Day 37: Meeting Sean, Former Navy Fighter Pilot and Mechanical Engineer

It was a cloudy and drizzly Sunday here in San Francisco today. This afternoon I met Sean, sitting outside the Starbucks near BevMo on Vanness Street. I noticed Sean from across the street, looking and smiling at people walking by when the majority didn’t even give him the time of day. I crossed the street and introduced myself to Sean, asking if he needed a new backpack.

He was visibly intrigued by our Makeshift Traveler, sharing that one of his friends had one, but he could not remember his friend’s name. Sean does have a cellphone and mentioned the challenges of charging it. He shared that it has been dead for three days, and he also has unlimited data through the phone’s plan.

Sean has been experiencing homelessness on and off for decades. Previously, Sean shared that he spent nearly five years in the Navy training to be a Fighter Pilot, was approved, and then was retracted from entering the field due to the discovery of his having Crohn’s disease. Shortly after leaving the Navy, Sean worked many handy jobs as a Mechanical Engineer in San Francisco.

Sean’s story was fascinating with the variety of experiences and backgrounds that he had before experiencing homelessness. This case highlights the importance of employee training and connections when addressing the root causes of homelessness.

Sean’s phone number was recorded, and we are still in contact with him as he awaits permanent housing. If you want to donate to Sean, please click the button below, and write a comment, “Sean.”

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