It is hard to imagine that a huge problem of poverty and homelessness lies in the heart of Downtown San Francisco, just around a block from where major companies and blooming businesses exist. Until this clinical rotation, I never thought about the lives of homeless people that I used to see in Downtown San Francisco. I remember being lost once in the streets of Tenderloin and getting scared of the fact that I was in tenderloin because of the bad stereotype that exists about Tenderloin being a dangerous place.
It is not just the location and the people that make a place unsafe, but the infrastructures and policy developments also play a role in shaping the community and that affects the life of the people. During the neighborhood tour on our first day of community rotation, I was able to see the difference in policy of housing, businesses, educational infrastructures, recreational facilities, and governmental organizations just within the border of Tenderloin. The Tenderloin has poorly maintained houses, single resident occupancy hotels, dirty streets with trashes, small family run shops, no parks, few buses, whereas its neighboring streets along Market Street has high rise buildings, plenty of buses, clean streets, big businesses and places for recreational activities. These differences create social and economic disparities and affect the quality of life.
During my placement at SFCI, I was able to participate in outreaching activit...
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... the root cause and help them with the main issue. Our focus is mainly on helping homeless people to have access to healthcare, social support, housing, nutrition, rescuing, and programs to help deal with substance abuse. However, if enough policies were to be set to reduce homelessness, those people may not have to go through the poverty and suffer from all its consequences. One thing I learned from people at SFCI is that there are enough police to serve Tenderloin, but police forces do not work in protecting these vulnerable people when it comes to illegal drug dealers from East Bay that target street people that just received their social security. If enough effort is made to target drug dealers and reduce these people from reaching vulnerable population, drug use could be reduced to an extent and homeless people could save the money and use for their basic needs.
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