Here’s something you can do to make a difference in the lives of seniors living in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco. Come out to support the development of much-needed housing and services for African American elders. Mark your calendar for Tuesday September 21st at 4:00pm and plan to attend the Redevelopment Commission Meeting at San Francisco’s City Hall, Room 416.
Here’s why this is so important. Services for elderly African Americans in the Bayview have been sorely lacking for decades. Years ago, a wonderful man named Dr. George Davis began championing the idea of an “Aging Campus” for the under-served neighborhood’s senior citizens. We asked Dr. Davis and his wife Cathy what they meant by an “aging campus.” They explained that seniors in the community have to move out of the area — and often the City –when they need senior housing, assisted living, or specialized Alzheimer’s care. They saw this as fundamentally unjust. Seniors in other parts of the City don’t have the same challenge. Dr. Davis wanted the same services for African American seniors in the Bayview; thus the vision for the Aging Campus was born. The Davis’ asked us to develop a fundraising plan to accomplish this vision.
The idea of the Aging Campus has been endorsed by the local San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Project Area Committee (PAC) and is recommended as a key component of the area’s redevelopment plan. The next step in making this dream a reality is for the Redevelopment Agency to purchase the land. That’s where you come in. Your presence at San Francisco’s City Hall on Tuesday September 21st will demonstrate your support for seniors living in the Bayview.
First and foremost the vision for a Bayview Aging Campus is built on the vision of the community and the needs of local African American elders. The Aging Campus could include:
- Senior housing
- A state-of-the art Adult Day Health Center and Senior Center
- Healthcare facilities such as medical and dental offices, a pharmacy and podiatrist
- Case management services
- Financial services
- Retail shops, a restaurant and a grocery store
- A community center with space for community events
- Recreational facilities
- Services and training for care givers and family members
The Aging Campus would provide seniors with access and proximity to different types of housing depending on their needs. Families, ministers and friends would be able to visit frail loved ones at assisted living or nursing home housing without leaving the community. Aging residents would be able to find housing connected to senior services and recreational facilities.
Early partners in the planning stage of the Aging Campus include: the Community Design Center, Levin-Menzies, Delancy Street, Bridge Housing, Business Development Inc., Wells Fargo Bank, and many others.
The Aging Campus was Dr. Davis’ driving mission. Sadly, he lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. Today we have to go forward without him — but not without his legacy. Come out on Tuesday September 21st. Serve as a witness to Dr. D’s vision. For more information call 415-822-1444.
© Mel and Pearl Shaw 2010.