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Pictures | Tue Mar 3, 2020 | 11:25pm EST

San Francisco's homeless vote on Super Tuesday

As Californians vote in the Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday, some among the state's homeless population are striving to make their voices heard and their votes count as well. In the Golden State, people experiencing homelessness can register to vote. Though many lack a permanent address, they only need to provide a cross street or the address of a location where they spend most of their time or can receive mail, such as a shelter.

Pictured: A woman walks past men passed out on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, California, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

As Californians vote in the Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday, some among the state's homeless population are striving to make their voices heard and their votes count as well. In the Golden State, people experiencing homelessness can...more

As Californians vote in the Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday, some among the state's homeless population are striving to make their voices heard and their votes count as well. In the Golden State, people experiencing homelessness can register to vote. Though many lack a permanent address, they only need to provide a cross street or the address of a location where they spend most of their time or can receive mail, such as a shelter. Pictured: A woman walks past men passed out on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, California, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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The challenges in getting this community to vote are vast, said Ben Lintschinger, advocacy program manager in the Center for Social Justice at the Glide Memorial Methodist Church, a popular church that offers a wide array of services for people experiencing homelessness in the Tenderloin neighborhood. "The biggest challenge to registering to vote and to voting is that you're spending so much of your time taking care of your most basic needs, so we try to make it easy and something that you can do with us right here when you're taking care of those other needs," he said.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The challenges in getting this community to vote are vast, said Ben Lintschinger, advocacy program manager in the Center for Social Justice at the Glide Memorial Methodist Church, a popular church that offers a wide array of services for people...more

The challenges in getting this community to vote are vast, said Ben Lintschinger, advocacy program manager in the Center for Social Justice at the Glide Memorial Methodist Church, a popular church that offers a wide array of services for people experiencing homelessness in the Tenderloin neighborhood. "The biggest challenge to registering to vote and to voting is that you're spending so much of your time taking care of your most basic needs, so we try to make it easy and something that you can do with us right here when you're taking care of those other needs," he said. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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A man rides a bike by the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. On any given day, dozens line up at Glide for meals tickets or even to get bed vouchers that they can use at area shelters. Ben Lintschinger said they use the opportunity to offer voter registration while the homeless individuals are already in line. Glide and a coalition of other local nonprofits registered about 1,000 individuals to vote in 2016, he said. The church will ramp up registration efforts throughout the year as the general election approaches in November.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A man rides a bike by the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. On any given day, dozens line up at Glide for meals tickets or even to get bed vouchers that they can use at area shelters. Ben Lintschinger said they...more

A man rides a bike by the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. On any given day, dozens line up at Glide for meals tickets or even to get bed vouchers that they can use at area shelters. Ben Lintschinger said they use the opportunity to offer voter registration while the homeless individuals are already in line. Glide and a coalition of other local nonprofits registered about 1,000 individuals to vote in 2016, he said. The church will ramp up registration efforts throughout the year as the general election approaches in November. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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For Dawna Valdez, 50, voting hasn't been on her mind during the past four years. She gained custody of her two grandchildren in 2015 after her daughter became unwell, Valdez explained, but with only supplemental security income and a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, she couldn't afford their rent in a San Francisco apartment. They became homeless and resorted to shelters in the city, including First Friendship, where every day at noon she had to call to reserve a mat for her family. "I was scared ... I didn't want to lose my grandkids. And it was a big trial for me. It was. But I finally did ask for help. And they said, we're not gonna take your grandkids. So it felt a lot better. But the longer we go through homeless, the more you get stressed out," said Valdez, who received help from the city in getting her registered for and eventually a unit in an affordable housing building in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

For Dawna Valdez, 50, voting hasn't been on her mind during the past four years. She gained custody of her two grandchildren in 2015 after her daughter became unwell, Valdez explained, but with only supplemental security income and a diagnosis of...more

For Dawna Valdez, 50, voting hasn't been on her mind during the past four years. She gained custody of her two grandchildren in 2015 after her daughter became unwell, Valdez explained, but with only supplemental security income and a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, she couldn't afford their rent in a San Francisco apartment. They became homeless and resorted to shelters in the city, including First Friendship, where every day at noon she had to call to reserve a mat for her family. "I was scared ... I didn't want to lose my grandkids. And it was a big trial for me. It was. But I finally did ask for help. And they said, we're not gonna take your grandkids. So it felt a lot better. But the longer we go through homeless, the more you get stressed out," said Valdez, who received help from the city in getting her registered for and eventually a unit in an affordable housing building in the Tenderloin neighborhood. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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Now after six months in her new home, Dawna Valdez said she finally feels settled. And with that, she feels more able to participate in elections. After not voting her entire life, she said she's ready to give it a shot, adding that she never thought her voice mattered much. Valdez said she wasn't sure who'd she vote for yet on Super Tuesday, but added that whoever it is, she hopes they'll beat President Donald Trump. 

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Now after six months in her new home, Dawna Valdez said she finally feels settled. And with that, she feels more able to participate in elections. After not voting her entire life, she said she's ready to give it a shot, adding that she never thought...more

Now after six months in her new home, Dawna Valdez said she finally feels settled. And with that, she feels more able to participate in elections. After not voting her entire life, she said she's ready to give it a shot, adding that she never thought her voice mattered much. Valdez said she wasn't sure who'd she vote for yet on Super Tuesday, but added that whoever it is, she hopes they'll beat President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, votes for her first time on Super Tuesday, as her grandchild Eli Avalos, 7, sits on her wheelchair at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, California, March 3. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, votes for her first time on Super Tuesday, as her grandchild Eli Avalos, 7, sits on her wheelchair at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San...more

Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, votes for her first time on Super Tuesday, as her grandchild Eli Avalos, 7, sits on her wheelchair at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, California, March 3. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, deposits her ballot after voting for the first time on Super Tuesday at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, California. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, deposits her ballot after voting for the first time on Super Tuesday at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, California....more

Dawna Valdez, who formerly was homeless living in and out of shelters with her two grandchildren, deposits her ballot after voting for the first time on Super Tuesday at a polling station in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, California. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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San Francisco is home to an estimated 8,000 people experiencing homelessness, according to the mayor's office. But how many will vote remains unknown.

Pictured: A man lays passed out on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February 28. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

San Francisco is home to an estimated 8,000 people experiencing homelessness, according to the mayor's office. But how many will vote remains unknown. Pictured: A man lays passed out on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February...more

San Francisco is home to an estimated 8,000 people experiencing homelessness, according to the mayor's office. But how many will vote remains unknown. Pictured: A man lays passed out on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February 28. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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A woman sits with her belongings on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February 28. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A woman sits with her belongings on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February 28. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A woman sits with her belongings on the sidewalk in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, February 28. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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People walk by a homeless person laying on the sidewalk in San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

People walk by a homeless person laying on the sidewalk in San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

People walk by a homeless person laying on the sidewalk in San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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A man walks by the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, where people were lined up for housing vouchers, in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A man walks by the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, where people were lined up for housing vouchers, in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A man walks by the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church, where people were lined up for housing vouchers, in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, February 27. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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