When a building on San Jose Avenue near 24th Street burned on April 22, all tenants got out safely, but have been unable to return and are struggling to start anew. Two residents in the affected building, who themselves were able to find shelter and support, are fundraising for their more negatively affected neighbors.
As with other fires in the neighborhood, the effects of a fire linger long after tenants are evacuated. According to tenant Marion Anthonisen, tenants have been allowed to re-enter the building to retrieve some belongings, but access times have been strictly limited and sometimes in the middle of the day when tenants are at work. Mold from water damage has already set in. Many have lost work hours, deepening the financial loss of the fire. Two tenants happened to already be in the process of moving to a new apartment, and thus have lodging, but others, including a family of four in a lower floor unit, are looking for housing in a market that would have them pay three times their prior rent.
Tenants have stated their right to return (San Francisco gives tenants whose buildings are destroyed by disasters the right to re-occupy their units upon reconstruction at their previous rent) though it’s unclear what repairs are necessary and how long they will take.
So neighbors have started fundraising campaigns for one another – and while many have met their goals, the hardest hit, one downstairs family and a pair in an upstairs unit.
Friends of Julissa & David are hoping to raise $10,000 to help them start over, though they have only been pledged $2,600 so far.
Friends of Monq & Kim are hoping to raise $15,000 for relocation assistance, and have passed the $10,000 mark.