It’s no secret that San Francisco is known for the sheer amount of homeless people on the streets due to the fact that the rent prices are skyrocketing and people get evicted (also, good weather never hurts).
Throughout my short stay in San Francisco, I was extremely curious to learn more about how these people ended up being on the streets, what their day looked like and what they thought of the whole situation. Thus I was roaming the streets for days, talking with a few dozen homeless people. Some of them were rude and aggressive, others – demoralized or heartbroken, but I also managed to find some really interesting people. I chose the 7 best ones.
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Seth, The Laid Off Lecturer
Seth is one of the most inspiring people I know. He was a lecturer at the San Francisco Arts Academy when he was suddenly laid off without notice. Right now he’s actively searching for a job, but since it might take months, he is raising money on the streets so that his wife and daughter wouldn’t be evicted from their flat.
“At first I felt really bad having to beg people for money on the streets, since I’m not a homeless person, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs. However, then I experienced some life-changing moments. For example, a lady approached me and, after I told her my story, she started crying and told me that’s the most inspiring thing she’s ever heard. Now I understand what homeless people have to go through and I’ll do my bit to help them once I get back on my feet”.
Tim and Black Toe, The Hardcore Travelers
I have been working and traveling around Asia for the past 1.5 years and thus have met a lot of travelers. However, Tim definitely qualifies as one of the most hardcore – he’s been on the road with his bike and a cat, Black Toe, for 3 years now. He came to San Francisco a week ago straight from Washington (that’s close to 3,000 miles). He told me his best day was when he did 155 miles. And he’s been literally everywhere in the country.
“Black Toe has seen more than most of the people see throughout their lives. She has been to every State in the United States, saw all the canyons, deserts, mountains, rivers and valleys. She’s even seen 3 gun fights”.
Matthew a.k.a. Pandora, The Weed Specialist
Matthew seems to be having the time of his life. When we were talking, he was definitely on something and muttered a lot of sentences I could hardly understand. However, he explained me how his home-made pipe works and why it’s way nicer to smoke pot from it.
– Is there anything I can do for you? Maybe buy you something?
– Me? No way. I’m good. I’m good. But thanks, man.
Adam, The Satanist Bibliophile
Adam has family in New Mexico, but he likes being on his own. He’s also into reading this book he carries with himself and so we talked more about it (and apparently some other things as well):
– What is that book you have?
– It’s a Satanist Bible.
– What’s that?
– They’re into sex.
– So do you get laid often?
– Nah. I don’t like sex.
– How come?
– A vagina has never felt as good as my hand.
Alex a.k.a. Sushi, The To-be Pro Painter
Alex makes money drawing on the street and he’s currently saving up to apply to the San Francisco Academy of Arts.
“All of my family is in Puerto Rico, but for now I enjoy being on my own, reading comics books and drawing”.
Michael, The Street Guru
Michael told me all the insider information about life on the street – where he finds stuff, what one should carry around with them, where one should stay, what kind of people to hang out with etc.
I guess he could even write a book about living on the street and make some money!
J and Christina, The Recovery Masters
This lovely couple had a van with which they were traveling around the country, which broke down when they came to San Francisco, so they became stranded. However, they came up with a recovery plan – they are selling Christina’s posters and raising money to buy a new van.
– Do you guys hitchhike?
– We used to. In fact we hitchhiked pretty much everywhere around the country.
– Why don’t you do it now?
– We have 2 lovely daughters, so all of us travel on a van these days.
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