Olin Thomas is a retired army veteran. He says it wasn’t until after he joined the military that he realized he was gay. Despite his fears about coming out, he found support in unexpected places. Thomas sat down in the StoryCorps booth at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco with his friend, Hugo Salinas, to tell his story.
California has the largest concentration of homeless veterans in the nation, and in San Francisco, it’s likely that more than 700 homeless vets will sleep on the street or in shelters this Veterans Day.
According to Bevan Dufty, director of San Francisco’s Housing, Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE) program, housing homeless veterans is a high priority for the city. And the number of homeless veterans has decreased since last year, thanks in part to the opening of a permanent supportive housing facility called Veterans Commons.