This book is an ethnographic account of San Francisco's most inner city neighborhood, the Tenderloin. Using its streets as campus and its people as teachers, Stannard-Friel uses storytelling as a way of explaining why inner city social problems, such as homelessness, drugs, prostitution, untreated mental illness, and death of young people by murders and suicides, exist and persist there. The work delves into who lives in the Tenderloin and why, the role of dedicated service providers in meeting people's needs and encouraging social change, and what lessons university students, many coming from their own challenging backgrounds, learn through community engagement and service learning that encourage understanding, compassion, and meaningful contributions to society. The work also explores how life in the area is changing, and why so many youth report that they "love living in the Tenderloin."
Don Stannard-Friel is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Notre Dame de Namur University, USA. He has also taught at San Francisco State, University of San Francisco, University of California, Santa Cruz, county jail, and a Federal prison for women. He has served as a Campus Compact - Carnegie Foundation Fellow for Political Engagement; California Site Director, Notre Dame-AmeriCorps; and Director of NDNU's Dorothy Stang Center for Social Justice and Community Engagement.