Rick Clark is from the South Side of Chicago. He has been in San Francisco for 20 years and has been homeless most of that time. I asked him what the hardest part of being homeless is. He answered: trying to keep clean, and trusting people. Rick explained that on the street it is difficult to have friends because you can’t trust anyone. If you ask someone to watch your possessions, they often want money. When they agree to watch your stuff, they might leave before you return or take something for themselves.

Rick’s dog Max is five months old. Rick says the responsibility of taking care of Max has given meaning to his life. It has made living on the street tolerable.  His bond with Max reminds Rick of his own family. He’s been thinking about reaching out to his wife, daughter and granddaughters. Rick’s family members are in Chicago, Atlanta, and Jacksonville.

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Rick and Max. Photo by John Johnston

You can learn more about the photographer here. 

Joseph Johnston

When I walk out of the house, I only need to walk a block to encounter someone living on the street. Perhaps, in part, because I am a pre-Stonewall gay man, I have always had a special place in my heart...

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  1. If you happen to see Rick again, mention the Homeward Bound program. It could help him get back in touch with his family in Chicago.

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