Born in a naval hospital to an abusive, alcoholic father in the Marines and a mother who was a professor in foreign language studies, Caballo, a first generation Latino proud of his Mexican heritage, chose to follow the latter and went to college. With an IQ well in the 130s, he loved Philosophy, Science, and was declared Pre-Med. But graduating, and the rest of his life proved difficult, as trauma of accidentally shooting and killing his younger brother when he was nine and his parents divorce shortly thereafter led to repeated mental breakdowns throughout his life. In 2011, insurmountable child support, now totally over $300,000 for just one child, drove Caballo into homelessness. Even though he admits there is no way he’ll ever pay it off, he wants to fulfill these responsibilities. But he’s met with a bureaucracy that makes catching up on his debts difficult, as even a state ID, and the jobs and housing possible with it, difficult to obtain. “Because when you can't pay for these things they take away everything. They take away your license.” He qualifies for a lot of services, as physical and mental health issues make most work difficult, but “at every turn there are more hoops to jump through.” And living on the streets has cost him all his possessions over and again, due to theft by others and abatements by the city. Once an avid hunter and fisher, Caballo now struggles to sit for long on the sidewalk, and hopes to qualify for disability so he can have a solid income.
“Mind your own business”
Caballo is a natural Capricorn, poet, and found the love of his life when he was 60, just this year.
His father was a Marine who fought in the Korean war and is a chemical specialist. His mother was a foreign language professor at the University of Wisconsin. His father was a really abusive and a violent alcoholic -- "mean, abusive, violent, hateful drunk," Caballo says. And yet Caballo states his dad was a man's man and had a way to make you feel like you were the center of the universe.
Both sides of his family immigrated from Mexico as tiny kids with their parents, the correct way, legally, he states proudly. Caballo is proud of his Latino heritage.
At the age of nine, Caballo suffered a major childhood trauma, shooting and killing his younger brother a year his junior on accident with a shotgun he had found in the home while they were left alone in the house. He remembers his brother with a lot of love and thinks of him fondly as his twin. Caballo has never been able to recover fully from this tragedy; his parents divorced shortly after the incident. Throughout his life, Caballo suffered from repeated mental health breakdowns because of this tragedy, which eventually led to a life on the streets.
Caballo is a genius, with an IQ ranging between 131 and 137; he took several tests while he was in college. He loves Philosophy, Science, and was declared Pre-Med as an undergrad. But never finished as he had a mental breakdown while he was in school.
He has one child but has accrued over $300,000 in child support. He says the government system is so complicated he cannot jump through all of the hoops to catch up with all of his debts. Since falling to the streets because of all these debts and his mental health troubles and trauma, he's lost all of his belongings multiple times and is no longer able to sit still due to PTSD.
"There is no way I'll ever be able to pay that off. Because when you can't pay for these things they take away everything. They take away your license..."
He can't work anymore. He can't sit for very long, not even on the sidewalk. He can't sit long enough during the day to even keep a job.
And while Caballo qualifies for a lot of aid, it's difficult for him to get involved in a lot of the existent support and programming because it seems like at every turn there are more hoops to jump through.
"Once you jump through one hoop, they make it almost impossible to jump through the next, getting identification, and the police here ..."