Tech-rich San Francisco’s intractable homelessness
As the sun comes up, the crack pipes come out. A woman shields her face behind the frame of a store’s roll-down security shutter and a moment later a cloud of thick, pale smoke puffs into the morning air. The short, scorched glass pipe is visible as she takes a hit from a packet in her palm.
Five paces further on, the scene is repeated by someone else.
A dozen men are slumped on the next block, awash in trash and scraps of pizza crust.
And around the corner a woman is sitting on a strip of cardboard. She looks less wrecked than the others – clean hair, a trace of eye-liner, pearly white teeth, a black cotton dress – but, she said: “I’m smoking – right now. Crack.”
Photograph: Ben Margot/Associated Press