Heidi and I went for a walk with the dogs along Haight Street and decided to press our faces up against the Fluevog window. They're having a sale right now and they have purdy shoes. But as we were walking that direction, we passed by a kid. He couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old and was holding a sign that said, "I need money to buy a drink". How screwed up is that? He was so tiny, I could have picked him up under one arm and jogged like that. And yet, he was sitting outside a coffee shop, no parents in sight. I didn't even notice him until Stella almost mowed him down. Very pale kid in eyes, skin and hair, blended right in with the wall. We walked a couple of blocks away and called child protection services. They said they would send a cop car if the child was still there. I went back to check and that kid was long gone.
I'll be keeping my eye out for him whenever I'm up on the Haight. I'm calling someone the second I see him.
The homeless problem in San Francisco is probably as it is in any other city... present. And usually we walk on buy, ignoring the signs trying to be clever and the haranguing that happens on the bus or in the subway. But this, today, really broke my heart. And not to say that Heidi and I are any better than everyone else who walked by. We went by this kid twice and then another block past before we decided to call. But six-year-olds shouldn't have to sit on the street to beg for money. I don't know where his parents were and frankly, I don't care. Maybe this is the only way they can provide for him. Maybe the kid is part of a very smooth scam. WHO KNOWS. It doesn't matter.
I have no idea how to solve the homelessness problem. It's an issue that is only present in the corner of my mind. But we, as humans and functioning adults, need to do something about these children. If you've ever seen What Would You Do, you know the typical set-up. A child is lost on the streets, etc etc and you could watch ages of footage with people averting their eyes and walking by.
At least... I don't know... look as you go by. Become educated through sight and experience. That man over there is homeless. Who knows why. But that man is a human, even if he doesn't bathe as often as we can or shave whenever there's a threat of a five o'clock shadow.
Observe, please. And maybe you can help a little kid.
It was serious today, I know. Tomorrow we'll return to our usual program.