It was a rainy day in San Francisco. I was walking around looking for today’s recipient of our Makeshift Traveler when I stumbled upon BJ reorganizing some of his belongings. After talking to BJ for a few minutes, he mentioned that he was getting ready to pack up some of his belongings in a broken backpack and hop on BART to go over to the East Bay to take care of some family matters. He shared, “this is perfect timing [as he shows me his ripped old backpack]. I can’t fit anything in here, and I was looking for a new backpack.” He then asked me, “how much weight can this hold? 80 pounds?”. We both laughed, then I explained that I don’t think 80 pounds, but it can certainly hold all the stuff you have here blankets, extra clothing, shoes, and other personal belongings. BJ then asked if our Makeshift Traveler could float, to which I replied, “are you swimming to the East Bay?”. He laughed.
BJ has been experiencing homelessness on and off since he was 14 years old and on a waiting list for permanent housing for over two years. BJ worked many jobs in San Francisco, all social service jobs. He mentioned that he worked at Glide in the homeless shelter itself. He mainly worked for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, cleaning the streets in San Francisco. He shared that he also worked in many other positions in social service.
BJ’s contact information was recorded, and if you’d like to make a personal donation to BJ in his transition to permanent housing. Please click the button below and write a comment BJ. We look forward to staying in touch with BJ and seeing him around with his Makeshift Traveler.