Help me stay in my home

I am a 72-year old writer and community activist with deep roots in the culture of west Marin county in Northern California. It was my childhood summer home and my family history here goes back five generations. I moved here full-time in 1974 mostly because it was the place containing the happiest memories of my life. It's a  rural dairy ranching area, now graced with national, state and county parks, offering a vast backdrop of natural beauty and recreation.  I often say to people that I live here because almost everything I like do is free. I can swim in natural water, enjoy beautiful ocean beaches, hike in every conceivable landscape and live an uncomplicated life inspired by the seasons, the weather, the tides, the lunar cycles and the population of animals--including migrating whales--that share our neighborhood.

My activities in these 40+ years have revolved around the community that was birthed here in the 1970s, when so many of us post-Sixties folk landed here and influenced our culture. My part was journalism and I had my hand in many aspects of community journalism for 20 years. I also organized a variety events that celebrated our relationship with the environment and was a committed activist on the local and national political front. I have a deep history of political activism, including civil disobedience actions at the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, the underground nuclear test site in Nevada, the Vandenberg Air Force base missile launches, and Earth First's protest of old growth redwood harvesting in Humboldt County. Politics is in my blood, dating from my teenage years and the inspiration of the Civil Rights Movement.

Living in West Marin, I found that I was naturally drawn into local politics via journalism and this was my reputation for decades. Community politics has a personal flavor and puts us in touch with the deeper themes of "loving your neighbor." It includes loving your neighbor who disagrees with you. It is fortified by a larger sense of our shared humanity and the ways we have suffered as well as the opinions we voice. As an elder now in this community I feel I have a lot to give to the young people raising families here who struggle to integrate the complexities of the modern technologiclly-driven world with the quiet wonders of our natural environment. 

Meanwhile, we, too, live under the long shadow of the technology boom of the San Francisco Bay Area and its economic implications. To make a long story short, the lure of high rents, vacation homes, Air BnB and lots more people with lots of money has pulled the rug out from under many of us from my time. I've been a life-long renter and now I find myself priced out of my home community. My income is small and my family resources are limited, so when my current landlady decided to move me out so she can upgrade and re-rent, I found myself faced with a cost-of-living situation well beyond my means. 

Looking around, there is nothing available that meets my minimal needs for a home and a writing / research studio. I have a  540 square foot house that just works for my simple life with my dog Rosie, who is safe with a fenced yard on a quiet street. I do a beautiful job of maintaining it and share the yard for events and guest camping in the summer. After nearly 10 years of being promised the security that I could live here until the owner, her mother, passes, the daughter suddenly decided to cancel my lease and give me a 60-day notice. Seniors in Marin county do not have the rights they would in Berkeley or San Francisco, so all of us in this category live under the "re-rent" cloud . My recourse has been to offer to raise my own rent by $250 to $1500/month and offer four-months rent in advance.  I certainly need the time to regroup and consider what my options are in this time and a substantial money offer feels like my best tactic.

I am turning to Go Fund Me for $3000 of the $6000 I will need as close to April 1 as possible. I am raising what I can via personal loans but my limit in terms of paying people back on monthly installments is $3000. If this wonderful sharing formula can serve to give me a sense of physical security, I think the rest will follow! I am fully aware that I will still face having to move along at some point,  but a few months of security in this very sweet and nourishing space will give me the peace of mind to adapt to whatever move is required. 

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 63 mos
  • Tanya Tull 
    • $75 
    • 63 mos
  • Anja Schäfer 
    • $50 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 63 mos
See all

Organizer

Elizabeth Whitney 
Organizer
Point Reyes Station, CA
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