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Even living in an RV, SF woman experiences a cascade of evictions

November 1, 2017

By J.P. Dobrin : missionlocal – excerpt

Melodie sat hunched over in the front row of the Mission District meeting with papers in her lap, intently writing notes.

The 40 bicyclists and government officials in front of her testified as to why they wanted Melodie and the cohort of homeless residents out from under the tangle of freeway exchanges between Highway 101 and Cesar Chavez St. collectively known as the Hairball.

“I’m not sure which way to face,” she said with a shy smile, as photographers clicked away at one of the few — if not the only — homeless person in the room.

In a measured voice, she listed her objections to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority’s new overnight parking restrictions near the Hairball…

“There is nowhere for us to go!” she finally cried.

“No one wants to live under a freeway,” she continued. “We’re just trying to get out of your way so you can go about your lives …  They have swept the Mission, day after day after day.”

The audience clapped for the first and last time during the meeting. The graying senior citizen with the voice of a mouse and the face of a grandmother from nursery rhymes had single-handedly changed the tenor of those who arrived to speak out against the homeless.


Melodie has become the poster child of homeless people living in their vehicles. She is also one of the most knowledgeable about the issues facing people in her circumstances and is not afraid to bear her soul at City Hall on a regular basis. We salute her efforts as she tries to protect her community in one of the most expensive and least forgiving gentrifying cities in the country.


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