Looking for Answers: Homelessness in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A chance sighting of a homeless woman caused ABC7 News' Dan Noyes to reflect and then take action to help others like her.

He shares his experience below:

RELATED: Man overcomes alcohol addiction and homelessness, finds purpose in new pilot program

I thought it would be easy. I was naive.

The day after I wrote about a homeless woman ranting at a tree in a park near my office, I arrived at work and saw 70-year-old Dan Kunsaitis across the street. He kept nodding off, while trying to sit upright.

I imagined being able to find his family. Surely, they would want to help him get off the street. But, I saw firsthand that homelessness comes in many shades and presents a varying set of challenges.

RELATED: 'I see them as true people': Teen starts program to help San Francisco homeless

After speaking with Dan, I confirmed he worked as a firefighter in Worcester, Massachusetts, and that he retired on disability in 1986. He gets a monthly pension, but it's not enough to get a place to stay, at least in the Bay Area.

It didn't take me long to find his brother back East, but he didn't want to have anything to do with Dan. He told me Dan's mental illness and money disputes tore the family apart.

Dan tells me he doesn't do drugs, and that he avoids the shelters because he says there's peer pressure to take them.

I don't have the answers yet about how to solve the homeless crisis, but hearing from people like Dan is a start.
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.