On the street in San Francisco

On this pleasant Sunday when many of us are at home celebrating Father’s Day with the family, it’s particularly painful to think about people who not only have no family but don’t even have a home. The S.F. Chronicle book review today calls attention to Righteous Dopefiend an important book of words and pictures by Philippe Bourgois and Jeff Schonberg. The authors tell the stories of addicts who are chronically homeless, who struggle to overcome addiction and find satisfying lives, but most of whom continue to fall back into homelessness and despair. More information about the book is given in a longer, academic review that quotes several sources commenting on the searing portrait of men and women and how their lives are affected by our failing drug laws. Despite Mayor Newsom’s laudable efforts to find housing for the homeless, much more is needed. During economic hard times let’s not forget others who are suffering much more than we are.

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