Why This San Francisco Woman Is Taking to the Streets in a Superhero Costume
"As soon as you put on a mask or a cape, people approach you, so we do it to draw attention to the cause," Roxanne Cai says
Episode 8 of AMERICAN DOERS, a new 12-part video series featuring original thinkers, innovators, craftspeople, risk-takers and artisans across the United States.
Roxanne Cai is a real-life superhero.
The San Francisco native is a founding member of “The Initiative,” a group of volunteers who dress up in superhero costumes to give food and clothes to the homeless and keep the streets clean of used drug needles.
“As soon as you put on a mask or a cape, people approach you, so we do it to draw attention to the cause,” she says. “We don’t have any real superpowers except the power to give a damn long enough to do something.”
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Cai hopes to encourage others through the group’s acts of kindness.
“If we had a super foe, it would be apathy, because you can’t force people to care — and there’s so much apathy out there,” she adds.
Since the group began, they’ve removed 7,000 used needles from a homeless encampment located in the Mission District of San Francisco.
“The world the I’m trying to fix here is the one my kids are growing up in — that’s my motivation,” she says.