Owner of San Francisco sandwich shop Deli Board, Adam Mesnick has been making use of his 17,000 followers on Twitter. As he makes his way to his deli every day he comes across the addicts. The strung-out junkies, and the people overdosing. He got tired of seeing it and wanted others to recognize the problem for what it was.
Speaking with The San Francisco Chronicle, Mesnick explained that the massive spike in fentanyl overdoses in his area sparked his desire to help.
Offering first-responder help, he calls 911 when necessary, and often documents their photo. According to activists, he is stripping away humanity from the people he pictures, and they want his deli to be boycotted.
As he tells it, the “compassionate” people just walk right by and over the dead and dying junkies, whereas he gives them attention and help. “That’s really the problem here. People continue not to look. And I look.”
Along with looking and offering his followers a perspective comes the caption and comments. Captions like “When they say compassion I say nope” and “It’s not poverty if they all have money for drugs” accompany these photos and videos.
While the message is direct, he’s not lying about the situation or the realities of addiction. As both a Jewish man and a Democrat, he draws in the hate from his own people. They claim he stokes the flames of white supremacy and encourages the conservatives’ lack of patience with the issue by drawing attention to the plague that’s overrunning San Francisco.
One of these irate voices is Jennifer Friedenbach. She serves as the executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, and she told the Chronicle, “He may have good intentions, but it just ends up creating a lot of toxicity… It’s very difficult to recover while you remain homeless.”
This statement shows how little she knows about Mesnick despite her organization’s attacking his efforts via Twitter.
Mesnick had previously lost his home and job due to alcohol abuse. His addiction to booze and, later Xanax consumed his life for some time. Opening the Deli Board in 2009, he has since founded a nonprofit last year that removed a million pounds of trash and became entrenched in his community via improvement initiatives.
While he tells the outlet that their hate fuels him, Mesnick should face none of the heat. This is someone who has consistently done his best to help the people going through a tough battle that he knows.
One that he is all too familiar with, and one that takes a hard dose of reality, and not kid gloves. Yet those kid gloves are exactly what the leadership of San Francisco has been using extensively.
By taking this seriously and trying to put a face to addiction and the problems it has caused the city of San Francisco, Mesnick is doing something the rest of the city has refused to put a face to it.
It’s easier to ignore addiction and homeless when they are temporary problems you pass through. If you see them frequently, they become just another meh-spot on your journey, like a big faded red barn, an overgrown tree, or a broken billboard. That kind of acceptance is exactly what the city has presented for them.
Mesnick’s risk to his livelihood and nearly 15 years in operation of Deli Board is incredibly noble and righteous of him.
Unlike many others, he is actively trying to improve their lives and get them clean. Not just a virtue signal to get followers and clicks, that ultimately can result in sponsors, in support of his “efforts” is what seems to be upsetting the activists of San Francisco most.
These people need to get in touch with reality. Making the laws laxer won’t fix anything and it won’t get the people the results they need. If anything, it will only encourage this behavior more. Kudos to Mesnick for taking the high road.