This evening we met Richard, who was in the process of moving all of his belongings back to an alley because of the San Francisco Encampment Cleaning Team. Richard mentioned the hassle of moving all his belongings each week, just for the street sweeping to go up and down this alley collecting discarded trash. This reminded me of my first apartment on O’Farrell and Jones, where I would witness the downtown cleaning team move the unhoused, sweep the area, and return every two days. I am sure the actual numbers of what this costs the city are accessible. Still, I would imagine that those resources could be better allocated toward helping and housing people, which would make the streets cleaner in the first place.
Richard and I chatted briefly about his time working as a Sheet Metal Worker in Portland, Oregon. Richard had been homeless for less than a year when family problems arose, causing him to move to San Francisco to find housing hopefully. We discussed the challenges of being unhoused on the streets of San Francisco and the lengthy and inefficient process of receiving an SRO (Single Room Occupancy).
Richard, unfortunately, did not have a cellphone nor access to an email, but we noted his frequently put locations. If you would like to donate to Richard, please click the button below and write a comment, “Richard.”