Del Seymour knows all about the pimps, drug dealers and vagrants of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district – because he used to be one of them. “I was a real bad dude down here. I’ve pissed and shitted myself on these streets. I’ve felt the cold and felt the fear of being attacked. I’ve been stabbed and shot. I served time in jail.”
That was years ago. These days you still see Seymour, 67, on the streets but in a very different capacity. Now he wears a tie and a fedora and leads technology workers, among others, on tours around the Tenderloin, urging them to discover – and embrace – possibly the most infamous neighbourhood in the United States.
“It looks bad and it smells bad but this is a caring community,” he told the Guardian on a tour this week. “I want the techies to see that.”
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