Day 28: Meeting Chris, Unhoused from San Diego

This evening I met Chris in Lower Nob Hill. Chris was with his friend Daniel, who I plan to return today to present with a Makeshift Traveler. Chris immediately knew what our Makeshift Traveler was, having seen a few around and one of his good friends, Robert, being one of our first recipients. He alluded to the challenges of charging his phone; as you can see, that was one of the first things he did upon receiving his pack. 

Chris is from San Diego, having lived there and begun his unhoused experience there. When asked what brought him to San Francisco, he said, “to be honest, it is so much easier to be homeless here.” This is a response I have heard quite often directly from people experiencing homelessness and those working in this field. The weather, relative ease of living outside compared to other areas, access to services and programs, and the overall ‘acceptance’ of homelessness here all contribute toward it being easier here than elsewhere. I use the term ‘acceptance’ loosely, but that is what it is. Most people in San Francisco and those outside of the city have come to terms with the fact that homelessness is just a part of the city that will never change. It is good that everyone does not think that way, though. Chris and I chatted about methods that can ease the experience of homelessness while providing necessary assistance to get out of homelessness. Chris highlighted that most gestures and help are temporary and not extensive enough to rid someone of homelessness completely. 

This is why I find these interactions so insightful and fascinating; each person has an entirely different story and perspective on the situation. With each interaction, I feel I am educating myself more and more about prospective solutions. 

Despite access to a cell phone, Chris did not have access to an email or an active cell phone number, but we have his frequently visited locations. If you want to donate to Chris, please click the button below and write a comment, “Chris.” 

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