Sachin Radhakrishnan is a homelessness advocate and founder of the nonprofit, In Their Shoes. He was born in Bahrain, an island in the Middle East, and grew up in Toronto surrounded by a vibrant and diverse community. Sachin’s family later immigrated to San Jose to find opportunity.
When he was young, Sachin saw his father share their meal with a homeless man when his own family was struggling to find stability as immigrants. “He showed me in a very simple way that that’s what you’re supposed to do. You don’t know what they are thinking inside. Just do what you know is best. I think that’s where people can start.” This experienced sowed the seeds for Sachin’s future advocacy work.
He saw how easily one can become homeless when an important mentor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder following a traumatic event. “With mental health, it’s really really tough in Asian communities. People don’t get diagnosed, they don’t get proper treatment, and then they are adults it’s really difficult at that point. Someone who is schizophrenic, bipolar…I saw him burn lots of bridges, but I refused to let him burn the bridge with me. That’s all I could do. I’m here to be your friend and help him build up his confidence.”
His experiences led to the founding of In Their Shoes. From his work as a Field Director, he saw many ways he can change the homeless community for the better through advocacy. Since its formation, In Their Shoes has already done significant work from housing a homeless pregnant woman before she gave birth to serving on the Santa Clara County Homeless Task Force. As he describes, “My work builds confidence. Everyone has their own thoughts about themselves that weighs them down and In Their Shoes supports, provides a safe space, and empowers the homeless.”
Through his work, Sachin reminds us that our actions speak volumes. His many accomplishments are a shining example that an any person can change lives.