Rally Aimed at Helping Elderly Man Keep His San Francisco Apartment - NBC Bay Area
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Rally Aimed at Helping Elderly Man Keep His San Francisco Apartment

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    Several people gathered Monday for a rally aimed at keeping an elderly man from being evicted from his San Francisco apartment. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Monday, July 25, 2016)

    Several people gathered Monday for a rally aimed at keeping an elderly man from being evicted from his San Francisco apartment.

    Steve Arevalo said he is being forced to move out after living rent-free in a South of Market apartment complex for nearly a year. The non-profit organization who owns the building said it cannot afford to continue offering low-income housing.

    "This building is a tribute to our elders," Arevalo said. "We are the stewards of this legacy and we need to protect and preserve it."

    Arevalo and the other dozen people who live at 106 South Park are all members of the Gran Oriente, a Filipino non profit organization that has offered low-income housing to immigrants dating back to the early 1900s.

    Gran Oriente Filipino said preserving the building comes with a huge cost.

    "The rents are so low and we're so tight -- we can't afford to maintain our buildings," said John Fields, a building trustee with Gran Oriente Filipino.

    Fields said he is open to selling the building to another non profit that specializes in affordable housing, but said an earlier offer was too low.

    "I can't take a half a million dollar less offer from the land trust if that happens," Fields said. "We want to get into education, scholarships. That's what we do as a non profit."

    While Fields works to find the right deal to bring in the most money for educational programs, Arevalo, who suffers from kidney failure, said he is not sure where he will call home.

    Arevalo is hopeful he will be able to stay in the Bay Area.

    "To see my young brothers and sisters out there supporting me, it touches my heart," he said.

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