There are few people who know more about living in the Tenderloin — one of San Francisco’s poorest, most ethnically diverse and densely populated neighborhoods — than Del Seymour, better known as the mayor of the Tenderloin.
Seymour, who spent 18 years homeless on the streets of the Tenderloin, leads walking tours through the Tenderloin and recently started Code Tenderloin to help people in the community get jobs at tech companies.
“I see it as a need for the most unrepresented people in the city of San Francisco, who are struggling in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin,” Seymour told TechCrunch. “My applicants don’t just come from the Tenderloin. We happen to call it a Tenderloin program, but it’s for anyone that lives in a community that’s a Tenderloin-type community. Tenderloin isn’t just a geographical name — it’s a way of living.” Read More.
Stroll along Market Street in San Francisco's historic Tenderloin district and you find yourself wandering through a futuristic Internet enclave.
Customer support software developer Zendesk is next to dating site Zoosk, and a stone's throw from co-working space WeWork. A bit further up, Uber and Square are neighbors. Read More.
Code Tenderloin, Del Seymour’s job readiness program, which provides skills training, behavioral coaching and other supportive services to help adult Tenderloin residents navigate entry into jobs at local business—tech and otherwise—will enter its second session on January 4th. Read More.
Clutching the worn leather briefcase he's carried with him through the Tenderloin for 30 years, Deleano Seymourpointed out architecture at the corner of Turk and Taylor streets to a small group of local professionals. He also told them the corner is thought to be one of the country's most violent. His guests hung on every word. Read More.
Nobody knows the Tenderloin like Del Seymour knows the Tenderloin.
The 65-year-old Army veteran landed in San Francisco's center cut some three decades ago and has seen the area from all angles: as an addict living on the streets, as a taxi driver, as a husband (for only fifteen minutes--his self-described "Hollywood marriage"), as a volunteer at one of the many service organizations.
By Erin Feher
“The Tenderloin is one of the last true neighborhoods that has guts,” he continues. “It has soul. We want to be a part of that.” Read More.
The new theatrical-cafe venue PianoFight, on the Taylor Street site of the old Original Joe’s, was the setting for two showings Monday night of “Love Me Tenderloin,” a documentary about that neighborhood. The event was arranged and hosted by Tenderloin Walking Tours founder-guide Del Seymour, who lived in the TL for 30 years and nowadays serves on the boards of several Tenderloin organizations, including Swords to Ploughshares and the Gubbio Project. Read More.
Del Seymour knows all about the pimps, drug dealers and vagrants of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district – because he used to be one of them.
“I was a real bad dude down here. I’ve pissed and shitted myself on these streets. I’ve felt the cold and felt the fear of being attacked. I’ve been stabbed and shot. I served time in jail.” Read More.
If you don't see him walking the streets of the Tenderloin with tech workers and tourists in tow, hanging on his every word, there's a good chance you'll find Del Seymour at PianoFight quizzing a Tenderloin resident on the proper way to greet a hiring manager. Read More.