Street Spirits is a monthly feature in which someone who lives on the street tells us their story.

Tim Nishibori on addiction and optimism

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

Geno the barber: look good to do good

The first thing I notice about Geno is his impeccable sense of style: standing by the tent encampment under I-580 at Magnolia and 35th, he’s wearing khakis and a fitted olive-green sweater, boot-laced sneakers as clean as they come, and a spiffy straw fedora. He sports a large stud in one ear, and his beard is pristinely groomed. He looks like a suave sentinel, a GQ model moonlighting as—in his words—“the tent city’s point person.”