Doing homework at night is hard for her.
If her flashlight batteries are dead, she relies on streetlights to see, but it also gets cold and damp outside as her hands cramp up while attempting to complete assignments.
Ink sometimes bleeds and the letters blur—B’s begin to look like eights and M’s begin to look like W’s, she said.
But most enduring was when homeless El Camino College student Roxann Toshiko Tomiyasu used to sleep in the Masao W. Satow Library parking lot in Gardena and run into drunkards and gang members, she said.
“You’ve got gangs out here saying, ‘Oh, we don’t want homeless in this area—we’re just going to beat them up,’” Tomiyasu said. “We have drunks and all these people running around.”
Her refuge from the outside is a used Ford Explorer her daughter purchased for her in 2017. Although the vehicle functioned for about a year and a half, it broke down in October 2018 and has been parked on Manhattan Beach Boulevard next to EC ever since.