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.


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!


Stolen Belonging: City As Abuser

by Leslie Dreyer

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,


‘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.

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,


Stopping Sweeps Can End the Cycle of Trauma. This Clinical Social Worker Tells Us How.

A woman sits in an office in front of two signs protesting encampment sweeps.

With encampment sweeps in San Francisco becoming as common a sight as street dwellings themselves, some things are easily observed: large Public Works trucks pulling up, police officers enforcing the operations and unhoused residents scrambling to hold onto what’s left of their possessions that isn’t already thrown in the trucks. 

Video still of Diana Valentine by Jin Zhu

What’s less visible are the traumatic effects unsheltered San Franciscans suffer long after the streets are cleared of sidewalk habitation.