I moved to the Bay Area to work for a tech company. I am gentrifying Oakland. I feel like I’m living my life, yet many see people like me as a problem – causing higher rents, evictions, and homelessness.
I don’t think of myself as a problem. But I can’t help but feel a bit responsible.
I often didn’t know how to put that responsibility into practice. For a year starting in late 2016, I lived in a van as (part of) one attempt to take responsibility. A drastic measure, but eventually ineffective. I donate money every paycheck to Mountain View’s Community Services Agency and the Alameda County Food Bank, but I feel that many of the problems in the Bay Area are structural.
The feeling of not knowing the most impactful way to help has led me to not help as much as I feel I should. Not just with homelessness in the Bay Area, but with any number of things that might be better off with my help – including climate change and income inequality.
In a word, I’m ignorant. I’m ignorant of the good work many charities are doing, and I want to fix that. That’s why in each Church of Modern Life show, we invite a charity to come and talk about what they are doing, and how they’re making the world a better place. In our debut show on May 30th, we get to hear from Amy Farah Weiss, the former SF mayoral candidate, on her work with the St. Francis Challenge. The St. Francis Challenge aims to make life better for the unsheltered in San Francisco by aiming to build safe organized spaces – transitional homes for folks until they find a permanent abode.
Visit the website to learn more, or, even better, come to the May 30th show to hear Amy speak learn more in person. Other charities in upcoming shows include Amnesty International and The American Association for Suicide Prevention.