The Jerod’s of San Francisco–On And In our Hearts!

The Jerod’s of San Francisco–On and In Our Hearts!

Matthew 22:1-14

There are times I am sitting at lunch with friends who live in Marin, Sausilito, Pacific Heights, and other wealthy areas, and the question will be asked: “River, what can you tell us about the homeless problem, what is going to be done about it?”

After seeing my face, the subject is quickly changed, for I hate the question, a question with no answers, and a question that brings up much personal pain seeing the faces of so many who live and die on the street.

In those moments my thoughts go to Jerod, whom I met when he was 14. He came from a good family in Sausilito. Jerod had a troubled adolescence, and could not get along with his stepdad,  he ran away. I met him on Polk, where he was prostituting, he was into speed.

Over the next three years we became friends, he went home a couple of times, but always came back to the streets, and I became acquainted with his parents.

One rainy night he called, asking for a place to stay, and I told him yes, I waited and waited, but he never showed. I received a postcard from Paris, telling me how much fun he had days later. His parents looked for him until a number of years later they had to move, to get away from the memories, the fear, and the pain.

In all probability he was trafficked, simply picked up and taken away. Boys are trafficked just as much as girls, but it is hard for parents and others to face the fact boys are used in such a way.

I see many other young boys become forty-year-olds panhandling and sleeping in our alleys. So the only solution I know is to love each one, to let them enter into my heart,  to suffer with each one, to pour out my own blood if necessary, for each is the broken body of Christ. To give without expecting anything in return.

As Dorothy Day once commented: “The only solution is love!” This is my solution! Get dressed for the Wedding Banquet! Let Christ clothe you with the joy of compassion.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!


Fr. River Damein Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164


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