Homeless in San Francisco : Cupertino High School UN Story Challenge
Photo Courtesy of Pedronet
On the first day of Winter Break, I was signed up for a mission’s trip to the Soma district in San Francisco. There, I and a few friends were told to go out around the neighborhood and talk to the homeless people. We then made a lunch for ourselves, and went out into the neighborhood to talk to the homeless. The first man I found had a broken leg, but didn’t have a wheelchair. He was forced to walk with a limp, and also had a mental disability. When I introduced myself, he was more interested in my lunch, so I gave him that instead. I then gave him a proposal: if he wanted my lunch, he would have to have a conversation with me. He gladly approved, and I gave him my sandwich in exchange for a meaningful conversation. I asked him what his name was, and what he did when he was younger. Although he talked with a lisp, I learned his name was Dwayne, and he used to live in a farm with his father. Later, the conversation got into full swing, and he continued talking to me even after he had finished the lunch. He told me that he lived in Kansas when he was younger, and was enlisted in war when he was 18. I told him how I was learning about World War I at the time, and he was really interested in what I was learning. I told him that we learned how war veterans often were treated unfairly after the war because they didn’t get help from the government. This was the exact situation he was in. He cried a little, but I told him it would be alright, and that he would get help. Although he was clearly struggling, he told me being a homeless man in San Francisco wasn’t all that bad. Apparently, the citizens in San Francisco are generous, so he almost was able to eat every day. Our organizers told us it was time to go home, but I knew I would never forget the experience I had with Dwayne. I now know that the homeless and disabled are pretty much the same as us. They just aren’t as lucky.