I moved back to San Francisco six months ago. From the start it came with the positive and the negative, almost equally balanced. Like most big life changes it was difficult at first and has been an enormous adjustment on many levels. The most important adjustment was accepting that the San Francisco I loved in my twenties is now gone. I had to mourn the loss of a city I once loved and adapt to the new city I see before my eyes.
Like many West Coast cities San Francisco is plagued with homelessness in addition to the many problems inherent in urban life. Seeing the suffering on the streets and not letting it effect me was an enormous hurdle and continues to be so. Over the holidays there was an uptick in the sirens that I heard at night. Due to the rampant drug use among the homeless or unhoused population 52 people died in November alone of overdoses. December statistics are not available yet, but will be close to 600 or more for the year. This number accounts for almost 10% of the homeless population.
Seeing the suffering of the homeless everyday walking or driving around the city has been the most difficult part for me. The good news is there are many services to help them. The other day I took a bag full of food and warm clothes and left it on the steps of the Chronicle building on Mission Street. There is a covered alcove in a doorway there that some of them have been sitting in to shelter from the rain. This is a complex topic and I don’t know what the answers are, but many fine people are addressing it. For my part, I will try to build awareness. I also practice random acts of kindness like pushing some of them in their wheelchairs when they need help. Of course this is not enough, but it’s not nothing.
Last week I had an Interview with Colin Ferguson the producer for Ted Danson’s new show Advancements. This is an educational series that explores recent developments impacting environmental issues across several industries and economies. The series features state-of-the-art technologies, and innovative solutions responsible for shaping, molding, and transforming our world into a better place. In this interview I was talking about my company Ocean SF and our mission create an alternative for outdoor wear that is to made ethically and sustainably. We would be featured and a crew would come to San Francisco and film our factory, office and of course the sailing community and culture here. During the interview I told Colin that San Francisco really needs this. People need to be inspired here. It’s been a very difficult time for our beautiful city and we need to look to the future and be hopeful again. What better way than to feature a new and upcoming hometown brand that is trying to solve the massive fast fashion problem? I will keep you posted on our progress.
In the meantime the rain pours down.