Teacher turns to NextDoor to find 2nd job to afford living in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The lack of affordable housing is a top issue in the effort to Build a Better Bay Area. If you have been struggling to stay in the Bay Area because of high cost of living, you'll relate to this story. While cities are desperately trying to build more housing, it may come too late for some people, like teachers, firefighters and anyone trying to earn a living wage.

With the average price of a latte inching toward the $4 range, we thought we'd talk to Shirley Reilly, a struggling teacher, outside a coffee shop.

Like so many people in San Francisco, she and her husband are being priced out.

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"Going out just around the community you spend $100 in a weekend, unfortunately that is something that I can't afford to do, " said Shirley Reilly.

Reilly works for a nonprofit teaching English to adult refugees. She earns $25 an hour.

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"I want to teach forever," she added. "I can't see myself doing administrative jobs."

Desperate to make ends meet, she reached out to her neighborhood community social network, NextDoor, asking for suggestions on how to get a second job.

"I have done everything from dog sitting, housekeeping, I've done tutoring," she revealed.

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City Hall has heard more than its share of stories like that one. The city maintains the only way to keep people like her in the city is to build more affordable housing.

The mayor's office of Housing and Community Development set a goal of 10,000 affordable units by 2020. As of last December, the city had completed 7,386 units and now it has confirmed that 2,827 units are in the pipeline expected to be completed by 2020 which would surpass the goal set by San Francisco.

The California legislature is also trying to pass a bill that would cap yearly rent increases in the state at 10 percent to keep people from being forced out.

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"My rent went up 20 percent one year," said Catherine Bracy who is actively supporting Assembly Bill 1482. "I think many people have experienced those spiky increases and for many people in the Bay Area that's a matter of life and death, it's the difference between keeping a roof over a family's head and being on the streets."

But for some, this all may come too late.

"It makes no sense sometimes, when we struggle here, when we could go somewhere else, make the same amount of money and make it work," expressed Shirley Reilly.

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