Community in Crisis

Former homeless addict now working with drug task force in San Francisco

San Francisco Homelessness

The KRON4 series ‘Community in Crisis’ is shedding light on the issue of homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more here

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A former homeless heroin addict is now working with the city of San Francisco to try and come up with solutions to the drug crisis.

The now clean and sober man has been appointed to the city’s street-level drug dealing task force.

On Tuesday, he attended the task force’s first meeting.

The clean-cut man who walked purposefully into San Francisco City Hall is the same man staring blankly out of a mugshot taken just over a year and a half ago.

“Yeah, I was a homeless, heroin addict here in the Tenderloin. I lived on the streets for six months,” Thomas Wolf said.

The married father of two says an injury for which he was prescribed oxycodone sent him down the rough road of addiction.

He lost his family and his job and turned to a life centered around the corner of Golden Gate and Hyde where hard drugs are easily bought and sold.  

“I could easily access drugs 24/7, everything from fentanyl to crystal meth to crack cocaine,” Wolf said.

In June of 2018, the Tenderloin Task Force tweeted out Wolf’s mug shot after he was arrested for drug possession and then rearrested five times for violating the court order from the block of Golden Gate where he would buy drugs.

Later Wolf retweeted that picture showing him at his lowest after he was out of rehab and eight months clean and sober.

Thanking the Salvation Army for helping guide his recovery and the officer who arrested him the most for getting him out of the tenderloin and helping save his life.

Wolf is now once again a regular in the Tenderloin but now as a caseworker with the Salvation Army helping homeless veterans get into transitional housing. 

He’s also working at making amends with his wife and children.

“Fentanyl is different from heroin guys. I know I’ve done it. It’s 10 times stronger. I’ve seen three people die in front of me after they’ve been narcaned. We need to get fentanyl off the street and if that requires law-enforcement so be it,” Wolf said.

In January, he began putting his life experiences to work as a member of San Francisco’s newly formed street-level drug dealing task force, which he hopes can help the city get a handle on the drug crisis that has the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods in its grips and destroying so many lives.

“If we can come up with some ideas and come up with a plan to try to slow down the flow of drugs coming into the city and being sold on our streets, then maybe we can work with other partnering agencies and what not, and make a difference,” Wolf said.

The task force also has representatives from the police department, the District Attorney’s office, harm reduction, and homeless advocates, as well as residents and business owners from the Tenderloin, South and Mid Market areas and Civic Center.

The nine-member task force is expected to submit reports every three months to the Board of Supervisors the first one is expected at the end of March.

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