The Tenderloin: A Haiku
Piss abounds, ingrained
Demented zombies scream out
I am still human
What comes to mind when you hear the word "tenderloin"? Omnivorous out-of-towners likely envision cuts of beef, but anyone familiar with San Francisco pictures the more unsavory facts of life: drugs, prostitution, and poverty. Though home to more than 3,500 children, the 'loin hosts about 80 registered sex offenders and remains one of the most crime-ridden areas of the City, housing seven out of ten of its most violent plots. The district's most recent marketing efforts highlight that it's home to some of SF's most historic buildings - that it also houses the most parolees in the City is conveniently omitted.
Is the Tenderloin dangerous? Yes. Will you see things that will make you uncomfortable? Without a doubt. Its gritty, squalid blocks feature junkies in varying states of sobriety, the mentally ill, and the impoverished - the City's "untouchables". Obscured by undesirable characteristics, they incite disdain and we avoid them. And we avoid the Tenderloin. But what if we stopped to think about how they might have arrived at their current station in life? What if we saw them as what they are - human beings with real human problems - and stopped judging them?