Paper cups just like this one really upset me when we first arrived in San Francisco. It wasn’t anything to do with the fact that such cups contribute to the huge pile of rubbish that this country must have. It was the fact that the plethora of beggars on the streets near my hotel, hold out these sorts of cups as people walk by. The sheer numbers of these poor people was overwhelming. DH estimated that there would have been 30 asking for change as we walked 4 blocks. I felt quite helpless, whereas at home, I collect and donate blankets and other items such as foodstuffs and feel as though I’m doing something to help, albeit a small part. I was planning to have some money changed into $1 notes so I could give something to some of them...especially the beggars with dogs and puppies!!!
Before that happened, I was able to talk to a local, our bus driver/guide on the Muir Wood tour. Rich patiently explained that begging was a problem especially where tourism is concerned. But the authorities tended to err on the side of leniency and allow begging and also people sleeping in public places. So then I explained that I was involved with various groups at home who try to help unfortunate people. Rich said there were a number of such agencies in the city, including one in the next street to our hotel. He said that all such citizens may not get a bed to sleep in (and many don’t want that) but he said there are plenty of places to get food from. I felt so much better after my talk with Rich and today we saw the agency in the next street handing out Foodbank food just like the church in Everton Park, the suburb where I live!
|People collecting items from the Foodbank truck in O'Farrell St, San Fran|