In some parts of Canada, a tenant who is 70 or older can’t be evicted under any circumstances. In San Francisco and the Bay Area, we have been helplessly observing how senior tenants, life estate holders, and even homeowners lose their homes — and with their homes, their lives. Too often, elders die during or soon after eviction.

So we are starting this project to change this situation: to find a solution to how we can protect the elderly on a community, legal, and legislative level. We are working with lawyers, housing rights advocates, politicians, doctors, and psychoanalysts to unite our hearts, brains, and efforts to achieve real changes.

We will investigate why current institutions don’t work — for example, why the district attorney won’t prosecute bad landlords for elder abuse. We will look at how the legal system protects the rights of landlords and banks above those of vulnerable seniors.

We are planning a roundtable between communities, housing rights advocates, lawyers, and politicians to bring and implement solutions. And it will be a series of investigative articles, interviews, and research.

This investigation is a part of the Dialogue For Life project, fiscally sponsored, hosted, and supported by The San Francisco Progressive Media Center/48 Hills. We thank those who have enabled this project: Kiva Loan and The San Francisco Foundation. We are grateful for the support and ongoing work with: Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Tenants Together, San Francisco Senior and Disability Action, POOR Magazine, San Francisco Tenants Union, members of Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and LGBT community, Frisco 500, and many others.

For me personally, it means a lot that the first article in a series has got prepared on High Holy Days. These Jewish holy days are related to the idea of “tikkun olam,” that is, "Fix the World" (work in the interest of public, in plain English), when people join God in creation, unite efforts to repair the world in order to make it a more complete and equitable place. We definitely need this.

We count on your support and participation. Follow our publications and join us at public events.

David Bogachik, project director