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Picture of R. Jan Gurley

You might think that spending ten years on the street, two of them at 6th and Mission, might mean that a person is a hopeless case. These four amazing people illustrate homeless success.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

She’d slept one night in the Mission District under a bush, and woke in the dark when someone grabbed her ankle. Four men held her down and raped her. Now, almost three months later, she spoke in a flat, detached voice like this was somehow normal, just another blank to be filled in like her cough, or whether she had an allergy, her eyes drifting all around the room.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Awareness of the risks to children from not having a stable home also means that parents who are already desperately trying to juggle the demands of managing a life without an address, or a stable food supply, or often a phone, are also frantically trying to do what’s best for their kids, often under mind-blowingly stressful circumstances.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

If you are sent to live on the streets, it is for most people the same as being sent, without a mouth guard or helmet, into a boxing ring. A ring where the gong never sounds and there's no rope to mark the place where someone could take a swing and blow out your eye socket.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

With no money, a right leg amputated at the knee (due to an infection), no prosthesis, and living completely dependent on a wheelchair that has, at times, been stolen, and a brother to push him over our city’s hills and curbs, it’s quite a trek for Ken to make it to a location where’s there’s a food possibility.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

But like many people on the street, Nate can’t seem to physically relax; no matter how safe the environment he is constantly vigilant. He rarely makes eye contact, his smile is fleeting and involuntary and his shoulders stay hunched. And Nate’s story about how he ended up here is also in many ways remarkably similar to many others’.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Both gratitude and altruism are good for your health and there’s nothing like giving a gift to a homeless person to help you experience both. Her are some easy, practical, cheap ways to be selfish and give a gift to a homless person.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

The batterings and bruisings and infections and rapes. You began to wonder how anyone survives homelessness. And why couldn't they come in for medical treatment when something went wrong?

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

Even if the death rates among the homeless are higher, isn't it just because the people we're talking about are deeply flawed to begin with? You've probably heard people say that the only reason someone is homeless (especially those chronically homeless) is because they're not like you and me.

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

One of the major challenges of treating overdoses is the helper's fear of law enforcement involvement.

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