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.
The first time I meet Cella Jones, she popped her head out of her tent at the 22nd Street Richmond encampment, the largest camp in Richmond. The camp, where about 60 people live, has been ‘posted’ for two weeks later, which means the residents have been scheduled to be evicted soon, and all their belongings will be cleared away.
Tim Nishibori disappears into the depths of his cramped but cavernous shack, which sits near the end of a strip of trailers and tents in West Oakland. His gray pit bull, Lady, plays hostess, entertaining me with enthusiastic kisses by the makeshift gate as Nishibori rummages around. Eventually, he emerges with two chairs, and invites me into his home. “Sorry about the mess,” he says