While Gavin Newsom tours California to tout his successes as mayor of San Francisco -- not to mention spending the weekend at the insider-baseball-y Democratic Convention in Sacramento, along with practically every other SF progressive and wonk -- he hasn't solved San Francisco's ails as thoroughly as he might want you to think he has.
Take, for example, the story of Kelaya and her family. Kelaya took her family and ran away from an abusive situation. She was, as of earlier this month, begging for cash to get a motel room and food for her and her three (3) kids, Dorian, Kameko and baby Marcus. Local photographer and blogger Tangobaby has the full story.
I met this beautiful family on my way home from a photo shoot today. I walked past them, just like the other people on their way home. I admit it. I saw her and sailed on by. I read her sign ($60 for a motel room... you know what kind of motel room $60 will get you in this city).
But I had seen the tears in her eyes, too, and so halfway down the block, I yelled at myself inside my head for being an asshole and went back. I had $30 in my wallet and gave it to her.
Tangobaby updates the story with a few signs of hope: Kelaya temporarily found shelter and will be receiving assistance, which includes "a small stipend ($635 a month) plus food stamps and health care." But it's still not enough.
While finding anything about homelessness on Newsom's site has proven fruitless, the San Francisco mayor talks about 'care not cash,' saying the numbers have improved. But 'care not cash' just isn't working, at least in this case. Yes, Kelaya has a social worker, but it sure doesn't sound adequate to keep her family on its feet. (She doesn't even have a way to keep milk/formula for her baby!)