'I'm not harming her in any way': Homeless mom panhandles with ne…


San Franciscans know they’ll see all walks of life alongside Market Road, however a brand new fixture on the colourful thoroughfare has shocked even probably the most hardened metropolis dwellers: a 6-week-previous, homeless child woman.

All day lengthy, Megan Doudney, 34, sits on the sidewalk close to the 4 Seasons Lodge between Third and Fourth streets with little Nedahlia in her arms and an indication studying, “Something helps.” The sight is alarming, even on this metropolis the place absolutely anything goes.

Pedestrians strolling previous do double takes, exclaiming, “Oh my God!” or “She has a child!” However they’re not on some hidden-digital camera present. That is very a lot actual life.

A number of individuals have referred to as 911, together with when one other homeless individual’s menacing canine obtained within the child’s face. Police have responded quite a few occasions, and baby welfare staff from the Human Providers Company have investigated whether or not the child ought to be faraway from Doudney. At first blush, it appears apparent that’s the fitting reply, however thus far, the town is throwing up its arms. Apparently, the new child is wholesome and creating properly, and isn’t going anyplace.

“I’m not harming her in any method,” Doudney advised me as we chatted on the sidewalk the opposite day.

She held the sleeping child, who was wrapped in a fluffy blue blanket. She famous a medical checkup required by the kid welfare staff a few weeks in the past discovered the infant had low blood sugar however was in any other case effective. And what if the town did attempt to take away the infant?

“They’d have a battle on their arms — a critical, critical battle,” stated Doudney, who sports activities brief blue dreadlocks. “I really like her. I needed my whole life to be a mommy. Even once I was somewhat child in class, they’d say, ‘What do you need to be if you develop up?’ I all the time stated, ‘A mommy.’”

Now she is one. However ought to she be? At the least whereas she’s on the streets? Like all the things concerning the metropolis’s homeless drawback, there isn’t any straightforward reply.

Doudney and her child have a personal room at Hamilton Household Shelter, the place they sleep each night time and have entry to 3 meals a day and parenting courses. The room is hers for 3 to 6 months, and she or he’s working with a case supervisor to determine what comes subsequent. Doudney receives $900 a month in Social Safety advantages, and Hamilton units apart seventy five % of that to save lots of for her future.

Doudney stated she wants greater than the remaining $225 a month to afford diapers, components, garments and different requirements — and…



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