Thursday, February 14, 2008

Curbed SF On The Guardian's "Dickensian" Homeless Adventure

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Curbed SF does a hilarious service by parsing SFBG reporter Amanda Witherell's "undercover" five day tour of San Francisco's homeless shelters, related in the harrowing blog post Five Days Homeless: The Journals, a supplement piece to the story Shelter Shuffle, out this week. While rightly commending Witherell for "doing the Upton Sinclair thing," Curbed pulls out some of the glaring inconsistencies illustrating that, indeed, pretending to be homeless just doesn't pack the same punch as, you know, actually being homeless. Funny bits follow, ripped from Curbed:

"On being unable to secure a pass for late check-in: I tell her I have an all-day conference tomorrow and can’t get back here by 6 p.m. for curfew. I still can’t have a late pass.

On missing her shelter reservation later in the week: Well, I blew my bed at Sanctuary last night, but I gather this happens all the time. I got out of work late and friend I hadn’t seen in a while was hosting a party. I actually ended up falling asleep on the couch, exhausted from a lack of sleep in the shelters. So, I didn’t make it back to Sanctuary and lost my seven-day bed.

On breakfast: Breakfast: a bowl of grits and three boiled eggs. Nothing for the grits but sugar, powdered milk crystals, salt, and pepper. I’ve tried to avoid the word “Dickensian,” but what would you call it?"

-- Brian Bernbaum

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