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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Superhero Cape Is Getting Heavy

Guys, listen up. I'm so so incredibly appreciative that people keep picking up K's story and running with it: yesterday again we got shout-outs on SFist and Eye on Blogs AND now I'm BlogHer of the Week at BlogHer (which is huge and I'm really grateful... thanks, Jory!) but I gotta tell you, I'm a practical person and I just want to get shit done.

I'll be very honest and tell you what I need to help K and the kids and what I don't.

What I don't need (ie., stuff that raises my blood pressure):

  • Any more comments telling me how nice I am or how great it is about what I'm doing. I'm not doing this to get my angel wings. If you think what I'm doing is great, don't just talk about it-- DO something. Tell your friends, post this story somewhere. Donate some money. HELP.
  • Any more lists about places I can call, please. I have every fricking last one of them.
  • Any more smart ass comments about The System. Trust me, I know The System is fucked. Comments like that don't help.
What I need and this is the plain and honest truth:
  • I need a sublet, a single bedroom apartment or a hotel room with a kitchenette to rent for K and the kids from now until the end of August in San Francisco. That's it. It's that simple. With the donations I've received, if there is a good hearted landlord out there (and I'm guessing there has to be at least one) I need a place where this little family can stay until their permanent housing comes through in September. Budget is obviously a consideration.
Now honestly, with all of the attention out there about K's story, this part should be a walk in the park. I just can't do it all by myself. I don't know every person and possibility in San Francisco. Please don't email me Craigslist ads. I want solid leads or people who know people who can do something tangible.

So you guys that really want to help... help me find a place for them to live in the city. Somewhere in the city that's decent, with a little kitchen and a bedroom. The kids are in school until the middle of June and then they are in summer school with their little pals. So we're not taking them out of the city.

That's it. That's what we need. If I can, I'll pay for it in advance even. No Section 8, just a little sublet to rent till the end of the summer. This family is quiet and sweet. The kids are precious and fun to be around. The baby is adorable.

After that, then we can talk about more clothing, toys, etc. I mean, if you don't have a closet to put your clothes in or room on the floor to play on, having piles of toys and clothes piled in the tiny place you DO have just makes it harder to live normally. Having a kitchen where your mom can make you breakfast or where she can whip up her famous mac 'n cheese casserole is a hell of a lot better than eating KFC and Carl's Junior all the time because you don't have a kitchen.

So who's stepping up to the plate with me? If we get this housing part done, then hell, I don't know what I'll do for you yet but it could totally involve showering you with kisses and giving you my undying gratitude. And perhaps just knowing that you were a superfucking action hero and that I'll share my cape with you, because YOU helped save a family-- that might be the reward in itself.

Let's finish this story and make our own. In the happiest way possible.


Just Jules May 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

An idea for the readers out there - maybe there is a student or teacher who is going away for the summer who would sublet?

poet May 4, 2009 at 6:37 PM  

I'm new to this area, so I don't know anyone who owns a house or apt. to rent out. I also don't live in SF, but in Berkeley. But I do live in university-owned family housing, and I know that there are empty apartments around here. Normally one has to be a student at UC Berkeley to enroll here. But if living in Berkeley, not SF, would be possible for K and her kids (BART tickets could probably be organized? I'd be willing to sponsor them), I would go and do my best to nag the village office people until they let her stay here. So, sorry for another round of merely theoretical talk, but I just wanted to know whether what I suggest makes sense before creating a hassle that does nobody any good...

tangobaby May 4, 2009 at 6:41 PM  

Hey poet, it's a nice thought but all of their benefits they are now receiving (as of today) are through the city and county of San Francisco. Their doctors, schools, and tiny support network are here. I just can't imagine we can't find something here in the city. Half of it is up for rent!

But just tell your friends and keep checking in... maybe I can enlist you in some other way. Thanks!

Mental P Mama May 4, 2009 at 6:45 PM  

GAVIN NEWSOME are you watching???

the default attorney May 4, 2009 at 6:47 PM  

Sorry it took me a while. I just sent some moolah. It's not much, but it's about all I can spare at the moment. Lord, now you know my real name!

