For the past five years, my daily commute has taken me on the notorious stretch of Mission Street between 16th and 17th Streets. It’s not a particularly pleasant part of my walk, regardless of weather or time of day. I’ve seen a smiling man holding a ziplock bag of crack in the air as a gaggle of men and women milled around it like hungry, baby birds. I’ve seen fights over nothing more than an unintentionally dropped joint. I’ve seen people shitting in public. I’ve had to step over said shit, and around puddles of urine that seem to reappear in the exact place day after day. I’ve seen a lot that’s depressing and eye-opening, but what I haven’t seen is change.