It was a cold morning on the first Saturday of January. We were near the pacific ocean. Close enough to take a stylish picture with the bay bridge as a backdrop, but not close enough to hear the typical flea market noise toward Pier 39. In front of a YMCA on Steuart street we met up with two extraordinary black men, Kieem Baker and Damien Posey. As we tagged along during their monthly routine, they introduced us to a nonprofit called The City Eats. This is a snapshot of their story.
Kieem Baker founded the organization in 2014 with partner Bianca Kunnuji. Growing up in LA places like Skid Row, a well know homeless encampment, inspired Baker to help those that were less fortunate. After relocating to the Bay Area, he quickly noticed the large homeless population in what he thought was a “rich city.”
According to The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, “The most recent Point-In-Time (PIT) count conducted in 2017 found that of the 7,499 people experiencing homelessnesss on any given night in San Francisco, approximately 4353 of those people, 58% of the total- were unsheltered.” Visit hsh.sfgov.org for more stats and information.
Understanding that there were a multitude of issues surrounding the homeless crisis such as mental health, addictions, natural disasters or the rising cost of rent, Baker decided to provide food and nourishment to those in need.
Baker joined forces with other likeminded individuals such as San Francisco native, Damien Posey, and the organization began handing out lunches in the Tenderloin, 6th street, and other homeless encampments throughout the city. With the help of a dedicated team, volunteers, and generous sponsors the organization has been able to feed people in Africa, Philippines, Los Angeles, and more.
Baker plans to open additional locations of the organization in hopes of unifying more communities through eradicating hunger amongst the homeless population.
Speak N2 The Mic encourages you to stay connected on Instagram @thecityeats or volunteer every first Saturday of the month. Donations are always welcome visit thecityeats.comfrom more information.
Written by - Speak Into The Mic