According to studies, queer seniors are poorer than their straight counterparts. They’re half as likely to have health insurance, and two-thirds as likely to live alone. Not to mention facing discrimination in medical and social services, retirement homes, and nursing care facilities. So much for the “golden years.” Here in San Francisco, LGBT seniors face another grave threat: evictions. Many of our elderly live in rent-controlled apartments that are targeted by real-estate speculators and investors out to make big bucks turning them into tenancies-in-common.
With median rents close to $3,000 a month and vacancy rates low, the odds are pretty good that an evicted senior won’t find an affordable place in the city. For a senior with AIDS, an eviction is especially threatening since our city offers the best treatment and services. Studies show that people with AIDS who lose their apartments tend to die sooner, especially if they become homeless.
"This is the hippest, hottest senior center in the city," said a volunteer as she shredded chicken. Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center was in full cooking mode, preparing for Sat/2's Black Cuisine Festival. There were sweet potato pies baking in the oven, fresh-battered catfish sizzling in oil, and pans of corn bead cooling on tables, waiting to be crumbled into a chicken dressing. The smells were intoxicating.Read more »
The market for smart phones has reached the saturation point in the United States; it's hard to find anyone who doesn't have a mobile device. Hard, maybe — but not impossible. There are still thousands of people, many of them seniors, who rely on that old-fashioned, low-tech landline for their inexpensive connection to the world — and they're about to lose out.Read more »