SAN DIEGO — It’s a hot, humid July afternoon and a small group of workers are sitting in the back of a San Francisco sanitation truck, making sure it doesn’t get towed.
This week’s event, a celebration of the Bay Area’s first homeless shelter, was a great success, said the truck driver, Matt Schatz.
The sanitation truck is being used for the first time this summer as part of a program called ‘Safe Streets,’ a pilot project in San Francisco that aims to get people off the streets and back in their own homes by the end of the year.
“We’re working on a couple of fronts,” said Schatz, who has been driving for a local trucking company for four years.
When the truck arrived, there was a large, empty parking lot, so he and his partner set out to pick up trash, then returned to the truck, picking up trash from another dumpster.
Schatz and his team have had a long history with sanitation trucking, having driven a sanitation truck for about three decades.
He’s driven a truck for 20 years now.
At one point, he was the head of a sanitation company in Southern California, so when the San Francisco Bay Area adopted an ordinance in March to create the first homeless housing for people living on the streets, he figured he’d take advantage of the opportunity.
He and his crew have worked in the San Diego area for several years, driving trucks to the homeless shelters and picking up the trash.
He has also worked as a driver for a company called EJ Motors, and in his current role, he helps set up trash pickup.
Schatz has a lot of experience with trucks and their drivers, having worked in several trucking companies, including a stint in the Army.
His truck was towed from the San Joaquin Valley dumpster that day in March, and it was parked for the rest of the day.
After it was towed, Schatz’s team was working to find another dump site and pick up more trash, but he had no luck.
So he and two of his colleagues set out for a nearby dumpster and picked up the truck for the next day, and then he drove the truck around the city for a few more days, before he had enough.
By this time, he had spent about $50,000 on the truck and his truckers training and equipment.
Then, one day, a tow truck pulled up in front of his truck.
The driver asked if Schatz had seen any homeless people, and Schatz said no, but asked if he had any food.
The driver pulled up a dump truck, and the sanitation worker said he had to leave.
The sanitation worker didn’t ask for food, and instead asked for the driver to give him a bag of food.
They drove the trash to the dumpster, and as they were doing that, the driver’s truck got stuck, and a trash truck had to get in and help out.
As the garbage truck drove away, Schats team found out the garbage had been picked up from a nearby recycling center, and when they went to get it, it was covered in garbage.
The San Francisco Department of Public Works and the city’s Department of Sanitation responded to the situation, and cleaned up the dump.
They said they’ll start cleaning the dump again, and he expects to start cleaning trash in the area again.
The homeless shelter has a number of volunteers who have been helping clean up trash and helping with trash pickup, and they’re also working on getting the sanitation truck back to the city, said Schats manager, Scott Seltzer.
The trucks are the first that were used this summer to clean the homeless shelter.
Schatz and Seltz said it’s important to get the truck back in service and have the sanitation workers back in the city.
They want to do this as quickly as possible, so they are doing the best they can, said Seltster.
They hope to have it up and running in the next couple of weeks.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the San Jose Homeless Coalition at 408-277-3247.