June 17 2008 07:55 PM

Our weekly series putting faces on San Diego's homeless

homeless-prime

Living on the streets ain't all that bad, says Keith, stationed at his usual corner in Ocean Beach hawking his handmade bracelets, anklets and necklaces, but he says it ain't all that good, either.

"Let's just say it's tolerable," he says. "I haven't been able to make a penny yet today, and I'm getting hungrier by the minute."

Aside from not knowing where his next meal is coming from, Keith says the worst part about being homeless is not being able to sleep on the beach. He took a bus to San Diego from Maryland a few months ago to meet up with his ex and his kids, but things didn't work out, so he headed for the beach, where he thought he could chill out while he got things together. It didn't take but a night for him to realize that San Diego's beach communities don't take too kindly to people wanting to camp out in the sand.

"You can't sleep anywhere 'round here," he says. "Most of the time, I end up sleeping sitting up."

Keith says he doesn't do drugs and he doesn't have a hint of mental illness. The way he explains it, he's temporarily homeless because of unexpected circumstance. This isn't the first time he's been on the streets, so he doesn't want to check himself into a shelter-he knows eventually he'll find a job and get his life together.

"I'll do anything," he says. "I'll sweep your floors.

"But," he says, reaching into his gray hoodie to pull out thick dreads that hang down to his waist, "look at me. It's tough to get a job. When you don't be what people want you to be, and when you don't look how people want you to look, let's just say it makes things harder."

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28