The saga of Marty Christensen has come to an end -- a happy one, for a change. The homeless man whom SF Weekly helped reunite with his daughter Kelli earlier this year after 20 years on the streets has decided to move in with his family in Fresno County.
"I'm kind of shocked about that one," Kelli says. "It's a big difference compared to San Francisco."
Kelli had been estranged from her father, only hearing vague rumors that he was homeless in San Francisco. After a Google search, Kelli's mother stumbled upon our 2010 article "Terminal People," about the homeless people who lived in the condemned Transbay Terminal. There was Marty, one of its longest-running dwellers -- pictures and all.
Kelli scoured the streets and the places mentioned in
the article, but had no luck. So then she contacted us. After appealing to
readers for his whereabouts, SF Weekly went out with Kelli to attempt to find Marty. In less than two hours, we found him at the Muni stop in front of the Market Street 7-Eleven.
reuniting with her dad, Kelli offered to take him back to Kingsburg to
live with the family, but he refused, instead opting to remain on the
streets. Marty did take a
Greyhound to Fresno several times visit his family, but he would always insist on returning to San Francisco.
"I think he was scared after not necessarily
talking to his family for that long and then moving in with them," Kelli says.
Marty had a change of heart. During his latest visit this past spring,
he finally decided to move in with his older brother and sister-in-law.
says Marty has his own room, though he still begins his day at 4 a.m., as he did when he was homeless. The family took him shopping to get him new clothes, and they've added an extra setting at the table for dinner every night.
Instead of cruising the streets, Marty now spends most of his time relaxing in the family pool and reconnecting
with old friends. "He said it seemed like a ghost town versus
San Francisco, because there's not many people who walk the streets,"
Kelli says. "He said he's not used to not seeing crazy people."
still hasn't talked to his ex-wife, Kelli's mom, who remarried
after he left them. "I'm surprised they haven't seen each other because
they go shopping at the same grocery store," Kelli says. "My mom has said, 'Tell your
dad hi,' and my dad has said 'Tell your mom hi,' but they haven't
officially seen each other."
Kelli says Marty is planning a trip
to his other favorite city, Reno, to bet on college sports. He's
even gotten Kelli's aunt and uncle gambling now, too.
"[We're] still in the process of getting to know each other," Kelli says. "I was glad it was able to happen."