Sunday, January 10, 2016

Helping Hand to Homeless in San Francisco

Homeless woman eating lunch thanks to Tennessee Grill
Yesterday, I made my semi-monthly trek for a late breakfast at Tennessee Grill. It's an old-fashioned diner complete with counter seating and booths on Taraval Street and 22nd Avenue in San Francisco's Outer Sunset district.

As I was about to enter the restaurant, there was a homeless woman in her 40's or 50's standing outside the restaurant talking to herself. If you've lived in San Francisco long enough, this is a common sight. Most of us, including me, did the usual:  walk past the homeless person and go about your business.

I grabbed a seat at the counter and ordered my favorite, Lou's Special (an egg scramble with corned beef, spinach, onions and mushrooms). A few minutes later, the homeless woman I saw outside was inside the restaurant. She sat at a counter seat near the door, still talking to herself yet wasn't a nuisance or disrupting any customers.

The manager on duty came over shortly afterwards and started talking to her. Within a few minutes, he instructed a waitress to put in a food order for the homeless woman. When I finished my meal, I made a quick run to Walgreens across the street and saw her eating (see above picture). By the time I came out of Walgreens and headed back toward the restaurant to where my car was parked, she was gone. 

I can't remember the last time I saw a restaurant feed a homeless person on their dime. This small, but meaningful and very humane gesture didn't resolve her homelessness, nor did it provide treatment for her disturbed mental state. But it's one less day a homeless person goes hungry. 

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