Rethinking Perceptions of the Homeless in San Francisco…..
|September 19, 2013||Posted by jpnews under All the News That's Fit to Eat||
I asked myself why, why was I so afraid to interview the indigent? Was it guilt? Exploitation? Did I feel such a disconnection from those who didn’t have homes that I didn’t know what to expect? Was I afraid that I would be robbed or treated poorly? I didn’t have the answers; it was irrational fear and time to meet with my demons as well as get some answers from those foreigners I rarely looked in the eyes.
We met Tom, who could have been an aging rock star, who corrected us that he wasn’t homeless, he was living on the street. New at this game, embarrassed and in denial over his lost job as a successful bartender, his story made us realize how easily it could be to get to where he did– to the bottom.
Furthering our naivete and ignorance, we spoke with the poised, poetic Maketa who reminded us that being homeless is just a paycheck away for many people. The wealthy can become poor. The fortunate can have an unfortunate turn of events. Life is far more fluid than we give credit.
Four hours later, I felt like I had just left the best yoga class of my life. I counted my blessings on both hands, realizing the fears I had were based on the unknown. Learning the eloquent tales of people, not nearly as different from myself as I had imagined, somehow righted me with the world. And, I not only wanted to help communicate for the cause, I wanted the callous souls of San Francisco, like myself, to see the homeless situation through a fresh lens, with a heightened sensitivity.