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10 things everyone should know about what it’s really like to live on the streets.

  • Since the recession, San Francisco's wealth gap has become a yawning chasm. The city's homeless tell their stories. 
  • Related: America Keeps People Poor On Purpose

Evelyn Nieves, AlterNet / Salon Salon Editor's. note: The San Francisco Chronicle has spearheaded an effort to cover the city’s most intractable humanitarian crisis, homelessness. More than 70 local and national media organizations are participating by examining the issue from all possible angles. As part of this effort, AlterNet has interviewed homeless people in San Francisco to get their take on how and why they have lost their shelter and what life is like for them in the nation’s capital of inequality.

Thursday, Jun 30, 2016 | On Monday afternoon, as Patty L., a 33-year-old native San Franciscan currently living in a tent, began describing the casual hate tossed her way every day, a 30-ish, chubby white man in an Izod polo and khaki shorts walked by.

“Um,” he said scornfully. “Can I get through?”

Patty was leaning against a building, visiting two friends who live in a tent on a corner across the street from a trendy rock climbing gym. At least five feet of pavement separated Patty and the tent, which sits in the Mission District, a Latino/working-class/artists’ enclave transforming into the fastest-gentrifying neighborhood in the country.

Evelyn Nieves is an independent journalist who focuses on covering under-covered communities and social issues, especially poverty in the United States.

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America Keeps People Poor On Purpose, Yes! Magazine  

  • How four decades of lobbying and legislation gave corporations dominion over our economy—and eroded the American middle class.
  • A Timeline of Choices We've Made to Increase Inequality
  • Special Report | Homelessness and Poverty in America, Week Ending August 31, 2014