Downtown San Francisco is packed with grumpy people running around doing last minute shopping and sitting in traffic. Luckily I had the opportunity to venture off the beaten path and spend time out at the encampments under the freeway.
Unlike what I saw downtown, the Christmas cheer was vibrant here… even though folks were taking time between rain storms to dry out and prepare for the next storm headed our way. During the storm, when a big rig drives over the overpass, a thick wall of water comes crashing down on the tents. It’s pretty brutal, but folks talked about it in a pretty comical way… one of those things that’s rough, but you gotta find the humor in.
Tarps come in handy, so along with socks, tarps are a good thing to give folks who are sleeping on the street… and sleeping bags and tents. Tarps plus a little creative engineering can shield you from the downpour.
Someone who was headed out of town for the holiday donated their Christmas tree to the encampment… that sure brightened everyone’s spirits! We took group pictures in front of the tree… I’ll have to print those up and bring them copies.
As we made our way to another area a car pulled up and handed a group a big bag of food… good food too! So cool to see random acts of kindness like that. It was very appreciated too… little things like can really mean a lot.
The bus ride back into downtown took a ridiculously long time… we were just sitting in traffic. A man recognized me on the bus… from a training I gave to the SFPD on homelessness! So random, but we had a good conversation that passed the time.
As I sat on the bus looking at the traffic and crowds, I was thankful I had the opportunity to spend the day the way I did… instead of fighting the crowds trying to buy a bunch of junk. It was a good day.