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October 19, 2015

St. James Infirmary, Forced to Move, Seeks Relocation Funds

The following plea has been received from Stephany Ashley, Executive Director of St. James Infirmary (SJI), am occupational safety and health clinic for sex workers (including adult performers) and their partners: "It is with a heavy but determined heart that I write to tell you we are losing our clinic space at 1372 Mission Street in the very near future. The building which has housed the SJI, and recently our comrades at the TGIJP, is being sold and our 13 year tenancy will be coming to an end, likely by the end of this year. We are moving out, and moving on, hopefully to somewhere bigger and better. For the past couple of months we have been searching for a new space, working with the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund and our allies in city government to help us find a new home. We are now asking you, our community, to lend us your support. "We are, of course, upset. We feel loss. But we are also excited at the opportunity to find a space that suits us better; that can accommodate our continued growth. Any of you who have been to 1372 Mission Street in the past year have seen that we are packed in tighter than sardines and bursting at the seams. In the past year we have nearly doubled our programming, our hours of operation, and our staff. We have also battled cockroach infestations, leaky ceilings and shoddy plumbing. The SJI & TGIJP are ready to find something better together. We just need your help to land it. "The hostility of the real estate market in San Francisco today is resulting in widespread nonprofit displacement. We won’t be the first or the last organization to have to face this challenge. But we know that with your support, we will meet this challenge head on. The SJI has survived against all odds over the years, always landing on our feet thanks to the resiliency, resourcefulness and love of our community. To weather this move, we are going to need that love and resourcefulness from you. We are going to have to pay a lot more in rent than we’d ever planned to. And we will have to raise the funds required to relocate and renovate our new space. Fortunately, we have an anonymous donor who has agreed to jumpstart our move by matching every donation we can generate from the community up to $25,000 in the next month. "If you can donate to our campaign, please do so now. Don’t worry if it’s not a lot—your $5 will become $10! If you can’t donate, please help us by sharing our campaign with your networks, sending us love through the ether, and imagining us moving swiftly and smoothly into our spacious, natural light-filled, fully functional dream clinic. With your support, not even the San Francisco real estate market can stop us. Like they say in the St. James Infirmary Blues, 'We’ll raise hell as we roll along.'"

 
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