Today is our last full day in San Francisco! Boo
We began our morning splitting in to three groups in order to recreate our Raleigh retreat, which is where we walked in groups around Raleigh trying to find various services for the homeless and GLBTQ population. In Raleigh, we had noticed that there were limited services to both groups, and that the services were quite spread out if a person needed to have both GBLTQ and homeless services. In San Francisco, we decided to see what services were offered in three different districts of the big city: The Tenderloin area (where we were staying and serving with organizations), the Castro district which is known for it’s GLBTQ friendliness, and the Haight, which still has the 1960s Hippies feel to it.
Ultimately, we determined after a few hours of walking around in our respective areas, that it’d be more convenient to find services in San Francisco, but a person has to be the one to ask for those services. Also, we feel like there always needs to be more outreach programs to find people on the streets and serve them somehow whether with food, housing, clothing, education, job training, etc. There were plenty of resources for GLBTQ individuals, homeless families, youth, individuals, but yet, still so many people were out on the streets. Much work has to be done, but work CAN be done, and perhaps that is one of the most valuable lessons we learned.
In the afternoon, we spent a little bit more time in the sunshine and around the city. We hopped upon one of the infamous San Francisco Trolley’s and rode up to Lombard Street, the infamous curvy street.
After seeing Lombard Street, we headed over to the AIDS Memorial Park, which is a park dedicated to those who in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic were ignored, treated badly, etc, their families, and all those since who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Here, in this beautifully serene place, we had a reflection of the recreation of the retreat, of the people we met, programs we learned of, and GLBTQ homelessness issues still not addressed by the city.
We then headed to Sparky’s, one of our favorite places to eat, for our last dinner where we reflected on what are individual favorite parts of the trip were, what we could change for next year, what worked/didn’t work, and so much more.
From there, we shopped a bit more for some memorable goodies and then headed back to the Hostel to pack up, get a few hours and sleep, and head back home in the morning.