ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester may not be Gotham City, but that didn’t stop the Batman from San Jose from doing his important work here: Helping and humanizing the homeless.
The hero by night — and RIT student by day — has started patrolling the city giving these people in need, supplies. We caught up with the Caped Crusader, to learn about the young man behind the cape and cowl.
Like most superheroes, the Batman from San Jose has an origin story, this one starting four years in California.
“The tail end of my junior year, I was coming home from school, and I just keep seeing more and more people out on the street. I really started to see how people don’t get treated like people, when you’re unhoused or homeless,” he said. “These people are people.”
Since starting his work, he has delivered countless supplies, ranging from food, socks and underwear, feminine products, even tents and fire extinguishers.
“If I can be a source for that stuff, for the stuff that will help people stop having to worry about where they’re going to get something, and be able to focus on working on their way out of the situation they’re in,” he said. “I want to be able to provide that.”
Come from donations form people and places alike. Locally he’s partnered with the House of Mercy, ROC Homeless Union, Rochester Food Relief, Rochester Mutual Aid, Rochester FNB, and 490Farmers.
He gears up, complete with narcan and first aid training under his belt, and looks for people in need. Despite the attention that comes with being Batman, he makes sure to respect the privacy of the unhoused he meets; treating them as people, and as humans, first.
Not as just as lazy people, not just as addicts, and not just the mentally ill, he says, but as humans. Which can make the job all the tougher.
“We have to start treating people as people, we have to, because people are running out of time. And, I’ve had to say goodbye to far too many people the past two years, and I’d really like to avoid that,” he said, crying.
But he says there’s hope on the horizon, a way out of the dark night. And all it takes, is for you to help.
“Batman is a favorite character of mine, and he’s a human being, you don’t need any special abilities or anything like that to help people. All you need is the will and the want to help,” he said.