SAN FRANCISCO --ABC7 News is partnering with more than 70 other media outlets to highlight the growing homeless situation in San Francisco. Together we are calling on the city to do something about it. Here's one possible solution, a way to house the homeless.
A young woman with a pile of everything she owns. Think of it as a graduation picture because what you're about to see is beautiful.
"It's a big change, and I am hoping it's for the best," said homeless resident Corry Cannon.
She's been living on the streets for 22 straight years since age 6. How? Why? Should we really expect an unvarnished story in a five minute conversation?
"I never really knew anything else," she said. "It's what I was taught."
For Corry, life changed just before Christmas. A team from San Francisco's Homeless Outreach found her, promised a better life, helped her pack her stuff, and took her to the San Francisco Navigation Center.
It's a one-stop-shop offering homeless services ranging from shelter, to financial service, and health care. It's a social experiment that began with a $3 million grant from an anonymous donor. Eighty percent of clients who go there stay off the streets.
"The theory is that it costs more to provide shelter, it costs more to provide jails, it costs more to provide hospitalization," said SF Navigation Center Director Julie Leadbetter. "So the idea is you get people through the door and housing is actually the cheapest of all the options."
For Corry, moving into her own place would be the graduation.
"I've learned that there is more than sitting out on the streets, just trying to find your way every day," said Corry.
No matter who you are or where you are going, moving is always a chore. This day was a joy.
Wayne: "When was the last time you had a place to call your own?"
Corry: "This is the first."
It's one small room in an old residential hotel. A relative palace.
PHOTOS: Plight of the homeless in San Francisco
When asked if she's going to stay, Corry said, "I plan on it."