San Francisco Chronicle documents heartbreaking story of homeless 7-year-old living in tent in Berkeley 

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As ABC7 News works to Build a Better Bay Area, part of that is working to combat issues of homelessness and housing.

You likely saw this photo over the past week. It is part of a stunning story in the San Francisco Chronicle about 7-year-old Theo -- a young boy in Berkeley who is homeless, living in a tent.

Photographer Gabrielle Lurie and reporter Sarah Ravani first met Theo last summer when Lurie saw him playing on his scooter in an East Bay RV park. The pair continued to follow him over the course of the year.

"Gabrielle and I, we've done stories on homelessness before, but we had never seen a child living in a tent, and so that's really what struck us," Ravani told ABC7 News.

RELATED: City report shows 285-percent rise in homeless tents, structures in San Francisco's Tenderloin

She said Berkeley's homeless data shows there are no children who are unsheltered. "But Theo does exist," she said, "So, it really kind of lends this unique look to his vulnerability. He's invisible even though people know he exists."

Theo and his mom have been homeless since he was born, living between RVs, hotels and a tent. Despite their many struggles, Lurie said that she hoped to document Theo as a kid and not just as someone who is homeless.

"I went between him and his tent, and his reality being homeless and what it's like as a child to be homeless, but also him playing," Lurie explained. "So, him flying a kite with his mom, or on his back when he's tired, or playing in his hammock.

RELATED: Sheltering while homeless: Streets in one SF neighborhood lined with tents amid pandemic

"For him, he kind of creates these worlds for himself."

Since their story ran, people have stepped up to help Theo and his mom. A GoFundMe for them has raised more than $30,000.

To see our full interview with Lurie and Ravani watch the video above. You can read their story here.
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