My work on this blog should improve soon but its been hard to have limited internet access so the info and layout are not as comprehensive as I would like.
Here is what I discovered about San Fran CA,USA.
Berkeley CA is right off the BART public transit system. It is full of hippies travelers and amusing people. You can sleep on the street and food not bombs is in People's Park every day at 3 pm. However, I noticed a lack of shelters. And its not like other college towns- the UC kids are a drag in general. Unlike Boston where if your panhandling in Kenmore Sq near BU some drunk Dutch professor will sit down with you and talk and he is interested in your activism, no one here will want to deal with you at all. In Boston intelligence itself is still prized above money and status in its most raw forms- in CA your dealing with a new money sort of snobbishness and the status quo taken very seriously. Find your place among the alternative community there. Be careful as always.
San Fran is not someplace I would try to sleep outside but I have seen men doing it and they usually are in a group with a very trained and mean traveling dog (usually a pit bull mix that is very large).
Thier shelter system is typical big city and has a ghetto element to it. They are nicer than the east coast for sure.
Their is a little game with getting a bed so ask them to tell you how it really works before going into the system. I waited all day for a bed and ended up back in Berkeley becuz of the way thier system is set up. You have to have a TB test in a few days after arriving and you have to register with an ID, I dont know if this is for all of them.
In Berkeley its impossible to get computer use as UC has gotten rid of all except for strict research only (.org, .gov, .edu).
This is typical of conservative schools around the US now as they would rather block out activists than manage thier public use computers better. I dont want the kid playing video games or the old guy looking at porn next to me either while I am trying to get real work done..but these types are used as excuses to get rid of everyone who isnt part of the university usually. Keep in mind that LIBRARY employees are usually against this kind of limitation and hate having to do this...its the people in administration who make these decisions.
If only they could verify say someone like me for instance and give me a public use account that cuts out porn or video games and has a time limit on it, they would never have had the problem with the public abusing thier public use computers-which they usually get a federal grant for anyway so dont buy into them being private and doing you any big favors.
So UC is one of THOSE schools like BU, that let the public hang themselves and now have major restrictions.
San Fran seems to have good computer public access as its a major city.
This area in general is tolerant of the homeless or the traveler but you might get bored after a while.
In Berkeley there is a youth drop in(The Suitcase Clinic) that if you look young enough, are a traveler and are well behaved you can get all kinds of cool stuff as well as fed with real food. YOUTH SERVICES ARE ALWAYS MUCH BETTER IN THE USA AS THE PUBLIC DOESNT PERCEIVE THEM AS LOST CAUSES YET, OR BLAME THEM FOR THIER SITUATIONS. AMERICA LOVES FAMILIES BABIES AND CHILDREN MORE THAN HUMAN BEINGS INDIVIDUALLY AND THE GUILT FACTOR WORKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS.
The people who work this youth drop in have the best attitude I have ever seen towards homelessness. You are treated as a human being and you feel your dignity intact.
Here is at least the San Fran list of resources. Berkeley is just a place where you can show up.
HITCHHIKING IN OR OUT OF THIS AREA IS IMPOSSIBLE so you might want to take the BART train from a surrounding area. Like pick a place on the map that is very far from the city and get off there take the train in. Total paranoia of hitchers. In certain towns outside the area if you have a back pack the cops are on you 10 minutes after you arrive and will want to know your life story. Get out the camera like I did. Its profiling but even truck drivers hate Cali as the cops are restrictive.
However in Berkeley all I had to do was report one instance of obvious gang stalking harassment to police and it stopped and all the 'creeps' disappeared. You have to understand there is a faction of powerful wealthy people in this area who side with not only the homeless but activists who are targeted I would assume. Its like they just werent having it in thier town. It was pretty cool actually. Their is a fabulous little war you get to be part of between powerful liberals and the conservatives and the homeless are used to this end. Amusing as hell. Great.
And the home bums are colorful usually.
Dont get sucked in here. The circus is meant for temporary visits. Also there is something going on with ..how should I say this, illness. I got a rash when I arrived that was a bitch to get rid of and the whole time I was there I was sick with a bronchial thing as well as yellow stuff constantly coming out of my nasal passages as well as my coughed up from my lungs.
Rumor has it UC is involved in bio warfare..who knows.
But it'll be easier for the young and the very healthy.
Here are the pages I picked while there. Its not complete but it should be enough to get you by.