A most unusual relationship is at the heart of young Jackie Tavernetti’s introduction to homelessness.
I was 3 years old when I learned that asking questions and listening to people was much better than making judgments or assumptions.
I learned this lesson when I lived in San Francisco. There were many homeless people who lived in that neighborhood, and there were two in particular who stood out to me: Scotty and Mike. The main reason I noticed them more than others was because they lived in our driveway. Each evening they would set up their tents and every morning they would pack them up. My parents noticed that they would leave our front yard cleaner than they found it, often sweeping the leaf litter before heading on their way. They were very protective of our family too, warning people who were making a lot of noise late at night. I think our house was safer because of them.
Scotty and Mike were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They used to bring me little presents and toys to thank our family for letting them sleep in our driveway. I could not help but worry about Scotty and Mike though, and wished they had a home.
One day when my mom and I were walking home from the park, I noticed that Scotty and Mike were setting up their tents. Being my curious little self, I ran up to them and asked, “Why don’t you have a home?” At the time I knew that there were many people that didn’t have homes, but a big part of me just wanted to make sure Scotty and Mike were okay.