Sangri a sus Manos (Blood on his hands)

root - Posted on 31 December 1969

Landlord pursues eviction against Five Latino elders in the Mission district.

by Maria Gonsalves

PNN contributor Senora Gonsalves is a member of POOR's writer facilitation project which attempts to give voice to very low and no income elders and youth locally and globally.

I lived around the corner and i never knew them, but that's the la vida loca in La Ciudad- de San Francisco'. We walked over the same concrete and crossed at the same red lights - we bought frutes y verduras at the same mercado- and yet it took a crisis to learn of my campaneras in danger of not being my neighbors any more.

The pending eviction of Senora Domitela Perez, an 89 year old Mission resident at 3065 23rd street for 45 years,Josefina & Francisco Gomez, 78 and 82, who have lived there for 48 years and 65 year old Angela Cativo and her disabled daughter, scared me first.. and then I got angry.

The landlord at 3065 23rd Street isn't happy with the profit he already makes. Rent control won't let him gouge his tenants so he's been trying to evict them for the past year. These elders have received a steady barrage of eviction threats. Now the landlord is trying to bluff them out with an Ellis Act eviction. He doesn't really plan on removing the apartments from the rental market and he's trying to force tenants to sign papers which will allow the re-rental of their apartments once they leave.

To go by this very modest grafitti covered set of flats you would never even think that a greedy landlord lurked in the littered shadows scheming new ways to bleed a higher profit from his tenants. You would also never begin to smell, taste or hear the laughter, comer, amigas, familia, comfort and crisis of these good people's lives.

In this same neighborhood, i have been served with eviction papers, fought it with the help of my friends and familia and i still survive, but i still have trouble explaining to people the kind of terror you have when you are at risk of being homeless, of being as old as i am (68) as hard working as we have all been and still at the end of my life face this experience.

Finally, you can say the word eviction, but to live in a place and then not live in a place. to worry about where you will be able to sleep , to worry about where you will be able to die, to be an elder and have to think about these kinds of cosas is a mortal sin and this landlord has blood on his hands.

For more information on this struggle- or to get involved, call: The Tenants Union at (415) 282-5525


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