by Ken Johnson
Supervisor Shamann Walton, African American Chamber Chairman Fred Jordan and homeowner Albert Johnson Jr. met at the Roadhouse Café Feb. 21 on Third Street to discuss ways to help stop or reverse the out-migration of African Americans from San Francisco. We are constantly losing so many Black families that San Francisco’s Black community will be extinct if we don’t do something about it now.
“People have been talking about doing something for years, but nothing has been done,” stated Fred Jordan. “I agree,” stated Supervisor Walton. “I will take the lead,” he pledged.
Fred presented 15 initiatives that will create good paying jobs and contracts that can lead to sustainable careers, a real benefit. Albert is meeting with groups of seniors to get more of the elders involved. Those 15 initiatives will comprise the backbone strategy that will include the Senior Add-On Program, a really good fit.
“We are meeting city officials to have the Senior Add-On Program be part of the CityBuild and Mission Hiring Hall program for African American seniors,” states Ken Johnson. Many homeowners have lived in their homes for two decades or more and now are in financial danger of losing their home.
Plan for the Senior Add-On Program as one of the 15 initiatives to stop the outmigration:
1. Identify homes owned by African Americans most in need.
2. The Outmigration Committee will work with the CityBuild training programs to keep African Americans seniors in their homes. Adding on a rental unit to their existing home can bring in sufficient income to make the home sustainable for the senior. This program will start with senior families who have lived in San Francisco for decades and are having financial challenges.
3. To stop or ease the stress on the family, the Outmigration Committee will be asking Mayor London Breed for a letter of support to the mortgage companies stating the city of San Francisco is working on a project to help seniors stay in their homes and for the mortgage company to work with the city to secure seniors’ homes.
The committee plans on doing something now to save families’ homes, not just attend meetings. The Senior Add-On Program, as part of the 15 initiatives, will create many career jobs while keeping seniors comfortably in their homes and adding more homes to address San Francisco’s acute housing shortage at the same time it is training and transforming the unskilled into skilled taxpaying citizens.
Ken Johnson, a pillar of the community who generously shares his skills as a journalist, videographer and filmmaker, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.