On Thursday there was a story going around about a homeless shoe shiner who was told by a city worker in San Francisco that he would have to fork over $491 for a sidewalk vendors permit if he wanted to keep shining shoes. It didn’t matter that Larry Moore had only been able to that amount in an effort to get himself off the streets and pay a first month’s rent somewhere. The city’s bureaucracy instead put him right back at square one.
Then the news hit the San Fran airwaves and the people of the city got mad – really mad.
The mayor’s office was hit by a deluge of e-mails. the Department of Public Works, the employer of the person who Larry that he would have to get a permit, spent the whole day fielding phone calls about the matter. This lead Public Works Director Ed Reiskin to head out to the streets and get a shoe shine from Larry whereupon Reisken was treated to some heart felt words from Mr. Moore.
“I want to get a permit, I want to pay taxes in this city and I want to be on this corner,” Moore said. “I’m the kind of guy this city wants to encourage. That’s why you need to give a guy a little latitude.”
Source: SF Gate
As Moore said to SF Gate reporter C.W. Nevius
“I want to be on this corner,” he said. “But you know what? You need me on this corner. You got people in this city getting a free room and free medical but they aren’t doing nothing with their lives. I want people to see me and say, ‘There’s a guy working hard.’ ”
Well it appears that the people of San Francisco appreciate that sediment as they kept Larry busy the whole day – to the point he went through two bottles of shoe shine. At the end of the day though, and with some help from attorney Loren Lopin; a long time supporter of Moore’s, Larry had a new bank account, his first ATM card in two years along with $1,000 to put in it from both people just wanting to help out and from shining shoes.
That night instead of heading back to his old spot under the Bay Bridge ramp Larry treated himself to getting a room – for the whole week.
None of this happened because of things like Twitter or Facebook or any other social media buzzword. This happened because people in our real communities hear about happened and decided that that enough was enough. It happened because people showed they cared – that my friends is the real Social.