David Casarez is the young man who moved to the Bay Area looking for a tech job and reportedly ended up homeless, jobless, and broke. Unable to find work, Casarez stood on the corner of El Camino and Mountainview holding up a sign that said “HOMELESS, HUNGRY 4 SUCESSS. TAKE A RESUME.” He had a stack of resumes highlighting his experience in web development.
On Friday, a passerby named Jasmine Scofield tweeted a picture of Casarez and of his resume. And by Saturday, Scofield said many people had contacted her with an interest in hiring Casarez, and offers to find him a place to live.
Here’s what you need to know about David Casarez.
1. Before Becoming Homeless, Casarez Graduated from Texas A&M and Worked For General Motors. Now He Sleeps in the Park.
According to Casarez’s resume, he graduated from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in Management Information Systems. After graduation he went to work for General Motors, where he worked his way up from Quality Assurance Test Analyst to Web Developer. Casarez stayed with GM until 2017 and then decided to move to Silicon Valley to fulfill his dream of making it big in the tech industry.
But after arriving in Silicon Valley, Casarez discovered that it was much, much harder than expected to find work. Instead of landing his dream job, he found himself unemployed and living in his car. He sent out resume after resume, and he did manage to land some freelance jobs. He even interviewed for a job at Apple — but the position was filled internally, according to an interview Casarez gave the New York Post today.
Casarez told the New York Post that he hit rock bottom last month, when his car was repossessed and he was forced to start sleeping in the park.
That’s why the young man decided he would start handing out his resume to every passer-by, in the hopes that someone might take a look at it and offer him a job. “It was basically a make or break moment,” Casarez told the Post.
2. On Friday, Jasmine Scofield’s Tweet About Casarez Went Viral
On Friday afternoon, a woman named Jasmine Scofield spotted Casarez standing by the side of the road. She was impressed by his dedication and his positive attitude — and by his resume. So she posted a picture of Casarez on twitter. Within a few hours, the tweet was going viral.
Scofield is a make up artist with her own YouTube channel and more than four thousand twitter followers. By her own admission, she tweets “a lot.”
Once people learned about Casarez, the young web developer started to attract a lot of positive attention from people in the Bay Area. Many people started to tweet that he deserved to be hired. Even the New York Post took an interest in his case, asking Scofield for permission to run his photograph. (She said yes.)
By Saturday afternoon, more than 50,000 people had retweeted Scofield’s photos of Casarez, and almost 70,000 people had liked it.
3. By Saturday, Companies — Including Google, Netflix, and LinkedIn — Were Asking To Interview Casarez
Both web developers and Texas A&M graduates (“Aggies”) started to take an interest in Casarez’s case. On Saturday, an executive from Ancestry — and a graduate of Texas A&M — tweeted that he’d like to interview Casarez for a web developer of QA automation position.
The CEO of Lambda School, a software development school, tweeted, “we’ll take care of him if noone else has stepped in yet” – promising to find industry connections for Casarez, as well as housing.
But by Saturday afternoon, it was looking like plenty of others had, in fact, stepped in. Jasmine Scofield told media that tech giants Google, Netflix, and LinkedIn had all reached out to her to express interest in speaking with Casarez.
Casarez tweeted out his gratitude for the “overwhelming amount of support” he had received, promising to respond to all of the messages he had received in his inbox.
Scofield appeared to be acting as Casarez’s informal manager, since many of the people interested in interviewing him were going through her.
4. Many Of The People Responding to Casarez’s Story Said They Had Similar Experiences When They Moved to Silicon Valley
It’s not easy to survive in Silicon Valley. The median rent on a one bedroom apartment is $2,120; there is also stiff competition for jobs.
Austen Allred, the CEO of Lambda School who has offered to find a home for Casarez and help him find work, said that when he first came to Silicon Valley, he also was in a desperate situation. Allred said he was sleeping in his car for months before he finally found work and a place to live. That’s why, Allred said, he was determined to help Casarez, and others like him, find a way to survive.
5. Some People Are Already Trying To Cast Doubt on Casarez’s Story
Most of the people who read about Casarez’s story are sympathetic. But a few people have asked — on Twitter, at least — whether Casarez is really as needy as he says he is.
One man tweeted a photograph of a man named David Casarez waiting to buy a new iPhone. It’s hard to tell from the picture whether this is the same David Casarez — this may well be another man with the same name.
The tweet asks, “Is the same David Casarez waiting in line for an IPhone X? Yeah let’s check the facts. Is he homeless by choice? Jobless by choice. There are thousands of homeless in Cali without the resources and tools this guy has. No phones, no degree, no email, and really need our help.”