SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – It seems like a long way from the plush high-tech lifestyle of San Francisco to life on the streets, but it’s not. It’s right next door.
There are almost 10,000 tech workers in the Twitter tax break neighborhood known as Mid-Market, which is not far from city’s hardscrabble Tenderloin.
In the war between the rich and poor in San Francisco Del Seymour is calling for a cease-fire.
Seymour has been giving Tenderloin tours, based on two decades living on the street, for years. But business has really picked up ever since tech companies have been hiring him to give their workers an insider’s view of their new neighborhood.
“We’ve done a lot of volunteer events. But there’s still this difficulty to get people out of their comfort zone,” said Christina Fink of Yammer.
They’ll see some of the local flavor of the neighborhood. Good and bad.
“I try to bring the tech community into my community to show there’s nothing to fear,” Seymour told KPIX 5.
The workers walk by the panhandlers, pimps and drug dealers. But also are introduced to the people trying to help. It works.
“After Del’s tour, I stood on the corner and helped kids get home with the safe passage program,” said Steve Hopkins of Yammer.
“We need to understand them, they need to understand us. We’re just normal folks. They’re just normal folks,” Seymour said.
His tours are going a long way to making the relationship between the two normal, as well.