Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility
Remember Marcus Malone, the former Santana Band member who was found by a KRON TV crew living on the streets of Oakland? Here is an update on his situation.
After being on the streets for 25 years, he has no legal ID, no locatable social security number, no driver’s license, and no records such as birth certificates. Supporters from the Santana camp say they are assisting to resolve his records problems, but that’s only one issue he’s dealing with.
Because he has no records, he can’t apply for social security, or get on the Covered California plan, or get on any kind of a payroll through the Santana Band. In addition, insiders say there is “a limit to the amount of money Carlos Santana can personally legally gift to Malone under these circumstances, and we have reached that limit.”
Despite the difficulties, Santana’s camp is moving forward, and has placed Malone in temporary housing.
“We have an immediate need of $2000 to cover next month’s rent and food while we are rapidly attempting to iron out all the other roadblocks,” said one supporter. “The donations at the Santana office are being collected by one person. She is paying directly to the landlord and purchasing food on his behalf and keeping a detailed accounting for donors to review if they want to.”
Supporters are taking Malone to the Social Security office today to discover whether they can electronically access his birth records and other documents necessary to qualify for social security – though the prospects aren’t great, since “he was never gainfully employed.”
Why all the fuss about records?
Both Santana and Malone share a dream of allowing Marcus to make a comeback with the band, but years of hard living have taken a toll on Malone’s body, to the point that he is in need of surgery before he can again play percussion instruments – or rehearse, for that matter.
“I have located a doctor willing to provide medical treatment at no cost,” said one supporter, adding that he is in need of medical care in addition to the surgery.
“We’re hoping to get his medical condition resolved as quickly as possible because we have found gigs for him, assuming he can withstand the rigors of playing congas for a full 45 minute set,” said a source, who declined to be named. “We believe it may be possible for him to cover his March expenses from these gigs, assuming that the surgery is performed soon.”
The Santana crew has “three people literally working full time trying to resolve all of these issues,” but there’s still a limit to how much more they can help.
Because of its exclusive contract with the Las Vegas venue where the group performs regularly for the past several years, the Santana band is restricted from performing in the Bay Area in support of Malone.
In the meantime, Marcus’ needs continue to grow. Donations can be mailed payable to Marcus Malone at the Santana office at 121 Jordan Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
Photo: KRON TV