The holidays should be a time for empathy, especially for the less fortunate, and Mission Local brings us a pair of stories about homeless men in the Mission, one of which is a story of a quiet death. On Wednesday morning, 79-year-old Jose Campos was found dead, lying in the driveway of a home near 25th and Shotwell Streets where he had been sleeping. The cause of death had not been confirmed, but it did not appear suspicious according to the SFPD.
Campos was known to people in the neighborhood, and some reported that he would occasionally be seen doing odd jobs along the 24th Street corridor.
In a separate story, Mission Local profiles homeless Vietnam veteran Amos Howard, 59, who has been living for the last year in a tent on the sidewalk outside St. Charles Borneo Parish at 713 South Van Ness Avenue, where pastor John Jimenez has welcomed Howard to stay. Jimenez has given Howard tarps to protect against the rain, and other daily gifts, as Howard explains in the video below. And this is why he's stayed put, he says, because he feels safe there and it is certainly a better situation than for all those who get shuffled around by the Department of Public Works every few months.
And, interestingly, Howard has family in the local area, grown children who regularly check on him, he says, but he's refused their offers to stay with them because he doesn't want to be a burden. Also, he's referred offers of emergency shelter from the city, and a spot in a Navigation Center, because he says he's holding out for a one-bedroom apartment.