Dolphin Schreiber

Dolphin is a Peruvian man living in Manhattan in a tent-like structure he's built out of cardboard and various tarps. He's fastened his home to the fence of a community garden where he's found a neighborhood acceptance. Throughout the day people stop by to talk politics, in which Dolphin is well-versed or to drop off sausages and vegetables, etc. He says he tries to eat as healthy as possible, cooking all his meals in a hot plate. When it rains, he sells umbrellas. When the weather is nice, you may be able to find him riding his bike down Coney Island's boardwalk. During the making of 'Figment', Dolphin insisted on singing Elvis although he normally prefers to sing The Beatles with his friend Steve (depicted below). 

Steve

"Her name is Allison. I've had her over 30 years and have always carried her by the neck. She's never gone crooked on me." 

Amidst the grove of a small community garden I found Steve sleeping, head in the nook of his guitar. 
Once awake, he started to play a song he wrote that went, "Why oh why, did I pass you by? I never seen the look of love that was in your eye, in your eye."

We talked for a couple hours about his recent houselessness due to his parent's medical bills that he couldn't afford. 
He used to teach guitar lessons upstate but has resorted to playing music in Washington Square & Central Park.

 

Saravuth Inn

"I'm beyond sadness. I don't know what sadness is anymore...it's just life."
 

Saravuth Inn was born in Cambodia in 1961. At 13 years old his parents were assassinated by the Khmer Rouge, communist party. Stranded, he was forced to roam the country shining shoes.


During an American evacuation operation called Baby Airlift, Saravuth was taken by U.S. soldiers, along with 27 other Cambodian children, back to the United States. Eventually he was brought to Washington, DC where he was adopted, along with 9 other children, by an abusive family. After state intervention, he was separated from them and declared an adult.


In '84 he was awarded a full scholarship to Rutgers University, where he studied English and Classical Literature. After graduating, he visited Montréal, for a New Year's Eve party where he met his future wife who he later had three children, Nicole, Sebastian and Saravuth with. After financial issues, they divorced and his former-wife maintained custody of the children.

 
Saravuth came back to America at this point, not realizing that when he was taken from Cambodia as a teenager he was never naturalized as a citizen here. He now has permanent residence in the United States but is still fighting for his citizenship. Because Saravuth is classified as a displaced person by Homeland Security, he is not allowed to work and was forced to live on the streets of New York City. 

To survive, he plays competitive chess in Union Square. He asks for a $5 donation if he wins, and gifts a homemade CD of his classical guitar playing & singing to the victor. Although Saravuth's circumstances over the years have been trying, he projects an overwhelmingly positive attitude towards life. 

(All the above information derived directly from Saravuth and a short film called "Street Stories: Saravuth Inn - Chess" about his story, which you can watch via this link: https://vimeo.com/32881823)