When Daniel Espinoza began working nights as a painter for Kaiser in February, he knew that his job would eat into time with his family. But Espinoza needed the work, which meant not seeing his sons, ages 8 and 12, for more than a few … More
Each year, the San Francisco Chronicle|SFGate.com shares the stories of Bay Area families in need.
These are their stories.
In March, Michael Peterson was a finish carpenter — a skilled artisan with a knack for designing intricate woodwork. In the past, he oversaw as many as six workers executing his plans. Now, in the middle of a work day, he sits at a slightly … More
Clarice Patterson answers her door in a bright red embroidered dress and red leggings. The interior of her small living room has been decorated top to bottom for the holidays, as festively as possible. Along the banister and above the window hang stockings for each … More
Napa Valley is not only beautiful; it’s also expensive. That’s no secret. But what’s less known is the difficulty seniors, many of them deeply rooted residents, are having surviving in the valley as rents soar. Larry Hyson, a 71-year-old Calistoga man, is among those struggling. … More
Sandra Quiroz’s new apartment, in the Casa de Vilarrasa affordable senior housing complex in Benicia, is modest: Its walls are bone-white and beige, its shelves are strewn with family photographs, and its windows look out to a sun-dappled courtyard. But compared with the mobile home … More
Unemployment is down and the economy is strong, but that doesn’t mean hunger has ebbed across the Bay Area. Local food banks have not seen any drop in demand for free groceries over the past few years, an indication that the incomes of the working … More
Annie “Lonie” Battle, 73, is yet to finish emptying the moving boxes in her new Hayward home. But one of the first things she unpacked and situated since getting the keys a month ago are the pictures of her late husband, his big, brawny arms … More
For much of her life, Jill Townsend’s biggest focus was on herself, but her recovery from addiction has changed her attitude about who and what is most important in this world. Alcohol and drugs got her in trouble as a youth, ruined her marriage and … More
Larry Williams sat on a thick folded blanket on the floor of his studio apartment, back to the wall, an ancient-looking laptop perched on his thighs. It was the first time he’d turned on his laptop in years — it took two days just to … More
Watching 3-year-old Xavier Pequeño race around the house in a pair of Minions socks, one would never guess that he spent last Christmas in hospital isolation following a bone marrow transplant made necessary by a rare and deadly immunodeficiency condition. “I’m so fast!” he yelled … More