Anonymous May 4, 2009 at 9:57 PM  

congrats on the love you got from blogher, sfist, et al. If we hear any housing we will let you know.

SE'LAH... May 5, 2009 at 4:22 AM  

I'll definitely keep the story going. Prayers sent up that K. and family will be situated soon.

Just Jules May 5, 2009 at 5:35 AM  

Tango, could you give me a specific dollar amount for something this fine woman needs. If I had the specific amount and reason dearest will bend the business account for another donation. (let's catch him before someone else does)

auweia May 5, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

Hi Tango, I posted this on my blog along with a clue on why K is having such a hard time with the city



tangobaby May 5, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

You ROCK, jeff. That's exactly what I'm talking about... I just read your post.

THANK YOU! It's people like you who will help me get this done. And I'm totally with you on the Randy Shaw thing. Thanks for making an excellent point!

Cynthia Pittmann May 5, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

Tangobaby, what a tornado you can be...you whip us all around-don`t praise me...I`m not after my wings! Do something!

I`m a bit afraid to tell you that I gave you an award...not for you to do ANYTHING...I just wanted to send more people your way. Plus you do fit the description of the awardee to a T.

So...you have to accept that a lot of people appreciate you and the contribution you make.

I hope that the woman gets her apartment soon. It seems likely with all of the buzz. You are a force to contend with...! <3

Liz May 5, 2009 at 11:39 AM  

Doing what I can to spread the word on what practical help you need!

- badgermama

Elizabeth Brinton May 5, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

O.K. TB, I put a blub on my blog today.

I'm Grace May 5, 2009 at 3:59 PM  

I, too, put a blurb on my blog and I posted your video on my facebook page. Praying the help that you need arrives very soon.

Anna, The Lemon Lady May 5, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

I'm still trying to help...not much help out in Concord though. I did exactly what you are doing for Kelaya - same thing for another darling homeless family last summer. I'm not writing to tell you how screwed the system is.

Only to tell you I know how involved and attached you are to Kelaya, as I was just as involved and attached to the family of 4 that I helped to place in a permanent rental.

Your kind words about Kelaya will bring her success. It will.

I wrote a powerful letter of recommendation to a prospective landlord for the "family" that I was trying to help out. It worked. Words of reference are very valuable and necessary to sway an unknown landlord.

One year later, this family I helped is still in the housing and paying rent on time. They are a joy. Kelaya will prove this to her new landlord too.

I can only offer prayers today.
Anna And Ava

Andi May 5, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

More friends of mine blogged today. I tweeted a couple of times - including @GavinNewsom and Facebook as well, not gonna give up til we find some help!

paris parfait May 6, 2009 at 5:54 AM  

I am glad so many people are stepping in and trying to help. It can be disheartening dealing with city bureaucracy, even under the best of circumstances; this seems magnified in this situation, judging by K's experiences thus far.

As for Gavin Newsom, surely all this negative publicity for San Fran's social services dept. will hold his feet to the fire and force some action. K is lucky that you and so many others are in her corner, in the absence of immediate city help.

Many apartments should become vacant later in May, as students go home for the summer. Perhaps there's a real estate/property developer out there with heart, to lend an apartment short-term?

Keep doing what you're doing; you're helping, more than you know. Kelaya now knows many people are concerned and want to help; before that day you saw her on the street, she probably thought no one cared. And even if it's a slow, tedious process getting every assistance she needs, at least she knows now that many efforts are being made to solve her problems - and that eventually, the problems will be remedied. xoxox

bearer of three May 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

I dont live in Sanfran im in NJ. But My Boyfriend is an aspiring rapper (not signed yet) and have over 10,000 friends on his myspace I will have him post the story and hopefully someone will come forward. Being a mother of three I know how hard it is. I wish her the best

bearer of three May 6, 2009 at 9:34 AM  

also im not rich but i have Baby pampers my son doesnt use and I have lots of baby boy clothes sizes 0-6 months baby shoes sizes 0,1,and 2. I also have baby girl clothes size 2T and under..if she needs them please let me know where to send it and i will