San Francisco holds job fair for seniors, people with disabilities

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco did something that it's never done before -- it hosted a job fair for seniors and people with disabilities.

Hundreds showed up to find work and dispel some of the myths they face everyday.

For those older San Franciscans who spend months looking for a job, stop me if you've heard this before.

"I was in purchasing and was laid off in April and it's been difficult because I guess your resume is longer than you'd like it to be," said Olfert Kempff, an older adult who is looking for work.

The average duration of unemployment for older people is about a year, discouraging when seniors are the fastest growing population group in San Francisco.

"There are too many communities left behind," Mayor London Breed told a group of people at the city's first fair for older adults and people with disabilities.

That group included Nikita Stewart, who is legally blind. "Don't throw us away, don't think we aren't, we are able... we're not disabled, we can do things," expressed Stewart, with tears in her eyes.

Monday's event was close to the mayor's heart. "My aunt had a disability and had real challenges and so the community looked out for my aunt and took care of her. So this is from personal experience too and wanting to make sure that this community is not forgotten," added Mayor Breed.

From banks to federal jobs, all of them were accepting their resumes. "I'm retired. I need more money," explained Randi Thomson, who seemed interested in becoming a part-time U.S. census worker.

Shireen McSpadden is with the city's Department of Aging and Adult Services. "It's really expensive and we think when people retire they actually have money to live on that will support them and that's largely not true," said McSpadden.

"I'm a very gentle person, a kind person born and raised in Arkansas, have a good nature about myself, give me a chance," said Billy Gordon of San Francisco.

Reliable and productive is how many here like to think of themselves.

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