to SMC gave me stability. I’ve been out on the street and
homeless, and that’ll never happen again.”
on the door that he’ll always remember came in September
1992. “My dad was in construction, and it was a real dry
time for building. I was heading out the door for school,”
recalls Lucas Dodson, “and there was a marshal, telling us
we had five days to clear out.” What followed was a father
and son doing all they could to keep a roof over their heads.
Unfortunately, 1992 wasn’t ‘dry’ in another sense.
“We lived in a trailer, but the big storms came and we had
to move into my van for three weeks,” says Lucas. But finally
things began to turn around for Lucas and the father he calls
“my best friend.”
working in a dry cleaners to pay for studying art, and it’s
not easy to make the money for books and classes,” he says.
“But at least now we’ve got a roof over our heads.”
Lucas and his dad live in the Valley which makes for a long daily
commute to SMC. “But it’s sure worth the drive to be
able to study here. I’ve been to another college before,
and there’s no comparison with SMC,” says Lucas. “I
like the feeling in Santa Monica because it’s such an eclectic
bunch of people in school here. And it’s more inclusive of
all the different races, which is good.” But it’s also
SMC’s teachers that have Lucas freeway flying on the 405.
in a great drawing class with Ms. Mattishaw,” says Lucas,
who hopes to make a career in the arts and with the “positive
message music” he writes. “I’m learning to draw
and think in ways I’ve never thought of before. And I feel
like getting my degree is good insurance against ever being back
out on the street.”