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Ken is a homeless veteran in San Diego. He had bought a fishing boat and just started to make some money fishing. The boat also provided Ken with a place to live, so he ended up on the streets when he lost the boat.

Ken thought that he would be able to survive homelessness, thinking to himself it can’t be that hard to work your way up. Ken quickly learned that it’s “not easy to overcome all the obstacles to get a home again.”

Ken says being a veteran, it’s one more organization to turn to for help, but that doesn’t mean people can get past the bureaucracy to get the support they need. At the time of this interview, Ken was approved for housing. Sometimes it can take months or more after getting approved to when you are in housing. I hope the rest of his path out of homelessness is easy.

In San Diego, homeless people are given three hours to move their stuff. If, by chance, the person is at a doctor’s appointment or a job interview or out trying to find food and water, the city takes all their belongings.

Ken shares how, while he was filling out forms to get into a shelter, the city came and took all of his stuff, including his ID, DD214., social security card, and birth certificate, so without identification, Ken was not able to get into the shelter and remained on the street homeless. To make it worse, Ken’s friends tried to save his tent from San Diego Sanitation throwing it away, but the police would not allow it.

Cities across America continue to invest more in pushing homeless people out of sight than helping to solve homelessness through evidence-based programs like housing. San Diego is one of the worst. We made this short documentary about how they criminalize homelessness.

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