Too often those with homes walk by those without, with no acknowledgement, eye contact, or offer of support. The Street Sheet hopes to address this disconnect by providing a point of engagement between homeless individuals and their housed neighbors, who can also learn through the newspaper about ways to support the struggle to house all San Franciscans.
Charles Davis is a Street Sheet vendor who has really been able to use the Street Sheet to build bridges with the broader community. Most recently Charles began selling his newspaper to the congregation at Calvary Presbyterian Church, and he made such a good impression on the pastor there that he was given his own booth from which to sell the paper after the service.
Recently Charles invited Pastor Victor Floyd into the Street Sheet office for an interview, and we learned more about the Pastor’s connection to the paper and to homelessness as an issue.
“I’ve been reading the Street Sheet for at least 20 years, ever since I got here.” Floyd told Charles. “When I moved here from Atlanta I thought Street Sheet was just the best idea I’d seen out there in a long time and I always buy one when I can. I read the SS in seminary and shared it with a lot of my fellow students.”
Floyd says he first went into ministry as a gay man after making a deal with God that he would only continue the work is everyone could be treated equally.
“As time went on my little blinders fell from my eyes and I started to see how so many people were treated unequally,” Floyd recounts. “And thanks to church I got to know the homeless community better. Right now I feel like especially in the aftermath of the UN report that calls us cruel and and inhuman and compares us to the worst places on earth for injustice I really think this is a wake up call for San Francisco to step forward and put our money where our values are.”
For Charles selling papers at the church is both lucrative and personally rewarding. He says the congregation has welcomed him graciously. “I felt like this is kinda like a new home to me, like a new family.” He says he will be attending the church’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.
Quoting from Psalms Charles says “be kind to strangers for you know not if they be angels”. Pastor Floyd looks over and nods; “Jesus said that”.
Visit Street Sheet on Facebook to see the full interview!