Poverty Stricken StudentsOctober 13th, 2008
As I was reading a recent SF Weekly, one article really caught my attention. The title read: Homeless SF State Students struggle to stay in school and stay loaded. Being a college student in San Francisco myself, I was shocked to learn that in this very city there were homeless drug addicts also working toward their college degrees. The article followed the trials and tribulations of two journalism students, Rex and Steve, and their lives at San Francisco State University. Getting through college is hard enough on its own, then add sleeping outside an abandoned building and keeping up with a drug addiction and I can assume it’s near impossible.
As an intern at St. Anthony’s I have become very aware of how much poverty, hunger, and addiction affects the wonderfully dysfunctional city of San Francisco. Everyday the foundation’s Dining Room serves thousands of hot meals to the hungry. Fr. Alfred Residential Treatment Center has participants as young as 18 trying to kick life threatening drug habits. And the recently upgraded Employment Program / Tech Lab offers a way for people without computers to check e-mail, search for jobs on the web, and etc.
In the midst of this “economic crisis” everything seems to crumbling around the American people. Is my next paycheck coming? Will I have a job in a month? Can I pay my mortgage? Can I feed my family, or even just myself? You get the idea… These are the questions people are asking themselves daily. The SFSU students from the article seem to be doing the best they can considering the cirmcumstances. Once you become comfortable with a situation, whatever it may be, it’s hard to change. Thankfully there are places like St. Anthony’s who are working to help. Here people can get involved in any number of programs that can help them, whether they need rehab services, medical services, or just a hot meal.