Amid health woes, finding inspiration in music

Music has always been important to Rosita Watson. The youngest of nine sisters and two brothers, she grew up in a close-knit religious family in Oakland. Her father was a pastor, her mother taught piano and her older sisters Betty, Mary, Shirley and Macletus formed a gospel singing group, the Watson Sisters, whose 1963 album “Glory Train” earned a four-star review in Billboard magazine. … Read More

A cancer patient finds joy

Ronald Calbert’s small home in West Oakland is filled with toy cars, tiny helicopters, colorful balls and various scooters. His walls are papered with a child’s hand-drawn pictures of rainbows, wobbly printed notes of greeting and Raiders stickers. This is not the home of a man who has given up hope. “This young man’s presence in my life keeps me positive,” Calbert … Read More

Grandmother finds housing help

Eula Sims keeps her home neat. She has her Bibles, which she reads often. She pins a few unframed photographs of her children on the wall next to her daybed. She keeps a dish out with peppermint candy in it. And she makes room for a pink stuffed teddy bear that she says reminds her of her grandson. There’s nothing … Read More

Fast countdown to homelessness

Not many people can point to the exact cause of suddenly becoming homeless, much less put a number to it. For Tri-Nu Little, the number was 31. That’s the number of days it took her rent to increase by $650, a more than 60 percent jump in monthly payments, made insurmountable by the building owner’s decision to stop accepting Section … Read More

Woman keeps the faith after surgery

When Melody Nichols was stuck at home recovering from sudden appendicitis surgery, she kept trying to return to work so she could pay her bills. But her body, riddled with pain, held her back. “It was like God said, ‘Sit there, and let me do my work,’” Nichols said, while drinking a cup of coffee at her grandfather’s kitchen table … Read More

Season of Sharing helps struggling family with rent

Back before ride-hailing apps became all the rage, San Francisco cabdrivers could make a decent living, especially if they owned one of the 2,000 city-issued medallions. The medallion allowed drivers to own their own cabs, which would mean higher incomes. A medallion was hard to get, so they were treasured, but Mike Mohamed Erakat never got his. He had applied … Read More

Fund helps carpenter keep home after suffering 2 strokes

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 awkward distance from a visitor in the ballroom of the once-grand, 1920s-era hotel where he … Read More

Gift helps Pacifica woman keep home of nearly 50 years

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 of her 13 grandchildren, even though they are all adults now. Patterson has lived in … Read More

Season of Sharing keeps longtime Napa Valley resident in home

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. A longtime chauffeur and transportation services worker, he lost his job and spent months trying … Read More