Love Me Tenderloin
San Francisco is one of the richest cities in the United States. The ‘City by the Bay’ is a favorite among many tourists and locals. The Tenderloin is an area located in downtown San Francisco where life can be tough: massive drug use, homelessness and male and female prostitution. Still, it’s a vibrant neighborhood with a strong sense of community. Several thousand homeless people pass through the Tenderloin daily; 26% live below the poverty line.
Joseph Plomondon, usually called Indian Joe, is a full-blooded Native American who admits that San Francisco stole his heart. Joe was homeless for thirty years and he remembers people looking at him as they would look at a piece of garbage. Joe has had his difficulties throughout his years in the Tenderloin; once he was robbed and stabbed eight times and another time he took a bullet in his back because of a drive-by shooting.
Deforest Wood is best known in the Tenderloin as Woody. He is currently living on the streets, which he prefers over the shelters because he enjoys looking about him and seeing a story develop without having to pay for it. Woody shares his experience openly as he stops to greet friends and acquaintances. He serves the community by giving out 4,500 clean needles per week to the people in the neighborhood because he has lost too many friends to AIDS and hepatitis.
Bridchette Johnson ended up spending some time in jail because of her addiction. She’s now on her way to recovery, though. Her favorite street is Turk & Taylor because she feels free to be herself there without being judged.
Arnold Reid also lives in Tenderloin. He was born and raised in North Carolina and ended up in San Francisco. As he pushes his bike down the street, he shares some words of advice with another man who seems to be unable to control his drug habit. Arnold says that every morning he prays for strength to do something nice for somebody because when he was active in his addiction he never cared for anybody else but himself. And so he goes to the newspaper stands to get some of the free newspapers for the elderly to read while they wait for their meal at the food bank.
This film follows the struggle of four remarkable people who call the Tenderloin home. Watch their stories.