As frustrating as one might find Chronicle columnist CW Nevius, it’s very difficult not to appreciate his tireless support of Larry Moore, a formerly-homeless man who’s faced adversity time and time again — adversity Nevius has consistently documented since March, 2009. Today Moore’s undergoing a serious, dangerous surgical procedure, and Nevius has once again become a de facto fundraiser for his cause.
Moore first appeared in Nevius’ column while still homeless, but shining shoes at Market and Montgomery. “I told Larry Moore that he was the best dressed shoeshine guy I’d ever seen” said Nevius on March 17, 2009, “(h)e looks pretty sharp for someone who lives under a bridge.”
Three months later, Nevius threw the not-inconsiderable weight of his column behind Moore as he faced demands from DPW to continue serving his shoeshine clients right at the moment, Nevius says, Moore had “saved enough money to rent a room and get off the street for the first time in six years.”
After that column, Nevius reported the next day, Moore had generously-paying back-to-back clients, the “mayor’s office was deluged with e-mails” and DPW “fielded complaints all day.”
At the end of the day, Moore had made enough money to open a bank account and, a few days later, he told Nevius he’d made over $2500, enough to move into $600/month hotel lodgings and to purchase that permit. A few days after that, Nevius reported, Moore was offered an apartment at a discounted rate.
Moore faced more issues, Nevius reported in August, when he discovered he had an outstanding trespassing warrant ($400). While it’s not clear how that issue resolved itself, Nevius reported in September that Moore was still out working, and had been off the streets for four months.
In a followup nearly a year after Moore made his first appearance in Nevius’ column, Moore had struggled to work during the rainy winter, had fallen three months behind in the rent for his apartment at CitiSuites temporary housing, and was facing a business tax bill from the city for $368.10. “(T)he sad reality is that it would be easier for him to apply for Supplemental Security Income and qualify for supportive housing” said Nevius, but Moore “doesn’t want to do that. He wants to make it on his own.”
Just a few days after that column, says Nevius, Moore “experienced another outpouring of support,” accepting “checks that (Chronicle) readers send in.”
This June, Moore started to have some health problems, telling Nevius in June that “doctors found a dangerous infection in his back that may require spinal surgery.”
That “may” apparently became a definite this week — according to Nevius, after months of trying to work through the pain, today Moore is undergoing back surgery, to manage that infection. During the surgery, a plate a doctor bolted to his vertebrae 10 years ago after a car accident will “be removed with the hope the bones have fused. If not, the recovery could take years.”
Chronicle readers, however, have come through for Moore yet again: as of yesterday afternoon, “nearly 80 (emails to Nevius) have contained specific offers of financial help, ranging from a family trust that offers to pay six months of rent (anonymously) to 20 or more who offered a month’s rent.”
Local attorney and longtime Moore client Loren Lopin, who helped Moore set up his first bank account and has been advocating for him since, is accepting checks for Moore and depositing them into Moore’s account. If you want to help Moore out, you, too, can send donations to Loren Lopin, 625 Market St. Suite 1600, San Francisco, CA 94105.