SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --The low-income housing crisis in San Francisco is getting a major boost from a highly respected nonprofit called the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. It has more than a dozen projects in the pipeline, to serve nearly double the number of people.
A group of active seniors living a building in San Francisco range in age from their mid 60s to 10 years old and they feel very fortunate to live in a building run by TNDC in San Francisco.
It provides affordable, low-income housing to 3,600 residents, in 33 buildings, so far. More affordable housing is on the way. Forty percent of those served, are seniors.
Seniors who are part of the TNDC family do group exercises and they go on outings together. The group headed to the San Francisco Zoo after their morning workout.
"I like to help people and also when I work with seniors, I just think of them like my parents," said health and wellness coordinator of the TNDC Joy Zhu.
The low rent helps people like Kit Chan use the rest of her social security to pay for food and expensive health costs for herself and her husband.
"We almost paid more than $4,000 in cash just for medicine," Chan said.
The seniors live in a beautifully renovated old church in the Haight District of San Francisco, Buena Vista Terrace. It's locked and secure outside.
And, on the inside, it's bright and welcoming.
Don Falk has been the CEO of TNDC for more than ten years and with the nonprofit for 22 years. This is not just his job, it's his passion project.
"We now have 15 development projects, by 2020," Falk said. "In the last few years, we've seen remarkable success in our ability to build not only more housing here in the Tenderloin, but in six different neighborhoods in San Francisco. So by 2020, we'll be housing over 6,000 people, which is nearly double what we're doing now."
Falk says affordable housing is really health care.
"There is a whole body of research that has emerged in the last five years, that shows when people live in affordable housing their health improves," Falk said. "Sometimes what people need more than anything to improve their health, is a prescription for affordable housing. "
This year, TNDC is celebrating 35 years of creating low income housing. Their annual fundraiser is may 17. ABC7 Consumer Reporter Michael Finney will be emceeing the event. Click here for more information.