Posts Tagged ‘religion’
Al Jazeera America notes that rising rents are driving a Catholic sisterhood out of San Francisco.
Sister Mary Benedicte wants to focus on feeding the hungry lined up outside a soup kitchen in a gritty part of San Francisco.
But the city’s booming economy means even seedy neighborhoods are demanding higher rents, threatening to force out an order of nuns who serve the homeless.
The sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame’s Mary of Nazareth House said they can’t afford a monthly rent increase of more than 50 percent, from $3,465 to $5,500, and they have asked their landlord for more time to find a cheaper place to serve the poor.
“Everywhere the rent is very high, and many places don’t want a soup kitchen in their place,” Sister Mary Benedicte said Tuesday, in French-accented English. “It’s very, very hard to find a place for a soup kitchen where people can feel welcome and where we can set up a kitchen for a reasonable price.”
Since 2008, the modest kitchen has sat on a derelict street in the Tenderloin neighborhood, long associated with homelessness and drug use. But it’s within walking distance of a revitalizing middle Market Street area, led by the relocation of Twitter in 2012.
There’s been a “dramatic increase” in residential and retail rents in the middle Market area since 2010, spilling over into the Tenderloin, said Brad Lagomarsino, an executive vice president with commercial real estate company Colliers International.
The still-seedy neighborhood, in other words, is trending up.