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    My Family Is Struggling to Stay in the Mission

    By Rose Diaz

    The Mission has been my home for 17 years, but my family and I are now struggling to stay here. We currently occupy a two-unit property plus an in-law space, but I’m pulling my hair out trying to figure out where we’re going to live soon because the whole building has been Ellis Acted.

    The Mission is my community. My cousin Gloria lives downstairs, as does my brother. My daughter, granddaughter and sons also live here. We now all have to leave and are trying to figure out where to go. I don’t drive because I have cataracts and therefore I do not leave the city. I work over in Bernal Heights part-time and I also work taking care of my granddaughter.

    I have been trying to locate affordable housing, but I’m being told I’ll have to wait for 3 years or I missed the date. When I found out about (city facilitated housing), I was told, “Oh, you missed the date.” And even that process was a lottery. It’s been rough.

    Gloria has been in my building for 20 years and she has maintained the property. She’s painted. She’s a horticulturist, and she grew beautiful palms in the back yard. The landlord was always really nice about it. He didn’t have to do much maintenance, so he kept the rent low. He passed away 3 years ago, and his wife and her son wanted the building. Since then, my family and I have been fighting to stay here.

    The new landlords offered us $5000, but it costs more than that to move out. We also went to the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which worked to get us some more time in our home, but we’ve been going back and forth with the landlords about it.

    My family and I have stayed here, together in San Francisco, so we could help each other out. We’re here for each other. Now, with the high rents meaning we might not be able to afford a place together, we could have to all go different ways. It’s emotionally very hard, to the point that I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression that has required treatment. The situation is hard both financially and emotionally.

    We’re also no longer young. We’re not in our 30’s and and can say, “I’ll sleep on this couch for a while,” and can somehow get by. I do my shopping here. I go to the local pool. I don’t have much. I’ve never had much. At least in the Mission I can walk and get groceries and get on MUNI. I don’t own a computer. I can’t afford it. I run over to the library at SF General. I don’t even have a cell phone.

    If my family and I cannot remain in our home, I just want to have a place to go.