Ken Jones stands on the corner of Addison and Shattuck, waiting for people to exit a concert at the Freight and Salvage, or a play at the Berkeley Rep. In the cool evening light, he catches the eye of patrons spilling out of the theaters, flashing a broad smile at each person who looks up as he broadcasts his patter over the crowd.
in 1984, Danny McMullan was zipping down the highway on his motorcycle —eager to join his friends by the bay—when he hit a power box. The force of the impact tore his right leg clean off and left Danny, then 21, with broken bones in his pelvis, ribs, arms, clavicle, and back.
When Travis moved to San Francisco in 2011, he was 21 years old and had $174 in his pocket. His first job was tossing salads at a restaurant on 2nd and Market. But soon, his career in the service industry would take off. His next job was at Quince, a fine dining restaurant that now has three Michelin stars.
Walking down Franklin Street in Downtown Oakland you’ll see a larger than life mural of a man in a baseball cap. With gentle eyes and a wide smile, he looks east over the city, watching over the people passing by. Small businesses line Franklin Street to the left and right. Below the mural is a parking lot, and shiny office buildings tower above. In between lies the portrait of Derrick Hayes, a 59-year-old homeless resident of Oakland who has been selling Street Spirit for almost 20 years.
Tokukicha Nishi, 39, has a purposeful gaze and long hair that he has been growing out since his beloved cat passed away. He became a Big Issue Japan vendor in July 2017. Monday through Friday, Mr. Nishi sells papers from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in front of the ‘Konaka The Flag’ store, near JR Shimbashi Station’s Ginza Exit and from 8 to 10pm in front of the bus terminal at JR Shinjuku Station’s South Exit.