Sophia Lee

Cleaning soiled streets

Homelessness | What even the most unappealing of jobs can teach about human dignity
by Sophia Lee
Posted 4/24/18, 11:11 am

It was bright and early in the morning when I spotted a fresh pile of excrement on the sidewalk, still glistening in a reddish brown splat, its stench alerting a gang of flies that it was time for breakfast. Meanwhile, I could feel my own half-digested breakfast tossing from my gut up to my gullet. 

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Gregory Bull/AP

Havens for the homeless

Homelessness | ‘Bridge shelters’ and legal homeless encampments are the latest experiments in dealing with a growing homelessness crisis
by Sophia Lee
Posted 4/12/18, 02:25 pm

Who knew a tiny virus could help provoke an overhaul of a city’s homeless policy? Yet that’s what happened last year in San Diego.

At first, doctors in the city were seeing a trickle of patients with seemingly minor complaints: abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue. But other symptoms—jaundiced eyes, sickly yellow skin, dark urine—suggested something more serious, something highly contagious.

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Anna Reed/Statesman-Journal/AP

Families in crisis

Homelessness | Family homelessness is a growing problem, and the government’s rapid rehousing policy may not be helping
by Sophia Lee
Posted 3/15/18, 10:38 am

Patience Merchant’s 6-year-old son Kwama and 3-year-old daughter Aliyah don’t remember ever having a stable home. When Kwama was 3 months old, Merchant left his father over what she says was domestic abuse. She and her children have been shuffling in and out of emergency shelters ever since.

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