On November 30, 2017, a 2-alarm fire at 545 O’Farrell Street damaged 21 homes in the Tenderloin, effectively making over 70 people temporarily homeless. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, but the residents are still waiting to hear about the condition of their rental units - some of these families will not be able to move back in and others who can, have lost much to the damage of the fire.
The majority of the impacted residents are working Latino families with small and school age children who live paycheck to paycheck. Some of the kids are experiencing significant trauma from the fire, including having nightmares and insomnia, fearful that if they sleep, something bad will happen again.
Just one of the many stories:
Ricardo Reyes, Olga Cruz, and their two daughters lost everything, from family photos to clothing and other necessities. There is nothing left in their apartment. The Reyes-Cruz family also lost their savings in the fire, so they cannot pay rent for this month, let alone put down a new security deposit + rent for a new place.
Our office first met Olga over 14 years ago, when she was one of the first members of the Colectiva de Mujeres, now a well-known organization fighting for the rights of domestic workers. After years of advocating for others, Olga needs us to show up for her. She has not been able to go back to work yet.
They lost their entire house and all their belongings, so they will eventually need help with replacing the things that make a physical space into a home: furniture, kitchen appliances, bed linens and towels, a tv, and more. In the immediate future, Olga and Ricardo have very little clothing for themselves or their kids and could use donations of:
Daughter: 16 years: Medium shirt, Medium/14 pants, size 9
Daughter: 3 years: size 3 Toddler, shoe: 8
Ricardo: Large, 36/30 pants, Shoe 10
Olga: Medium, Pants 27, Shoe: 6.5
Donations can be dropped off at La Voz Latina located at 456 Ellis Street. Hours: Monday-Thursday 10-12pm, 2-4pm. Please donate new or gently used items.
This is just one family -- help us raise funds so that all the women, men, and children impacted start to rebuild their homes and lives. Please dig deep and be as generous as you can during this holiday season! Thank you for your compassion and your kindness.