Homelessness in SF

Since I moved to SF, besides things I usually heard before, such as hilly roads, hippie streets and tech hub, one of the scenes that struck me the most is the visibility of homeless people. You see them everywhere. They are here for various reasons: the mild climate, relative lax regulatory policies, addictions, poverty…they are veterans after Vietnam War, patients after the close down of mental health institutions, and some of them are just normal renters. They lose places to stay due to the abuse of power from their landlords, and have to sleep on the streets as temporary shelter. As I am learning more about Tenants Rights while helping an nonprofit analyze and visualize through data science tools, I hope to gain more insights of what’s happening in California and help to push the legislative process on rent control in more cities.

It happens to me as I spotted this piece of graffiti after my work today, I can’t stop thinking what I have seen and felt recently. We are the generation with lots of privileges, studying and traveling around the globe, sometimes having identity crisis and pondering what’s the meaning of life and where is home, and it is so easy to forget that the things we take for granted are someone else is praying for. A physical shelter, a tent, is not just a home for some, but also their world.