Last Thursday, St. Anthony’s summer interns took a trip to the Mission District to learn about the urban gentrification occurring in San Francisco and observe the beautiful paintings that reflect the realities occurring in the surrounding neighborhoods. As we walked around, we wondered what will happen to the homeless and low income individuals who call the Mission home as costs continue to rise dramatically. We had an engaging discussing about the politics of the situation with a local shop owner, and then moved on to the highlight of the trip: the murals themselves.
These murals are a reflection of the urban realities that affect this low income, largely Hispanic community. We saw a colorful variety of urban artwork. This included something as reassuring as children riding their bikes down the street smiling, to the upsetting reality of individuals sleeping on the street while the surrounding wealthly population ignores them. It was an eye-opener to be present in the rich culture of a community struggling to hold on to their diversity as urban gentrification gradually settles in.
Andrew Nauer is a Communications Intern for St. Anthony Foundation.