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The Homeless Streets of San Francisco

Poetry is the food of the soul. It's my greatest contribution to the world and an area I can always grow.


Human waste and piles of trash

Hands held out for petty cash

This used to be a growing town

Now it seems a battleground

Cries for help, they go unanswered

The helpless treated just like cancer

Rubbish heaps that serve as beds

The daily struggle of getting fed

Not enough to go around

On the brink of shanty town

Street fighters and dumpster divers

All just struggling for survival

The system’s broken; it’s out of order

Getting worse with every quarter

Shopping carts and piles of needles

Infections, bleeding, and even measles

Disease and filth found every day

City leaders that have lost their way

A plastic pail and worn out chair

People passing just don’t care

Turn their heads and hustle by

Avoiding contact from their eyes

Canvas tents on every corner

Mothers, sons, friends, and daughters

Homeless camps are taking over

Complete collapse is coming closer

Doors are locked, so are windows

This changing city; San Francisco

HI-tech jobs and higher rent

Affordable housing came and went

Two worlds exist in the same city

Where wealthy people have no pity

Get them out, make them go!

Ship them off to Mexico

Or Canada or just far away

Take their trash and leave today

Call the police and clean things up

Or instead, throw a dollar in their cup

Help them up; your fellow humans
Let’s join hands and start a movement

The problem isn’t getting better

We need more than words and letters

A human solution to an inhuman situation

To stop the pain; end the starvation

Show the world what we can do

Let’s all help; me and you…


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 23, 2018:

"The system’s broken; it’s out of order." Grim situation but described in good poetry. Well done!

manatita44 from london on July 11, 2018:

In some ways it's good that you highlight it's happening in the West. Saw some of this in an African slum recently, indeed sometimes on the streets of the City. Not good to have this anywhere, but perhaps the problem and solution lies with both us and those who are meant to look after us.

Decent rhyming and flowed well.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on July 10, 2018:

Thanks for the support Delilah - Too often it seems that people in trouble become political pawns when they should be helped with dignity and compassion.

Delilah from Kentucky on July 10, 2018:

Great piece of writing Ralph. Absolutely breaks my heart to see others suffering and getting treated badly and I agree there needs to be something done instead of ignoring the problem like it doesn't exist. Sure, some may have an addiction or illness but someone showing they care might go a long way in helping them recover and rebuild their lives....

The Logician from now on on July 09, 2018:

A 2008 survey by the United States Conference of Mayors asked 25 cities for their top three causes of homelessness. Substance abuse was the single largest cause of homelessness for single adults (reported by 68% of cities). Substance abuse was also mentioned by 12% of cities as one of the top three causes of homelessness for families. According to Didenko and Pankratz (2007), two-thirds of homeless people report that drugs and/or alcohol were a major reason for their becoming homeless.

Even though in many situations, substance abuse is a result of homelessness rather than a cause (people who are homeless often turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their situations) addiction is a disease and would we leave any other diseased people on the streets without treatment?

We wouldn’t.

But we would find a way to give tyrants our government aid which makes them billionaires, give millions of dollars to politicians so they can get elected and become rich at our expense, allow billions of taxpayer monies be wasted on government programs that are unnecessary or wrought with billions in fraud that is NEVER addressed, bail out the corporations responsible for the economic collapse of 2008, or send a helicopter to Mars, and on and on with in your face blunders or endeavors that scream who cares about the homeless, they made their beds now let them lie in them.

Lawrence Lease from Alaska on July 09, 2018:

love this piece , thanks for writing it.

Ralph Schwartz (author) from Idaho Falls, Idaho on July 09, 2018:

I think that many people immediately assume homeless people are addicts or criminals, when most of them are just regular people who happen to be down on their luck.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on July 09, 2018:

Homelessness seems a growing problem - it's the same in the town live in in England. This is a lovely poem and I agree, we should all help these poor souls and not be unkind to them.

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