97 years old. Homeless. Broke. Need help please."Skip over this content
Deano, Splash News
Bessie Mae Berger is 97 and homeless. She has outlived three husbands and all but two of her children and now spends her nights in a black Suburban SUV on the streets of Los Angeles.
Bessie Mae Berger was born in 1912. The Times tells of her hard life: losing all but two of her children, either to death or to simply losing touch, and outliving three husbands.
She used to live in Palm Springs. Her son Larry Wilkerson cared for her full-time through a state program, a job he held for more than 20 years.
Then the owner of their home had to sell. The state cut Larry and his mother from the support program, the newspaper reported.Skip over this content
"There's a million empty homes here in California, but they can't seem to find one we can live in," Larry told the paper. At least in the Suburban, she's not alone.
Occasionally Bessie Mae Berger begs for money. People accuse her of lying about her age, but she has a state-issued ID card with her birth date.
This week they happened to meet comedian Kevin Nealon at a gas station, who was with the owner of a popular club, the Laugh Factory. The club owner gave them pizza for dinner.
But no one seems to be able to give them a home.
Read the full story, and hear the audio slide show, from the The Los Angeles Times.