The Community Living Campaign is submitting a proposal to Supervisor Myrna Melgar and the Participatory Budget Process in Supervisor District 7. The goal is to improve safe and accessible transportation options for older adults and adults with disabilities in our District 7 Community Connector neighborhoods and beyond. Those networks got started as a partnership between CLC and neighborhood leaders and garnered the support of Supervisor Norman Yee. CLC has been able to continue and stabilize the funding for these networks since the initial start-up funds through the Participatory Budget process and since Supervisor Yee initiated add backs in the City Budget process.
With the pandemic and increasing challenges related to transportation, especially for those on the Southwest part of the City, we are looking to expand our transportation efforts in a focused effort to bring more transportation resource to these networks. Knowing how challenging transportation can be for seniors and adults with disabilities, Community Living Campaign launched a Transportation Support program in January of 2020. The goal of our program remains connecting neighborhood residents with free and low-cost transportation options, as well as empower residents to navigate the transportation system and advocate for the services they need. We have started to provide services to residents of District 7:
- Awarded 30 Essential Trip Card subsidies for free taxi rides
- Awarded 58 free Lyft vouchers
- Provided free transportation to vaccine appointments for 8 residents
CLC has enjoyed consistent support for the work of our community connector networks and believe this project will strengthen what already exists, as described below by leaders in our Community Connector networks.
Anytime a neighborhood strengthens relationships with older adults, it’s a stronger community. Our connector program mattered greatly during the pandemic. So many of our seniors felt isolated —several live alone and depended on the Connector program for updates and information; it provided events, like walking and waving, which gave them something to look forward to. On one of our walks, we visited the Fire House (285 Olympia Way) to thank them for being there for us. I had my 9 year-old grand-daughter with me, and the fire fighters let her try on a fire hat and let us take as many photos we wanted. They were so glad to meet people in the neighborhood, we created a bond.
Merced Extension Triangle – Marc Christensen, President of METNA
I fully endorse and encourage connector programs across the district; as District 7 works to strengthen our neighborhood resilience program a connector program would loop in our senior population (like Sunnyside, Midtown Terrace and Miraloma Park). In this last pandemic year, METNA had more knowledge and relationships with our seniors because of the Connector program allowing us to help with food security and distribution of PPE and sharing important information and updates.
Sunnyside Community Connectors, Alice Guidry, Community Advocate
The CLC Community Connector Program is successful in the Sunnyside community. We have been able to better synchronize our Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) with our seniors. For example, when the Sunnyside Community Connectors were planning a Fair Safety and Emergency Preparedness Fair with SF FD (and other safety organizations) — they promoted to our entire community via the SNA newsletter and flyers. Using SF FD demo, our seniors learned how to operate a fire extinguisher—we were so grateful, as they feared having to use it. This is important safety fair brought our community together.
Darlene Ramlose, Miraloma Park
Community Connectors of Miraloma Park and MPIC (Miraloma Park Improvement Club) joined forces to advise Supervisor Melgar and the SMFTA of the importance of providing service of the 36/52 bus line in order to serve the entire community of those who travel to work or play using this bus line, especially our seniors who rallied to support the request as many of them use the 36/52 on a regular basis to get around the City.
CLC Connector’s program has given me great support. I never feel alone because I know they’re there. All I have to do is make a phone call, and they’re willing to help out in anyway they can. I have benefited from their resources. Making sure I have meals and fresh vegetables and fruits. They send little cards on special days. They let you know we’re loved and not forgotten. First time in my life I feel I have connections, and what a comfort that is. Making friends with other folks the same as me. Keeping us informed. What a relief that was during and still is concerning Covid-19. They have a lot of different programs to get involved with. I have especially benefited from their writing classes, and exercise classes. I’ve gotten much from special speakers, such as on Hypertension, diabetes, and other subjects.