The Homeless Streets of San Francisco

Updated on July 9, 2018
RJ Schwartz profile image

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…

Questions & Answers


    Submit a Comment
    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      22 months ago from The Caribbean

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

    • manatita44 profile image


      23 months ago from london

      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.

    • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Schwartz 

      23 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      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 R profile image


      23 months ago from Kentucky

      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....

    • tsadjatko profile image

      23 months ago from now on

      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.

    • Larry Lease profile image

      Lawrence Lease 

      23 months ago from Alaska

      love this piece , thanks for writing it.

    • RJ Schwartz profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Schwartz 

      23 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

      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.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      23 months ago from Norfolk, England

      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.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)