In a City with Soaring Housing Costs, a Senior Center Keeps Elders in the Neighborhood

Cathy Davis, Executive Director, Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center: The center here is named after my late husband Dr. George W. Davis.

He created this vision where he wanted to see seniors age in place. So his vision included having senior housing and senior services located together. So we implemented the vision that he had. And we’re here today in the building that is named after him.

It’s designed around the African-American seniors who settled here 30 -40 years ago.  

Maxine Jones, Resident: I love it here.

Davis: There has been a lot of study about the effects of poor health care on African-American seniors.

We’re really focused on wellness and keeping people active and moving, and healthy.

Jones: They have different classes. So you don’t know which one you like the best because you are involved with so many things.

Davis: We have a building above us. The building above us has 120 residents.

Jones: It’s very nice, and very convenient. Washer and dryer is on the same floor.
I have a parking space in the garage for my car.  And you got your little dining area and you got your living room area. And then there’s a very nice bathroom-it’s very nice. And the bedroom is very nice.

Davis: We have a large central kitchen. It’s a three-thousand square foot, state of the art kitchen. We not only cook the meals here for the people that come here but we do 600 meals a day in that kitchen and send it to other locations in Bayview and Western Edition.

We also give away food. We have a Brown Bag Program. It’s tough to live off of 900 something dollars in San Francisco.

San Francisco has lost the highest percent of African Americans in any major city.

Jones: The rent was so high. It was. It was eating me up.

Davis: There’s a lot more to go in terms of housing advocacy. We had four-thousand people on the waiting list. They didn’t all get in here. So where they are going to stay?

So a lot of people come here for lunch and meals and other activities who don’t happen to live in the building.

So you don’t have to live in the building to utilize our services. The center itself is open to the entire Bayview community.

But if you live in the building is pretty convenient, because all you have to do is come down the elevator, walk down the hall and there’s a senior center right in your midst.

Jones: This is fantastic. I mean, who wouldn’t want to stay here? Thank you God. I’m glad I’m here.

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