A SWEEPY LIL’ TOWN

Part 3 of the Sweepy Town Chronicles

by Andy Howard

This is a serial work of fiction. You can find parts 1&2 at streetsheet.org

It was late after the drama surrounding the encampment subsided, and Will had not really established a new shelter to his liking. It was looking like he’d be sleeping rough, and it was drizzling—another temperate San Francisco evening. A few pieces of cardboard with some plastic were going to have to suffice.

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Blessings in Disguise: The Saga of Living and Surviving Continues

Street Sheet vendor Tariq Johnson stands in the Coalition on Homelessness office wearing his vendor badge on a landyard and grinning.

by Tariq Johnson

The saga of living and surviving homelessness continues. Just when I got comfortable in my stabilization room it seemed like my past hit me again, it was like déjà vu. The bed bugs started to come out the ceiling on the fourth floor where my room was, and when I turned off the lights at night they began to bite. I was shocked cuz I knew this would be the beginning of a long fight.

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‘I am Lucky to be Alive’: Poverty and Homelessness in the Wake of the Pandemic

by Anonymous

When COVID-19 hit San Francisco, it made matters worse for all of us struggling to live on the streets. The cold, rainy nights with flimsy shelters, no balanced diet, no proper clothing and no money to help even in acquiring the cheapest commodities in the convenience stores are harder than one might imagine.

COVID made the streets so unbearable. At first no one knew what it was.

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The Modern Eugenics

by Revolt

“If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that it’s not safe to talk about it.”

I found myself writing these words to a burgeoning “COVID-conscious” friend group this week, feeling the gut-wrenching pain of yet another loss of community.  In a time when the country has decided to somehow “move on” from a rampant virus that still kills and hospitalizes Americans in droves, it’s hard to feel like reality has any basis in the rational. 

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Poverty and Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Samel Leparan

COVID-19 hit indigenous people and immigrants in San Francisco especially hard, leaving many in poverty and homelessness. Poor and homeless people were especially affected by the many restrictions and safety regulations that were enforced. 

Kate had just traveled to America with a round-trip ticket to visit her uncle James in San Francisco. James had promised to help her get documents and admission to an American university.

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Camp City: Asylum Seekers and the Homelessness Crisis on NY Randall’s Island

by Johanna Elattar

The Randall’s Island “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center” opened on October 19, 2022, to house asylum seekers arriving in New York City. The New York Immigration Coalition quickly denounced poor conditions at the tent encampments on Randall’s Island, and the decision to house asylum seekers in them. Now, Mayor Eric Adams is facing demands to find alternative housing options to protect the new arrivals.  

The facility at Randall’s Island is approximately 84,400 square feet,

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Concrete Jungle

by Andy Howard

Part 2 of The Sweepy Town Chronicles

Will was deep in thought as he lay in his makeshift lean-to on a makeshift bed. To understand his thought process and his frame of mind it is important to mention that there are a handful of solid core values that he will live his life by consistently, day in and day out: 

  1. Being true to his heart and being solid with his peers.

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My Proud Ego

by Aaone Enose

My proud ego is yelling revenge,

But I know forgiveness is the best!

I don’t want to jeopardize good things I’ve accomplished,

Lord please remove this devil from my ear that’s evil and toxic!

I forgive my sister who stabbed me in San Francisco with a knife,

I’m just grateful Lord that you didn’t allow her to take my life!

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Stolen Belonging: City As Abuser

by Leslie Dreyer

www.stolenbelonging.org

The biggest thief and abuser in San Francisco, by far, is the City itself. Mayor London Breed’s administration—including the Healthy Streets Operations Center (HSOC), the police department, and the Department of Public Works—enacts violence against unhoused folks daily by sweeping encampments. 

Photo montage by Leslie Dreyer

Stolen Belonging, a project of the Coalition on Homelessness,

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‘Compassion is More Important than the Job’: Ex-DPW Worker Dishes the Dirt on Sweeps

A workers hands are pictures forming a triangle shape against a tabletop. The worker's badge appears to the side with the name redacted.

https://www.stolenbelonging.org

TJ Johnston and Leslie Dreyer conducted this interview for the Stolen Belonging Project. It was recorded by Jin Zhu. 

Photo by Jin Zhu of interviewee’s hands and her official City and County of San Francisco DPW badge.

For the past two decades, San Francisco’s Department of Public Works (DPW) has largely ignored incidents of their employees committing acts of abuse,

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