The day I met Sonia Mejía she was sweeping the sidewalk around her tent. Sonia was born in San Francisco, but Sonia and her mother soon moved to Los Angeles. She told me that they are descended from Russian Jews who immigrated to Nicaragua.
Sonia lives with her boyfriend in a tent across Shotwell street from a new high-rise that is under construction. The high-rise will have affordable housing, but she has no confidence that it will be for people like her. In the year Sonia has lived on the street, the cold and the rain have presented the greatest challenges.

Sonia Mejia Photo b Joseph Johnson

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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2 Comments

  1. This story and photo awakes my compassion.

    Mostly stories of women homeless get to me more. Like this one.

  2. If seems hopeless, when people in their retiring age doesn’t have access to affordable housing, and even young and able bodied ones can easily lose their place with no where to land.
    I knew a hard-working guy, emotionally a bit manic, never the less a great guy. He ended up on the streets a few times, and social services just didn’t take care of his needs.
    Another one was someone that couldn’t get pain medication for their excruciating pain from having compound fracture in their foot, which ended up in taking their own lives. Another one also couldn’t get medication to make their pain, and they lost everything. It’s really heart breaking and hopeless, when good people are let down by the health care system, which caters to the rich that can pay out of pocket for to doctors that will treat them like humans. This sort inequality is another thing, that’s brought the country down.

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