Vincent has lived homeless on the streets of San Francisco since 2017. He got in a fight with his landlord and lost the place where he was living. Vincent says when he first became homeless in the Tenderloin, he didn’t give it the attention it deserved to get back into housing. Vincent says he didn’t realize the streets: “sucked you in and kept you there. It’s like crabs in a bucket trying to get out of the streets.”
Prior to homelessness, Vincent was two quarters away from receiving a Doctor of Chiropractic degree in California. Now he’s fighting for survival just trying to keep his head above water.
Vincent says social services have been great. He says the biggest challenge is other homeless people. Live on the streets is hard so everyone is in survival mode! Many are just looking out for themselves. They have to.
Vincent has tried to keep working but people keep stealing his stuff. He says four times people walked off with his phone!
Vincent does delivery work or whatever he can to survive. When I mentioned those jobs don’t pay enough to cover the cost of an apartment, Vincent responded he is not even thinking about rent. The affordable housing crisis has hit San Francisco hard. Unless you make a lot of money, you cannot afford a place to live here.
When I asked Vincent for his three wishes, he got emotional. This is now the second time this has happened out of almost 800 interviews. I asked Vincent if it was the question or just being interviewed. He responded that it’s maybe a combination. When he thought of his son, that was the trigger, not the question. As I stated the last time this happened, I work on being more sensitive and I may not end with the three wishes question. Obviously, I may not have read this situation. But any question about his family would be a trigger.
Vincent seems like a great guy. He’s intelligent and he knows how to hustle. I hope he gets off the streets soon. Homelessness has a way of changing people who are on the streets for too long. We need to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and if a person falls into homelessness, we need to get them off the streets as quickly as possible!