In April 2016 my wife and I visited San Francisco.
I expected to go there and eat some good food, drink a little wine in Napa, and take some photographs of the golden gate bridge.
But what I didn’t expect to see in downtown San Francisco…thousands of people living on the streets
Everywhere I went there was the smell of mariuana, and urine. And there were even places where I saw human fecies on the ground.
Now I’m from Phila and yet this was shocking to me then you know it’s bad.
I stopped and talked to a number of people as I photographed them. I was curious how they ended up on the streets.
I felt a deep sense of sadness for the human condition and was often reminded of what Jesus said in Mt 26 that we would always have the poor among us but I found myself wondering…why?
I saw young and old, black, white, red, and brown, living on the streets. And the situation is getting worse. According to a report on the San Francisco government website the number of homeless people living on the streets grew by 7% between 2005 and 2015.
There are nearly seven thousand people living on the streets of San Francisco and the number is ballooning. And it’s not that the government is not making effort to eradicate the problem.
As the morning rush hour begins and people hit the streets heading to work, the homeless get to work also moving there shelters, panhandling, and walking the streets.
You’d be afraid of a lot of these people, and I admit at first I was. But I stopped and talked to them. Even the ones that seemed crazy. And I discovered that their just people some of them with very sad stories. The amazing thing…they stopped being crazy long enough to talk with me…share their story, or ask me for a dollar.
This young man stopped posed for the picture and told be he ended up on the streets because his family dropped him off in San Francisco to duck a warrant for his arrest in a neighboring town. After sharing that with me he went back to acting crazy.