Stories from our guests: Tommy

8:00 am

“I’ve been trying my best to get off the street. Contacting houses and stuff like that. But nobody wants to rent a place to someone who stinks, or smells bad, or in other words—not to be rude or anything—looks homeless. Because they automatically think that you’re a drug user. Me, I’ve been clean and sober 28 and a half years. I don’t use drugs, but people still put those labels on me. So the city could put the money towards things that we really need like showers, more bathrooms, even recovery centers, where people could get sober. That would help a lot.”

12:00 pm

“It’s really hard. You try going into some of these shelters and 9 times out of 10 they tell you to come back tomorrow or some other day because it’s too filled up. San Francisco needs more bathrooms. They keep telling us not to urinate on the walls, but where is everyone gonna go? There’s no other place.  I try my best to hold it as much as I can. I try to go to the city library. If by chance it’s after hours, then I try to avoid eye contact with everybody. Try to find some place secluded.”

5:00 pm

“If I had a job interview tomorrow, I’d probably stay up all night looking everywhere for some place that I could get cleaned up. It’s like could I find a water fountain here? Could I use the restroom here? Anything to get clean and presentable. For regular people, it’s like 10-15 minutes to get ready to go to work. For homeless people, it takes four or five hours to get ready to do one tiny little thing. Pit Stops, I love those things. The only bad thing is that there are not enough of them. For showers, I try my best to get into Lava Mae at least once or twice a week. But it’s very hard to do because, I mean, it’s usually really packed with other people trying to get a shower.”

Every San Franciscan deserves the ability to properly maintain their personal hygiene. Add your name to our petition.