Community Ministries in Action for Senior Housing
No Senior Without a Home – St. Mary’s Rallies with Faith in Action We are fortunate that our parish lives during the week what is preached on Sunday. Dozens of our parishioners are organizing to ensure that San Francisco’s most vulnerable seniors (largely immigrants and people of color) do not lose their homes because they can’t pay rent. We have joined Faith in Action Bay Area (FIABA), 70 other congregations, and our neighbors throughout San Francisco to demand that the City budget at least $5 million in 2021 (and $20 million within five years) to directly subsidize the 5,000 seniors who pay more than 70% of their income for rent and are at greatest risk of losing their homes.
On August 11th, more than 600 people joined Bishop Marc to virtually present this demand directly to the City Budget Committee. Twenty-four St. Mary’s clergy, parishioners, and friends participated in that action. Fifty-four sent photographs of themselves with the sign, “No Seniors Without a Home.”
Now, the people of St. Mary’s are contacting the Supervisors directly to make sure that they put $5 million in the budget to directly subsidize senior housing. In addition, we are demanding that all un-housed seniors be immediately placed in available hotel rooms and that they be kept there until permanent housing (not shelters) can be provided. Federal and state funding has been available for months to get seniors off the streets.
You, too, can help keep seniors in their homes. At the very least, contact your Supervisor and the one who represents St. Mary the Virgin (Dist. 2, Ronen). Time is short. The Budget Committee must make its recommendation by August 31st, and the full Board must approve a budget by September 30th. When you email your Supervisor, be sure to copy their staff members. Supervisors and staff can be located here: sfbos.org.
Yes, this is political, but it is not partisan. It is about advocating for people with little power before people who have much. It is political in the way that Moses demanded of Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” It is political in the way that Jesus of Nazareth overturned the tables in the Temple. It is political in terms of the Sermon on the Mount. The theologian Richard Rohr is clear: Faith without action is false. We don’t believe our faith; we live it. That is the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin.