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Going Home
Turning key 336
Pangia, Aug 02, 2007

Contrary to what was broadcast on ABC 7 News, Aug. 1, 2007, Project Homeless Connect was not responsible for assigning housing to people living in Golden Gate Park this past Tuesday. Confirmed by Project Homeless Connect staff, it was a successful effort of San Francisco�s Homeless Outreach Team (aka the HOT Team).

Roaddawgz reporter, Pangia shares her first hand experience gaining housing in Golden Gate park.

At 10 am on the morning of August 1st (Jerry Garcia�s birthday) I found my self-unlocking the door to a new beginning and a life. As I turned the key to room 336 on the corner of California And Larkin, I felt years and tons of stress and that low-down dirty feeling I used to love, lifted and expelled. It has been said to me through my life that if you put the energy of your ultimate goal out there in to the universe that it will come back with positive results. This has just proven true to me and the feeling is sublime.
So here is my story�

In the first weeks of April I went to 43 fell street often to try to get an SRO room through the Homeless out-reach team of SF. All my first attempts fail and left me sleeping on the street as always and very discouraged. I continued to make attempts at getting inside through May and was sent packing. I gave up for some time but by mid July, street life had pushed me to the brink of insanity. I once again started my efforts to get indoors. I would show up at 43 Fell St. every other morning and ask to see the director or talk to someone who might help me with this problem before I had to commit my self to the loony bin. Life continued in the same old way it has for years, living on the streets and being constantly surrounded by addicts of every kind and the gut wrenching pain, sorrow and hopelessness of the poverty stricken and homeless in this �turn your back and it no longer exists� city we all live in.

In the last week of July as my �keep on keeping on � attitude was about to leave me, I got a heads up from a good friend of mine about a time and place to be to make another attempt at getting indoors. I headed down to Haight St. and made my way into Golden Gate Park set up a little camp In �the Haystacks� with some friends and waited. Around 5:30-6:00 in the AM I was woken up by some jerk-off Cop who decided I deserved a camping ticket. As he handed me the ticket I told him thank you. See the kind of things a bad night�s sleep will make you do? Anyway, as I was packing my sleeping bag away a member of the Hot Team (Homeless out reach team) approached my Girl-friend Jess and I and said that we could fallow him and see about getting indoors. He took us to two large white tents set up in Golden Gate park and with in 5 minutes we were sitting down eating fruit, drinking milk and hot coco and talking to another member of the team about getting the both of us inside.

We spent 20 minutes or so telling our story and chatting with the HOT Team worker and at the end of our tale she smiled and told us, �today you�re moving inside�for good.� Another sublime moment for Jess and I. After months of effort and being let down, the clouds finally broke to let the sunshine in for the both of us. Jess was hardly able to speak. I spent all day yesterday just being in my room and settling on the fact that I always have a place to be and go from that moment on. It�s the best thing to happen to us in a few years. Sleeping inside does a world of difference for your mental and general health over all. We filled out paper work with her and were sent to talk to a man about where we would be housed and then were sent to another women and given a final set of papers to read and sign. We both signed our names and were told where we were to be housed and that we could move in first thing and also that we were going to be set up with permanent housing some time down the road. We hung out eating food for about 30 minutes before a van pulled around and picked us up along with 4 other people also being dropped off at their newly acquired rooms.

We came to our building and were helped inside and given a room key. We just looked at it and each other for a few moments while it all sunk in that this was real and we finally have shelter and the timing could not have been better with the rainy winter season just around the corner. We walked up stairs and after a little argument about who gets to turn the key first; I opened our door for the first time. The door swung open to present a small cozy room with a killer view of California St., a large bed, dresser, T.V., mini fridge, desk with 2 chairs and a sink. We talked and joked around about how to work the shower since we had not been able to take one in well over 2 weeks. When we were done in the shower we were both 4 shades lighter and happily drowsy from the hot water. We arranged every thing as we liked it and ran to the store to get toilet pap, smokes and some food to put in our cool mini-fridge. We made it back home ate some food and both fell in to deep sleep and did not wake until noon today.

When we woke today we looked around almost in shock until we remembered the events of yesterday. We both started laughing and were simply overjoyed to be in side waking up in a comfortable bed together, safe and happy. The Hot Team made it possible for us to have a place to live and to feel like normal people rather then street kids who dreamed of getting inside and back on their feet. The team does so much good for the homeless and poor in San Francisco and I would like to thank them for all their help and support in our community. Jess and I are now taking the first steps to a better life and are both very thankful and grateful for it.


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