San Francisco is known worldwide for its culture, community, and compassion. It is a city of incomparable beauty and diversity, which over the last decades has become an incubator of innovation in art, technology, medicine, and social media.
But it has an underbelly. Homelessness. Proportionate to its population, it has the most people living on the streets anywhere in the country. And the numbers are growing month by month.
When developing my children’s book series, I worked with many organizations to make sure my story was as accurate and sensitive as possible. I reached out to and coordinated with Ruth Cross, Senior Social and emotional learning Consultant from CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning). I also collaborated with the lead social worker, Michael Geier, from the Tenderloin Elementary School. With the help of Hamilton Families, which houses homeless families in San Francisco, I conducted one- on-one interviews with the many homeless people I befriended on the streets of San Francisco.
I have written and illustrated two children’s books to explain homelessness and to create a dialogue about this growing community that affects us all. The books, targeted to children aged two to ten, are educational and uplifting. I have been going to schools and reading them to the students. They and their teachers love them, and that means the world to me.
This book tells the story of a child and their family who go from having a home, to becoming homeless, and then go through the process of getting a home again.