In San Francisco's poverty-stricken Tenderloin district, would-be artist Ricardo Papa is trying to make ends meet as a petty drug dealer. On the run from his boss and on the outs with his girlfriend, he takes up residence in the dilapidated Hotel Boyd. There he crosses paths with thirteen-year-old Lattie Fleming who charms Ricardo with her fearless and beguiling attitude. As they grow closer, Ricardo learns that Lattie's mother, Margo, is trapped in an abusive relationship that puts mother and child in jeopardy. When Ricardo desperately presses to make good on a deal gone bad, he encounters another of the Boyd's residents, Harrison Montgomery. Ricardo discovers that this aging recluse has a secret that could solve all of Ricardo's problems. With his boss closing in, and Margo and Lattie on the ropes, Ricardo is forced to choose between saving himself, and saving his only friends.