I just recently finished working for Project Open Hand. During five years of delivering food to the critically ill, my destinations would primarily be the single residential occupancy (SRO) hotels in the Tenderloin. During my five years at Project Open Hand, I experienced a lot of death. Sometimes I mistook homemade coffins for bookcases which residents would make for their friends and leave in the hallways and sometimes I stepped over dead bodies while getting off elevators. I even missed a homicidal maniac once because he took a different elevator than me.
In these SRO hotels I became interested in the signs residents would make for their doors to scare off people or warn other people to stay the hell away. These signs were sometimes poignantly sad, ignominious, very petrified and anonymous and somehow always created according to rules that defy comprehension.