Articles Jeanie Has Written About Homelessness

Crystal: A Memoir
by Jeanie Kortum

Narrative Magazine, Winter 2009

The little girl who would eventually become my daughter was only four years old when I met her, living on one of the meanest streets in San Francisco. Her name should have given me a clue. Crystal. Refracted light. She had a voice that scratched the sky, powder white legs, loved the color pink, and walked the streets as if she owned them, greeting every single drug dealer by name. Her older sister, Charmaine, age five, was more tentative, large doe eyes, given to sudden storms of tears. They lived on the street corner opposite the Kok Pit Bar, mom a prostitute and heroin addict... [MORE]

At Home With the Horizon
by Jeanie Kortum

Cover Story, SF Chronicle Sunday Magazine, December 11, 2005

Diana is clinging to my neck, squeezing so hard I can barely breathe. “I don’t wanna go,” she cries, inches from my ear. “Don’t let them take me.” The three cops clench and unclench their hands at their sides. They look embarrassed. Diana’s father yells at his kids: “Run!” he tells them. “If they get you I’ll never see you again.” It’s the first time I’ve understood the expression “foaming at the mouth...” [MORE]