A contractor working for Facebook is being forced to live out of her car because she says she can’t afford the high-cost of living in Silicon Valley.
‘I tell people all the time, stop looking at what somebody got and what you see on the outside,’ Unique ‘Pinky’ Parsha told KTVU in a broadcast interview Friday.
Parsha, who goes by the nickname ‘Pinky’ due to her pink hair, her pink car, and even her pink dog, says the rents in the northern California neighborhood are beyond her means.
The average asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, is over $2,300 a month, and given Parsha’s student loans and medical bills, she’s been forced to move into her vehicle despite her job at the social media giant.
‘This car means everything to me because it’s all I have basically,’ Parsha told the local TV station.
Parsha told KTVU that she has yet to divulge to her co-workers the truth about her current living conditions, saying she was ’very embarrassed’ and didn’t ‘want to be looked down upon or talked about.’
‘They would be shocked that I’m going through that because they would be like ‘I see you smiling at work, you appear to be happy. You look normal, you look clean,’ Pasha added.
The mother-of-two, Parsha also runs a non-profit organization called Love n Me that is ‘dedicated to helping women and girls get back on their feet to pursue a successful, fulfilling life,’ according to a statement on the organization’s website.
A short biography of Parsha claims that after suffering from depression and abuse, she turned her life around and ‘pursued higher education with a zealous determination, graduating with a B.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Counseling.’
Parsha said that after months of living in her vehicle, she decided to make her current situation public in hopes of sparking a conversation about the high rents in the bay area neighborhood.
‘I think that companies need to look at the salaries, are we paying employees enough to survive?’
In response to an inquiry by DailyMail.com, a representative for Facebook said that the company understands and recognizes the burdens a higher cost of living has on the less prosperous part of the community.
Facebook noted that it is ‘committed to being active and responsible neighbors by supporting the communities near’ their Menlo Park headquarters.
The company said it has invested an ’initial $20 million contribution to… community groups, philanthropies and companies’ in an effort ‘over the next few months and years to grow our regional impact.’
Asked by DailyMail.com if Facebook was prepared to acknowledge that it has contributed to the higher cost of living in the area, the representative would not comment at this time.
Facebook also said that Parsha was not a direct employee, but worked for a third-party contractor affiliated with the social media company.
Facebook added that it strives to create a ‘fair and equitable’ work environment for all of its employees, including contractors.
The minimum salary at Facebook, according to company literature, is $15 an hour (which includes third party contractors), and the company has instituted better conditions for contractors including 15 days off paid vacation and a new child care benefit of $4000.
Parsha noted that she only started working two months ago, but says that she has already began looking for a second job in order to help pay the bills.