Today brought out the reality of our disappearing middle-class to actuality! Janice, (I wrote about her in a previous installment) greeted me as I was approaching her saying” You are the lady giving people sandwiches, what is your name again?” I told her and she then begin telling me she was going down to City Hall to speak to Mayor Ed Lee. He needed to know about the many women like herself who lost jobs and have to live mostly on the street. She asked me if I would write him telling him what I see on the streets now and how they have to survive. I told her I had sent him an email and would follow through if in a couple of days I had not heard back. I said, “I have to leave you now to look for others out here.” I continued walking coming across a homeless teen with two small dogs. I started not to offer a food pack simply because many teens hang out in the Castro area and have a better chance of coming across someone having ‘pity’ or they just hustle them. Realizing I was being judgemental and gave him food walking away I wondered if he ate or gave it to the dogs. I saw him about 15 mins later eating the raisins.
I traveled further down Market Street where sitting on a makeshift bed was a women I did not readily recognize …until I saw her twisted crippled arm. I had given food to her and her husband who usually is pushing the lady in her wheelchair. She asked me “if I remembered her and her husband” , I did. After giving her food and a bottle of water, embarrassed she asked me ” to open the water so she could drink.” This woman is out on the street by herself for however long it would be before her husband returned. This people should not be so..it is our wake-up call..we HAVE to make our elected officials do their jobs by our Vote!
My lessons continued..walking down a side street I came up on the couple who I have gotten to know over the months. I spoke to them (actually I was glad to see them) and they asked me “How I liked their new home?” It was an old car dealer warehouse and thinking the city had converted it into a shelter or a center for the Homeless. It wasn’t…they explained to me it was a safe place to bed down for the evening, against the door on a ramp off the street. They also said they had no food and would not get food allotments until the 9th of the month. I did have two packs left but only one bottle water, they were glad to share whatever I could give them.
I realize how naive I still am about the streets believing that there is a chance out there a break somewhere out there ..it isn’t. Just us society who will be the difference. Maybe that’s the way it should be, time to wake up and wake up those who represent us. Our ‘brothers and sisters’ are not throw aways, they have no voice so we have to be their voice. We first have to get them fed!
NEXT INSTALLMENT: COMING SOON