Here is your Sign

Homeless man lives off hotel points from former life

Jim Kennedy pushes open the roll-up door of his storage unit and there, like a curtain rising on a stage, sits the pieces of his former life.

There are his golf clubs. Stacked over there are boxes marked “pots & pans,” “misc. papers,” “glassware.” In the center sits an HDTV, one of the first on the market from several years ago. Along the left side of the unit is a ceiling-high cabinet containing Kennedy’s 375-bottle wine collection he spent a decade amassing.

The contents of Kennedy’s home have been here at Mini U Storage since Jan. 17, the day he moved from his Newport Beach condo after getting kicked out by a couple sheriff’s deputies.

Kennedy, 46, lost his six-figure corporate development job 19 months ago, he fell behind on his mortgage payments and his house went into foreclosure. He filed for bankruptcy last August and it was finalized in January. To the logical Kennedy, the story is simple.

“I’m not going to claim I was cheated out of my house,” Kennedy says several times. “I didn’t pay my mortgage.”

Now the former frequent flier from his days working in IT and finance is living off those rewards – airline loyalty programs and hotel points.

His clothes and everyday supplies packed into his leased BMW, the single Kennedy stays a few nights here, a few nights there, always running the numbers of how many points he will use and trying to stick to a self-imposed $5-a-day food budget.

After putting $15 worth of gas in his car, Kennedy drove over to the local Ralphs, where he found a Claim Jumper frozen meal on sale for $2 and he stocked up on a gallon of bottled water because it’s cheaper than single servings.

Then it was back down the 5 Freeway to the Holiday Inn Express, which has the added amenity of a microwave for his frozen dinner of beef stew. A half-eaten muffin from breakfast was stored in the refrigerator.

Kennedy’s days are like this, short bursts of errands around his search for work. Every day he visits the online job banks and tries to reach out to recruiters, but he finds himself one of several hundred folks who are all going for the same gig, and it’s a difficult slog.

He’s taken his story to Twitter in hopes of setting himself apart from all the other jobseekers. He writes under a pseudonym, @HomelessThomOC.

For complete article go to : ocregister.com

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