Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of drug addicted couple, Randina and Alex

Soft White Underbelly presents an eye-opening interview and portrait of Randina and Alex, a drug addicted couple living on Skid Row. This powerful video explores their troubled upbringing, from facing deportation to Mexico to experiencing neglect and hunger as children. Despite the challenges, both Randina and Alex resisted the lure of gangs and drugs, finding positive influences in their lives. However, circumstances took a turn for the worse, with incarceration, strained relationships, and the tragic loss of Randina’s mother. Through their story, they highlight the impact of environment, family background, and personal choices on their current situation, while advocating for kindness and peace in the face of adversity.


Growing up, Randina and Alex had vastly different experiences. Randina was born in Nebraska but moved to Hawaiian Gardens, California at a young age. Their mother’s irresponsible behavior led to their family being deported to Mexico when Randina was only five years old. Randina faced neglect and hunger during this time, relying on her brother to share his school lunches with her. On the other hand, Alex grew up in Anaheim, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, and Long Beach areas. Despite the presence of gangs and drugs in their environment, Alex resisted joining gangs and influenced their uncle to leave the gang lifestyle.


Although Randina and Alex grew up in different areas, they both faced various challenges and opportunities. Randina had the chance to receive an education and even won the title of prom queen. However, their lives took a turn when Randina’s younger brother was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 13. This led to their parents’ drug addiction worsening, transitioning from pills to heroin. As a result, Randina had to take on adult responsibilities, caring for their younger siblings and managing the household while their parents were consumed by drug use. Despite these challenges, both Randina and Alex had positive influences in their lives, such as Alex’s uncle who left the gang lifestyle and Randina’s close friendship with a brother-like figure named Amador.

Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of drug addicted couple, Randina and Alex

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Challenges and Struggles

Randina and Alex faced numerous challenges throughout their lives. Alex lost their job and became unmotivated after spending time in jail. Their relationship with Randina became strained following the tragic suicide of their mother. They also had to deal with rumors and jealousy from others, possibly due to their close bond. However, they remained involved in positive activities like being part of the Girl Scouts and even being voted prom queen. In addition to these challenges, Randina had to care for their dying grandfather, shouldering the responsibility of taking care of the household.

Family Background

Both Randina and Alex come from families affected by drug addiction. Their parents’ drug use played a significant role in their upbringing. In fact, their parents were well-known in their neighborhood, with their mother having a history as a former pimp. This background shaped their perception of life and contributed to the challenges they faced.

Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of drug addicted couple, Randina and Alex

Struggle with Drug Addiction

Both Randina and Alex struggled with drug addiction, starting with marijuana and eventually transitioning to methamphetamine and heroin. Randina, in particular, had a history of drug addiction that included heroin and fentanyl. Their drug use began in the late teens, leading to experiences of homelessness and financial struggles as they tried to support their habits. The presence of drugs in their environment, coupled with their personal vulnerabilities, contributed to their downward spiral.

Strained Relationships

Randina and Alex had strained relationships with their parents. Randina’s mother’s tragic suicide added to the tension and affected their relationship with their father as well. Despite these challenges, they found solace and support in a close friendship with someone who became a brother-like figure to them.

Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of drug addicted couple, Randina and Alex

Current Situation

Currently, Randina and Alex live on the streets, frequently moving between locations. Alex’s father is involved in gang activity, further complicating their living situation. They believe that their environment and family background have played significant roles in their current circumstances, emphasizing the influence these factors have on individual outcomes.

Lessons Learned

Throughout their journey, Randina and Alex have learned important life lessons. They recognize the importance of kindness and staying true to oneself despite the challenges they have faced. They also understand the impact their actions can have on others, advocating for peace and personal growth.

Despite the difficulties they have endured, Randina and Alex remain resilient. Their story sheds light on the interconnectedness of personal experiences, family upbringing, and societal influences. Through their experiences, we can gain a deeper understanding of the struggles and triumphs faced by those affected by drug addiction and challenging family dynamics. It is a reminder to approach others with empathy and compassion, for we never know the battles they may be fighting behind closed doors.

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Here’s a link to a GoFundMe campaign to help some of the people you see in the Soft White Underbelly interview and portrait of Randina and Alex, a drug addicted couple on Skid Row: GoFundMe campaign.

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