Chad Mitchell, a young tech transplant from Boise, Iowa was cruelly forced to spend Saturday night wandering the streets of San Francisco with no way home, and suddenly understood what it is likely to experience chronic homelessness in the city.
Chad had one too many Manhattans at the cocktail bar on Valencia Street and stumbled out at closing, ready to head home to his condo and his girlfriend Rebecca. As he bent at the waist to hurl he noticed a sticker on the pavement that read “Queers Hate Techies”and, outraged, reached for his phone to post an thoughtful and well-informed response on Twitter, only to realize that his iPhone X was dead. He checked his iPad, his Google Glass, and his Apple Watch – all dead – and with horror realised he had no way to get home. He sat down on the curb to collect himself but was rudely interrupted by a security guard, threatening to call the police if he didn’t move along.
Stumbling off he suddenly noticed he desperately needed to take a piss, and tried several public port-a-potties only to find they were locked. Horrified by the city’s lack of public restrooms, Chad stepped over to a discreet wall and unzipped his fly. At that moment a red and blue light flashed behind him and a cop approached, sternly admonishing him for public indecency. The cop began to write a citation, but Chad smoothly reassured the cop that he was not actually homeless, and the cop suddenly became very friendly and crumpled the citation, flinging it into some nearby bushes.
“For a moment I almost lost faith in the integrity of our police force,” Chad Mitchell opined. “But fortunately once he realized I wasn’t one of them the cop gave me the preferential treatment I deserve.”
After the harrowing experience of nearly being mistaken as genuinely homeless, Chad realized he needed to sleep, and proceeded to the only park he had ever been to in San Francisco, a parklet outside of Whole Foods. When he arrived he tried to make himself comfy by stretching out on one of the benches, but found himself squirming as the spikes poked into his back. Chad wondered why there were spikes in the benches.
It was at that moment that Chad had an epiphany that could be the sole solution to homelessness in San Francisco. Chad realized that more than 20,000 San Franciscans were in literally the exact same situation he was currently in, and he felt the crushing weight of empathy, an emotion he had never before experienced.
“What I realized was that, if we could install device charging stations all over San Francisco, then no one would be stranded without a way to call their Uber ride!” Chad recounted excitedly. “So as soon as I got back to my condo I quickly started a crowdfunding campaign promising to end homelessness forever, which now has $300 million to launch our project, which is more than the city’s budget for addressing homelessness.”
Chad was very disappointed to note that community groups that had spent decades pushing progressive policies to create low-income housing, prevent evictions, pass rent control policies, and stop criminalizing poor people did not understand the genius of his new campaign. He says he thinks it’s because the advocates don’t understand what it’s like to be homeless in San Francisco, seemingly genuinely unaware of the fact that these community groups are led by people who, unlike him, have experienced genuine homelessness.