root - Posted on 31 December 1969

"She Won't Let me Die Here..."

by Gio Barela, Michelle Bates and Tiny for PNN

The day fit the topic, downcast and dreary, with no remorse from covetous landlords. Hundreds of tenants were present at a rally at City Hall , as numerous supporters stood by shouting " We shall not be moved!" These tenants were given eviction notices in October, and because of the Ellis Act, these poor people have to be moved out of their homes on or before December 27, three days before a new change will take place, that entiltles renters a years notice when being evicted. The majority of the evicted were disabled, or elderly.

Did the property owners ever consider the families with children, the small hearts that will be broken while laying beside mommy's head as cold concrete gets harder and harder. Or the elders, too sick and weak to survive in the elements.

"She won't let me die here" Mrs. Jones whispered into my microphone.She is an 89 year old retired school custodian, who is legally blind and deaf and requires a walker for any mobility. She is being evicted for Christmas by her landlord, Mrs. Mitchell. And although Mrs. Jones explained that she had nowhere else to go and hoped to die in this house at 3448 18th street, Mrs. Mitchell, refused her requests.

I then spoke to Michael Page, a man disabled, perhaps for life, not because he spends his days bound to a wheel chair, but because his landlord is evicting him at Christmas. "Where would you move to?" I asked him. "I don't know, I have nowhere to go - there was some talk of a place on Treasure Island for people evicted because of the Ellis Act - but disabled people can't survive on Treasure Island," he responded.

Mr. Page moved to San Francisco 20 years ago from a small city in New York. He moved into the apartment on Shotwell 17 years ago, and when I asked "What do you love about your apartment ?" he replied, "The support of my neighbors."

He tried to negotiate with the landlord, offered to pay more rent, or even purchase his apartment in order to have roof over his head. The answer was still "No."

Instead of receiving the warm spirit of giving this Christmas, these folks are getting the cold heart of a scrooge.


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