I just had to hand you these two tasers. Walking in SF with any type of armour has never been me. When I arrived back in San Francisco and got my certification as homeless on the 1st of January, 2019, I had one taser. Today I have acquired two. Four days ago it was disclosed to me that my domestic violator, who shoot himself, survived. For me, that confirmed that even with two tasers on the street and my three children behind me, I am not safe.
I’m a resident client at St. Anthony’s winter shelter. I’ve been here before. I arrived back to San Francisco on December 18th, 2018 with the assistance of my subsidy provider, Hamilton Housing Solutions. They assisted me with packing and moving back from Sacramento, CA. I have never purposely resided in any other city other than San Francisco. I’m a 42 year old native.
I was born at Letterman Army Hospital in the Presidio, on February 8th, 1977, the year George Lucas launched the Empire, Star Wars. Today George Lucas has turned the hospital I was born in into a state-of-the-art digital arts facility, which played a big role in the Make A Wish foundation, Batkid episode. For that event, 200 volunteers were requested, and 7,000 from all over the world showed up. I had a lot to do with it.
I appreciate every housing and homeless provider in San Francisco, including the non-profits and those that do profit. I don’t know how to say it but the particular shelter that harbors me today is not funded by the city, yet for protecting me and my family, on two specific occasions, they warrant great attention. Glorious attention. I’ve been telling a few of the staff lately that whatever path I’m walking on, I’m very aware that a journey of a thousand steps begins with one. And when I found myself on the ground on two occasions they lifted me up.
I come from a 17 year relationship with the father of my three children, the last two years estranged as I make a safety plan, to protect myself and family before anyone else, including my mother and father.
I’ll go back to the two Tasers that I walked in and handed you. It doesn’t protect me from the weapon that the father of my children just shot himself with. What it does for me is it confirms that he has bad aim and that if I am his target, my children are not safe. No matter what doors try to protect me.
At this point in time to think of leaving San Francisco is killing me. The many faces that I share a roof with right now, if these are the faces of homelessness, if their kindness is the face of homelessness today, then I have to believe in something greater than myself.
My name is Catherine. Compass Connecting Point recieved me the day I made my last phone call on my children’s father. They directed us to a shelter called First Friendship Baptist Church (Providence Foundation). What an unimaginable experience. Where I come from, before that day, I was raised with glory, honor, respect, and basic training was my discipline. Today I would really like to count on all those who employed me in this city, because what I know is that they make big differences. To know exactly where I was today, they would be more than mind boggled. But what I feel is more than that, they would feel compelled to just stand behind me.
I come from every community in this city. By the grace of my grandfather who arrived in San Francisco in the 1970s by the Joint U.S. military Assistance Group from the Republic of the Philippines, At this point in time I’d like to ask my family, the blood I was born by, to pardon my audacity, for not signing any releases to talk about them today. I’d like the attention of my father immediately. What I know is that he led big military battleships out into open waters. What I know is I come from purple hearts. What I know is alive is my spirit. So at this point my spirit calls for my retired general uncle, whose twin brother resides in California. My uncle and his wife, my auntie, because with all due respect this is just the beginning. My home, the land my grandfather conquered, will not be taken from under me.
I’m a true gem to this city. I’ve inherited gifts as far back as 1898 and I’m ready to share them. And whatever happens after I share them, belongs to San Francisco. What it is is my voice and what comes with it. I’ve been educated and employed in San Francisco since I was born.
Whatever is happening for me today, I thank San Francisco.
My story that I will elaborate on will pull strings at every heart in this city. I’ve embarked on a dare. For every statement I’m going to state, to make a statement in my state, you will see me cry. It’s about a golden gate, how I must tell the press I do. There is a charm in San Francisco. The ’89 quake, 7 by 7 by 7, that’s San Francisco. I am her, and I will tell you true. I march through the city. This city is about to get litty. You’re even gonna hear that song played doo wah ditty. To talk about $181.5 million dollars allocated, may the wind fall, I’m gonna get down to the nitty gritty.
To be continued…