By Lia Azul Salaverry : 48hills – excerpt
A native sees the city go from the absurd to the insane
OCTOBER 5, 2015 — To say I am a Bay Area “native” would be an understatement.
I have lived in more than 25 rentals across the Bay Area –in Berkeley, Napa, El Cerrito, Albany, Palo Alto, Richmond, and Oakland.
After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, I planned a life in San Francisco, where most of my friends and family live. But after months of searching, I have been unable to find any suitable housing in the place I call home.
I hit rock bottom after seriously considering a 5-foot by 9-foot area under a stairway in someone’s “art studio” for $800/month. The proprietress, who had just kicked her boyfriend out and needed some extra cash, said cheerily, “You can hang a curtain!”
At that point I knew I’d transitioned from the absurd to the… insane.
There’s a group of Latino families in the Mission with 12 people in a one bedroom who cook on a grill and eat out on sidewalk due to their lack of space. And I have some friends living 5 up in a 1 bedroom in the Sunset. For all but the extremely wealthy in Bay Area, this madness is not the exception, but the rule… (more)
Editor’s note: My friend just moved to the south of France to get away from this mess, but, on his way out, he had to return for a couple of weeks to clean up his affairs, and found himself sleeping on a couch. He said he was reliving the worst part of his youth in San Francisco after he retired and couldn’t wake to get to his new home. San Francisco is no longer the kinder more gentle city it once was and, sadly, may never be again unless people come together to protect their own by supporting Props F, I, J and K.