The pandemic has been difficult for people for a wide variety of reasons. This is also true of one woman who lives in San Francisco, Andrea Carla Michaels, who has fed the homeless in San Francisco for the last 27 years. But now, she is battling to keep a roof over her own head.
Andrea is 60 years old, graduated from Harvard University, and considers herself to be a Judge Judy addict. She wrote sitcoms in Los Angeles, did stand-up comedy, and taught English to foreign students.
Eventually, she moved to San Francisco where she runs Acme Naming, a business that helps to brand other businesses and products. She regularly works on constructing the crossword puzzles for the New York Times and she has taught people the ins and outs of Scrabble. She has also appeared on the Wheel of Fortune, where she won a motorhome.
Even though Andrea is absolutely diverse in her abilities, the pandemic has caused a lot of difficulties. She was going to New York for a puzzle confab but had to cancel the trip. She also had to cancel travel plans for her 40th college reunion in Boston and to see her mother in Florida.
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Perhaps the biggest change that she has made during the pandemic is that her work as San Francisco’s “Pizza Lady” has been affected.
She travels through her area of San Francisco and hands out as many as 40 slices of pizza every day. She has been doing it since 2015, but her donor, Nobhill Pizza & Shawarma, started only making pizzas to order when the pandemic hit. There weren’t any more leftovers for her to take to the homeless.
Even though that may be the case, her mission still continued. Golden Veggie Market, a local greengrocer, has provided her with food that they would usually throw out because of the fake sell-by dates. This included everything from milk and yogurt to potato chips, cookies, oranges, and bread.
The manager of Golden Veggie, Ahmed Bawazir, also provides her with bottles of unexpired drinks, as well as fruits and vegetables that are still on the shelves. Along with donating food, Andrea will often donate clothing, including socks, sweaters, T-shirts, and sweatpants.
Although things aren’t the same as they were before the pandemic, she is still happy that she can help those who are hungry. She has altered her way of doing it, wearing a mask and gloves and throwing the items to those who aren’t wearing face coverings.
According to CBS SF Bay Area, she says that the charity work helps her to keep her perspective, but having to fight for her own apartment has taken its toll. She said that the owner just wants to flip the apartment and has been dislodging tenants since he bought the building a number of years ago. As she shared with 48Hills, he doesn’t fix anything that is broken, leading to health issues and other problems.
Only Andrea and one other person remain in the building. An eviction notice was filed by her landlord last year for the third-floor one-bedroom apartment. Andrea has never missed a payment on her rent and the court dismissed it.
Building inspectors are now coming by on almost a monthly basis after the dismissal notice. After calling the police, she was told that it was a civil situation and not criminal. If you’ve ever had to deal with this type of situation, however, you realize how frustrating it can be.
She is also upset that she did stand-up comedy for over a decade but now she doesn’t have much to laugh about. She finds that she’s waking up most mornings in tears.
Friends have been trying to get her to walk away from what she is doing, but she says that she has a great apartment and she is doing what she feels is right.Whizzco