Helping the homeless at S.F. public library

 — Jan 23 2012 - 3:36pm

A medley of people wait for the San Francisco Public Library to open in the morning. Students on a deadline. People who really need a library book. Retired folks. And people checking email.

As the doors open, patrons stream into the atrium at the main branch near the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco. Some head to their favorite reading nook; others to computers to start surfing the Web.

The library is by nature a transitory place. Most people come and go. But Craig, who didn’t want his last name used, is usually here all day. Craig is homeless. Like thousands of other homeless people, he comes to the library when he has nowhere else to go.

"It’s one of the few buildings that’s open seven days a week – and thank God for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, when it’s open until 8," he says.

Craig sits in a sunny room and reads the newspaper. He eats some bread and bananas. If he’s bored, he dozes off.

"I come to the library basically because it’s quiet and it’s clean. It also doesn’t have the atmosphere that a lot of the drop-in centers have. A lot of the drop-in centers, you just feel like you’re homeless," says Craig. "I’d never been homeless up until three months ago, so this is a new experience for me."

Read the complete story at KALW News. 


The library is definitely not quiet. (It should be.)