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  • Writer's pictureNox Yang

Talking to Homeless James in San Francisco | July 2019

Updated: Feb 18, 2020



"His name is Fox. He's 14 years old now.

His hair used to be black and tanned, but now it's only white and grey."




"I've lived on the street for 9 months and 23 days. I can handle living like this, but it's hard for Fox to stay lively. He's been coughing for a long time.

I was living in an apartment before I got evicted. The reason my landlord gave me was that I was hoarding. But I was actually preparing presents for all the tenants, and she knew that. But I think she just doesn't like me, even though I paid the rent every month.

On the day to go to court, Fox was sick. I had to take care of him, so I missed the court."

“一旦你被赶出来之后,就很难再回到之前的生活了。我努力保持自己仪容整洁,但是这太困难了。很多人慢慢就开始习惯自己身上脏兮兮的,习惯被拒绝 — 被路人拒绝,被招聘公司拒绝,被各种社会组织拒绝。


"Once you got out, it's hard to get back on your feet. I tried to keep my appearance, but it's really hard. A lot of people just get used to the dirt, and constant rejection — from the people walking by, from the employers, from organizations.

For homeless people, there are three things that are hard to find in this city: water, bathroom, and electricity. If I can, I will have many charging station in this city to serve whoever in need. I will also have more bathrooms that are guaranteed clean. But actually, these problems facing the homeless people are rarely paid attention or even understood."




"I see life in a positive light. I am writing a book; I want to document everything I have been through. I want to help people understand. It's important to understand.

Many think that people who are homeless because they are lazy, even my mother turns her back on me and thinks it's all my problem. But it's not like that. In my case, I don't have mental problems, I am not incapable of working, but it's hard to get back on your feet once you fall down.

I'm 55 years old. I lost some of my teeth and I have a hard time making myself look decent. This makes it nearly impossible to get a job. But people are always like this, it's funny that they think of you based on your appearance."



"My dog can't be left alone. He would bark and bark once I walk away. I am gonna stay with him, I want him to feel he's being loved.

As long as he lives, I'll stay alive,

And when he dies… I don't know."

“希望一切都会尽快好起来。” 我在走之前对他说。


"I hope everything will get better soon." I said before I left.

"It will, eventually. Thanks for listening to me. Enjoy the rest of your day. This city is problematic, but it's a beautiful city."


Beautiful indeed.

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