Working with Project Homeless Connect was an extremely successful day at their Auditorium off Franklin Street. We were set up from 9:00am-12:30pm with 18 Makeshift Travelers (all we could fit in two wagon trips). The first hour was relatively slow, but once the word got out that we had Makeshift Travelers, there was a growing line waiting to receive one.
The first recipient we will highlight today is Steve. The first thing that he said to our distribution team was, “This thing will save my life.” Steve went on to share about his time experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Steve grows marijuana just outside San Francisco, where he bikes and takes the bus, then hikes to where he farms. He shared that he only visits every couple of weeks, but when he does, he is camping in the woods with minimal belongings and often never has the capability of charging a phone. Steve was enthusiastic about our Makeshift Traveler, highlighting that one of his best friends, Dave, received one the last week.
Meeting Fred Marks
We were very excited to see Fred walk through the doors, as we first met Fred during the Outer Sunset Event with Project Homeless Connect a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, per Project Homeless Connect’s policy, we could not provide him with one because Fred had received a backpack and sleeping bag within the last six months. Today, he qualified, and we were ecstatic to present him with one.
Before experiencing homelessness, Fred worked as a Massage Therapist and a landscaper for years. He described being a massage therapist as much easier and more relaxing than doing labor like landscaping. Fred prefers to stay outside in the wilderness, avoiding tight-knit spaces like shelters. Fred still hopes to receive permanent housing someday.
Christopher easily had the most unique story of the day. Christopher is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he was experiencing homelessness due to job loss and addition to alcohol. Christopher came to San Francisco because of the excellent services to help those unhoused and struggling with addiction. After being here for a few months, he was actually flying back home to Oklahoma City hours after we met him. With a flight that would land him in Oklahoma City at 10:57pm, Christopher was unsure where he would even sleep.
Christopher and our team chatted about the immense challenges of struggling with addiction and its impact on other parts of his life. At one point, Christopher worked at Little Caesar’s Pizza and a few other random retail jobs. Christopher hopes to recover and eventually find a career position that will allow him to obtain housing. Our Makeshift Traveler made its’ way to Oklahoma City today! We are still in contact with Christopher and look forward to tracking his progress.
Here are some pictures of our other New Friends and Makeshift Traveler Recipients!