Categories: Good San Franciscans

There are Diamonds in the Gutters – Hugh Sanders

Hugh Sanders came to San Francisco in 2013, homeless and addicted to drugs. It wasn’t long before he found the Tenderloin, the most drug infested part of San Francisco. He had a desire to get clean, so he took a class called 360 through a local organization called YWAM (Youth with a Mission). “When you are homeless, there is nothing to do, it is very boring, you just sit around, so I decided to start doing stuff,” explained Sanders. Hugh began working with several different outreach ministries and served by cooking pancakes and packing lunches; but most of what he does is sit and talk with people. “When you are homeless, you feel isolated, stuck in a rut,” Hugh continued, “You hear some amazing stories.” Even though Hugh is no longer living on the streets, he is compelled to continue to serve others in the because he too was homeless not long ago and was receiving help from others. Sanders shared how people have come from such brokenness and a listening ear is often times the best gift one can give. He often shares with others, his own story of struggle while living on the streets. Hugh has made many relationships with people living in the tenderloin and wants to continue to be there for them. Hugh describes the situation this way, “If you saw a diamond in the gutter, you wouldn’t say, ‘that’s so unfortunate’…there are a lot of diamonds out here. You want to find them, so that you can brush them off, because it is a gutter out here.” As Hugh recollects being one of those “diamonds” that someone took the time to brush off, he believes “everyone should see what happens in this type of ministry, and the work that is being done here.” For more information, Hugh Sanders can be contacted through YWAM San Francisco (