On Saturday February 9th Rebuilding Together San Francisco completed the second phase of its Seismic Safety pilot program. Through this program our volunteers made the homes of three low-income families safer in the event of an earthquake. The weekend of the 9th we installed plywood stiffening panels (also known as shear walls), which reduce the ability of a home to rock side to side or front to back.
Why serve in San Francisco? Yes, it is a lovely place, and yes the espressos are quite nice, and I do love a good walk in Golden Gate Park, but mainly, to be blunt, it is because the affiliate hired me before any other had the chance. So, perhaps the better question is, why service? For that, I would have to articulate what it means – to me, anyway – to be a citizen.
I started reading two books this week: Rebecca Solnit’s “A Paradise Built from Hell” and Douglas Smith’s “On Value and Values – Thinking Differently about We in an Age of Me.” I’m reading Solnit’s book for pleasure and Smith’s for work, but in the opening chapters I was surprised to realize that both authors were addressing a similar cultural challenge. Read More »
Mr. Jim Deasy has been volunteering with RTSF since 1999 and is one of our longtime volunteers. We cannot count how many times he has come to the rescue after a Build Day to complete the punch list and to ensure that our homeowners received what they needed. Without a doubt, Mr. Deasy is one of our unsung heroes!
Anyone who has participated in a Rebuilding Day is familiar with that feeling at the end where you step back and take a look at the work you, along with friends who may have previously been strangers, completed in the span of one day. Sometimes it’s a feeling of exhaustion or relief, but in most cases it’s a feeling of camaraderie and accomplishment. Right now, my fellow members of Rebuilding Together’s AmeriCorps program, CapacityCorps, and I are mostly likely experiencing all of those feelings multiplied by 5, and what’s even better, is that the result of it is that 9 homeowners in Oklahoma City, OK are hopefully now feeling happier and safer in their homes.
My grandpa is an 82 year old widower. He lives alone in a quiet community in the hills outside of Redlands and is still a full time practicing lawyer. On weekends, he commutes 74 miles to San Clemente where he sees old friends, runs errands, and enjoys the ease of life that a compact, ocean side community offers. It’s not that Redlands doesn’t have these amenities. It’s that San Clemente offers a certain type of community that my grandpa prefers on the weekends. In Redlands, where his job is, his home is isolated, quiet and his primary acquaintances are his cats.
Recently, my grandpa had surgery and, although the surgery went well, the recovery has left him tired and slow, which has led him to realize that where he lives really matters. As my grandpa and our family face the fact “Grandpa really is getting older,” it’s made the question of how younger generations and how our cities will grapple with aging baby boomers all the pertinent.
Barbara has only been volunteering with RTSF for a year now but boy do we really appreciate her time and hard work! Her consistent and enthusiastic demeanor have supported our Home Safety program operations in a big way – from phone interviews to filing and preparation for Build Days. We could not have served as many homeowners in 2012 as we did if it wasn’t for Barbara’s continuous!
Founded in 1989, Family Service Agency of San Francisco (FSASF) is the oldest nonsectarian, nonprofit, charitable social-services provider in the City and County of San Francisco. Their mission is to strengthen families by providing caring, effective, and innovative social services, with special emphasis on the needs of low-income families, children, the elderly, and disabled people, thus improving the quality of life for all San Franciscans.