Main fundraiser photo

Hotel Re-Imagined as QT BIPOC Housing

Donation protected
The Red Victorian building is a cultural institution in the San Francisco Haight District. For decades it has and continues to evolve, taking on new forms based on the needs of the local communities. In some of its former incarnations, The Red Vic building has been host to a commune, radical art space, and recovery space. It has hosted entirely free events for under served communities such as Story Telling for Seniors, queer support circles, as well as support groups for the unhoused and formerly incarcerated. 

Most recently operating as a unique co-living hotel for international and domestic travelers, The Red Vic had to close its doors in March 2020 in response to COVID-19. Following the closure, The Red Victorian LLC lost its sole source of income and depleted its savings to cover rent, utilities, and general building maintenance. 

The building is an incredible and underutilized housing resource in a city that has become increasingly gentrified, and entirely unaffordable for the most marginalized and under-served. Originally working in collaboration with Red Victorian LLC in a live-work arrangement to find a way to weather the economic devastation of COVID, the trans and GNC housing justice collective, Fishbowl SF, now faces possible displacement as our former collaborators contest our tenancy in the building.

 After reportedly negotiating a deal with the property owner ( Peaceful World Foundation) which would absolve the organization of owed rent and other property related debt accrued during shelter in place, Red Victorian LLC quickly attempted to compel  Fishbowl to vacate. In the Fall of 2020, Red Victorian LLC  filed a forcible detainer lawsuit against us, claiming that we forced our way into the rooms of the building and refused to leave.

In accordance with our social justice-oriented and anti-racist values, Fishbowl believes that the most ethical and politically relevant use of the space is to transform it into affordable and subsidized housing for queer, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals, centering the needs of Black and Indigenous trans women. We are working tirelessly to actualize this vision, and have generated a wonderful community around our weekly performances through the storefront windows of the building.

The legendary Victorian building is composed of three floors. The first boasts a massive main space filled with art and interactive installations that are constantly growing and changing. There is a commercial kitchen, a woodshop, and ample space for new projects and work to take root. The top two floors are full of furnished former hotel rooms. 

We ( Fishbowl Collective)  are a multi-racial, queer and trans identified handful of residents in the Red Victorian building seeking to make our vision a reality, and in doing so rise to meet the revolutionary moment we are all living in. In our most ideal vision, the rooms at the building will be as close to fully subsidized as possible. This would enable prospective residents to navigate the current economic and health crises with greater ease, and facilitate those who are most marginalized in shifting more of their time and energy spent on basic survival towards their goals and greater well-being.

This would be an ambitious endeavor even without the economic devastation of the pandemic coupled with a contentious tenancy dispute. That is why we are doing everything we possibly can to gather support and funding to do something just, for a society that is demanding substantial and lasting change. There is so much at stake. Not only is our collective at risk of losing our housing, we are also defending a precious resource that, if utilized effectively, could make a huge positive impact on the QTBIPOC community in the city. We are determined to deliver the one-of-a-kind, historic building with ample space that is the Red Victorian, into the rightful hands of our most marginalized community members. 

Our current fundraising efforts will go to stabilizing immediate financial needs, specifically utilities and legal fees incurred in defense of our tenant status, in order to ensure the current residents of the building with the necessity of a fully functioning, safe, and hygienic home. As we become more stable in navigating the dispute of our tenancy and our housing project becomes more realized, we will utilize your generous funds to support the development and implementation of our housing program and offer financial assistance for residential expenses. This will include filing to become an official 501c3, and making repairs and improvements to the building.

As we are in the early stages of this re-imagining of this incredible building, we are in an evolving process of more clearly determining the costs required for this transition as well as the organizational structure needed to ethically support such a community. We will continue to update this page with more specific information on what your donations will directly fund (i.e. room cost for one individual).

For regular updates and to stay connected to this project, please follow us on Instagram @thefishbowlsf

Fundraising team (2)

Adam Rice
San Francisco, CA
Michael Thurin
Team member

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee