St. Francis Square Shows the Way

Article by Betty Traynor, Convenor

Since 2010, the Community Living Campaign has been active at St. Francis Square (SFQ), a 50 year plus residential cooperative founded by the ILWU with close to 300 units in the Western Addition, across from Japantown. Our CLC group founded by Marcia Peterzell and Linda Silver was a very welcome addition to the Square as there are many seniors living here, who moved in when they were “kids” in the ‘60s and ‘70s and are now aging in place. Many seniors welcomed the chance to join the CLC committee to learn about issues important to them, to exercise together, and to just have fun.

The CLC sponsors birthday parties through the year where everyone is invited to celebrate those with birthdays in the past four months, with party favors, music and gifts. We have Coffee and Conversation three Friday mornings a year with breakfast snacks and relevant speakers on hearing, the vial of life, health issues, and aging empowerment to name a few. One of our members, Jimmy Bynum, started up a weekly Walking Group on Wednesday mornings to get around our delightful neighborhood from the Fillmore to Japantown and in between. To specifically help those in need at SFQ, the CLC group formed “Neighbor to Neighbor” soliciting volunteers from all our residents who could be called on to give a hand: give a drive to the grocery store or medical appointment, move a couch, walk a dog. The volunteers are on-call and not far away. Our monthly meetings on second Tuesday mornings in our Social Hall are when we plan all that is coming up and look back on what we’ve done to improve for next time.

We decided recently that we needed to add some enjoyable “outside the Square” activities, so we’ve met for happy hour at a local club, Sheba Lounge on Fillmore, and one of our Square members who owns Picnic on Third restaurant in SOMA invited us to check it out for lunch a few months ago. We not only had a great meal but were treated as honored elders by the owner and her staff. So for now that is the Community Living Campaign at St. Francis Square Cooperative—ready, willing and able to be there for each other and to have fun along the way.   For more information, contact Betty Traynor at btraynor@att.net.

Dignity Fund Coalition Rallies Supporters

The Dignity Fund Coalition rallied its supporters on July 19th, the day that the Dignity Fund legislation was scheduled for its final vote at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  A broad cross-section of senior, disability, veterans, HIV survivors,  those with other chronic conditions and their supporters gathered to hear their Supervisors and Coalition leaders speak to the importance of this legislation to build a foundation to address the needs of a growing number of seniors and adults with disabilities.  The pictures tell the story.  See one you like?  Right click and download.

San Francisco Foundation Poll Provides Insights

An important  poll recently released by the San Francisco Foundation provides insights into the priorities and concerns of diverse communities as it relates to Racial and Economic Inclusion in the Bay Area.  Learn more at www.sff.org/racematters.

Good Neighbors Celebration Honors CLC Volunteers

On Saturday, CLC hosted our first even Good Neighbor Block Party to thank the many neighbors and community-members who are creating the connections seniors and people with disabilities need to age and thrive in their own neighborhoods.

The event thanked neighbors connected to CLC programs across San Francisco, and also honored seven neighborhood volunteers whose efforts who go way beyond what is expected and are role models for what it means to be a good neighbor. The honorees included:
Vernice Ross, Bayview Food Network

Mel Noguerra, Cayuga Community Connectors
Jim Stevens, Computer Training & Access – 
Donna Wilmott, Connections for Healthy Aging – 
Paul Hendrickson, Laguna Honda Computer Club – 
Ned Reese, OMI/Parkmerced Food Network – 
Jimmye Bynum, St. Francis Square – 

We are so grateful for all of their contributions to cultivating connections their communities Stay tuned for more stories about some of the amazing contributions these volunteers have made in their neighborhoods.

Strong Dignity Fund Legislation Introduced

Dignity Fund Campaign Logo smPlease join us in thanking Supervisors Malia Cohen and Eric Mar for their leadership in shepherding strong Dignity Fund legislation to introduction May 24 at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. They were joined at a press conference earlier in the day by Supervisor Campos and leaders of the Dignity Fund Coalition. Supervisors Yee and Avalos have also pledged their support as we move the legislation forward for a hearing at the Rules Committee later in June. The Dignity Fund will be a measure on the November 8th San Francisco ballot and will assure improved long term funding for senior and disability services and supports in San Francisco.

Funding levels for many services for seniors and adults with disabilities have not kept pace with population growth. Right now, people 60 and over represent 20% of San Francisco’s population. Taken together with the number of adults with disabilties, that number is 25% and expected to grow to 30% by 2030. Many seniors and adults with disabilities are living on fixed incomes as the cost of living here continues to rise.

How can you help? Log onto the website www.sfdignityfund.org to learn more and to sign-up for regular email updates (and even make a donation to help with the campaign!) Over the com
ing month, we will be seeking additional organizational endorsements and expanding our outreach efforts. We need your help there as well.IMG_6431

The Dignity Fund Coalition is a broad coalition of San Francisco not-for-profit and community organizations and advocates that has come together to address the growing need for services for seniors, adults with disabilities, veterans, and those living with chronic illnesses, to ensure that San Francisco becomes a more aging and disability friendly place. It promotes independence through services and support that allow people to live at home while remaining connected to their communities.

Watch out for our June CLC Newsletter arriving early next week with more details about the legislation and the campaign ahead.