Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Elvis Meets Pacific

Much to my surprise, I have found myself in the beautiful San Francisco for about two and a half weeks now. It's amazing to me that the last two weeks have gone by so fast. What surprises me more, however is that I haven't really talked about anything in the city in this blog. No one knows what's happening in Sean Donner's life right now. There's two ways to look at this fact.

One: as an honest to gosh travesty! 
I bet there's at least one person in the world who right now is thinking, "If I had one wish, it would be to know what Sean Donner is doing these days. He hasn't really said anything about his life in quite some time, and that makes me worried." To that person I say, "I'll tell you in just a second."

Two: as a dream come true.  
I bet there's at least one person in the world who right now is thinking, "If I had one wish, it would be that Sean Donner would just stop writing about being homeless, and go on with life quietly like the rest of us. He just makes me so mad!" To that person I say, "That really hurts. If you want me to go away, then just stop reading. See if I care." Then two seconds later I would whisper, "Please don't stop reading."

I'm hoping that most of the people think it's an honest to gosh travesty. And so, to my loyal readers, people who read sometimes, those of you who are just discovering my adventure, and those of you who are in group two and only read because I ask so nicely that you do, here's a little bit about life homeless in San Francisco.

I  last wrote about what I was doing here on December 8th. It was the day after I arrived in the Bay Area, as it's sometimes called, and so I really had very little to say about living your life homeless in San Francisco. It's now the 22nd of December and I've said nothing of how my interview went or anything else about how things are going.

First of all, I promptly did not get the job. They took one look at my lack of California address and said probably not. So I have continued on with my job search and have so far come up empty.

On December 8th there was what's called Project Homeless Connect. It takes place every few months. It's a program that gives the homeless of the area a chance to get health care, dental care, housing opportunities, glasses, and a lot of other things of that nature. I, of course, went to at least check it out. In the process of seeing what it's all about had a dental check up. I hadn't been to the dentist in an embarrassingly long time for which I was scolded by the dentist. The good news is I have no cavities and my teeth are now freshly cleaned!

I have been sleeping and eating breakfast and dinner at a winter shelter held at different churches around the area. There are quite a few shelters in San Francisco that are open all year, but I chose the winter shelter for one reason, it's easy. As long as I get there around 6PM I've got a place to sleep. If I need to do something else one night I can just come back the next day and I still have a place to sleep. There are some places here that offer what's called a 90 Day Bed, which is exactly what it sounds like. Once you are given a bed you have that same bed for three months. The down side is that you have very little flexibility for the freedom every person wants and needs. You have to be there every day at certain times to check in. If you miss one check in during the first week of your stay, you will lose your bed. If you miss too many after that first week you, likewise, will lose your bed. This is, obviously, so that they don't turn people away and end up having empty beds.

There are also obvious up sides to this system. Access to a daily shower, a real bed as opposed to a mat on the floor of a church just to name a few.

I've become acquainted with the city and feel like I have a pretty good grip on were the things I need are. Like always, I found myself lost in a labyrinth of buildings for about a week.

You may remember that I mentioned like three months ago that I have with me a tiny bust of Elvis Presley. He is my travel companion. On our way to San Francisco we stopped at a beach to look out at the ocean. This is what happened.

At this point Elvis was very unhappy with Pacific and suggested we get back on the road.

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