Growing Up in the Tenderloin

by on May 6, 2024

Photo shows tents in Tenderloin
Chea lived through Tenderloin's toughest days

(Editor’s Note: Karma Chea grew up in the Tenderloin. She is a student at San Francisco’s Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, where she wrote this for an assignment for a Public Health Call for Action).

Growing up in the Tenderloin, I’ve seen for myself how bad the environment can truly be for kids.  I wouldn’t want my kids to live that life at all.

If you truly care about our children, you would want the same! We need transformation and we need transformation fast. A law we need to prioritize for this shift would be having zero forbearance for illegal drug activities. Drug use is so common for the people living in the Tenderloin that many casualties occur. If we prioritize this law, the forthcoming casualty rates in the Tenderloin will diminish.

We need a very potent change in housing in the Tenderloin because the residents in the Tenderloin are at the average federal poverty level.

The Tenderloin is a neighborhood in San Francisco that is known for its bad reputation for having a high crime rate. This affects public health because if the residents in the Tenderloin had housing, the depression rates would lower as well as the use of drugs. Support for addiction would also reduce casualties overall in the Tenderloin. How would you feel knowing that addiction could be reduced if you had better living conditions?

To work for a healthier world is to comprehend an annoyance and modify it. The difficulty is how the Tenderloin has not changed for the better even since my mom was a kid.

To enhance the Tenderloin is to determine the problem. The problem with the Tenderloin is the shortage of housing and the increase of drugs. Not just mentally, but physically, this lifestyle damages our people from the Tenderloin and the whole world.

If we care about our people, we must take action and fight for righteousness. If we bring a bigger standpoint into this, we would comprehend that we need particular laws and scientific research that will support the health of the inhabitants. They must be established with a quickness.

With my command, understanding, and my pure will, I would like to inspire you, the people, to help out with this matter. One person such as me, cannot confront something this immense independently. It takes more than one.

Stand with me and save the people from not only the Tenderloin, but the people in the world that are struggling heavily. Join me if you desire our children to never have to face problems with housing, difficulty with finding food to eat, hardship with struggling to be sober, and to never have to effortlessly get a hold of drugs.

If you follow me and straighten the rules of the law in the Tenderloin, I can utmost guarantee that there will be a change made that hasn’t been made in many years.  With this guarantee, we will see a drastic change in the people. Less drugs and happy housing would lead to lower crime rates as well. We will walk the streets of Tenderloin without worrying as much. Without worrying that someone’s child is dead on the floor.

Nothing hurts more than seeing someone’s child throw away their life because finding drugs is easier than finding food to eat. Sleeping on the street is easier and more affordable than having a house in the Tenderloin. This is important to me, and I hope it is as important to you as many people’s lives depend on it.

Understanding, supporting, and getting things done is the most effective weapon to help with this case. I value and hold the Tenderloin sentimentally because I grew up there. One thing I hated the most was never understanding and having to question if a person on the street with their eyes closed is dead or asleep.

I want that for no one.

Filed under: Labor & Education