Fighting for Home

FIGHTING FOR HOME follows Teresa Dulalas and Marti Sousanis, two San Francisco residents dealing with eviction.  Over the last few years San Francisco has drastically changed due to gentrification; thousands of high-paid tech company employees have moved into the city while no-fault eviction rates of low income residents have risen by 115% in the past year and half.  Gentrification is often defined as the transformation of neighborhoods from low value to high value. However, the impact has a potential to displace long-time residents and businesses. When displacement occurs, long-time residents may move away from a gentrified area because of higher rents, mortgages, and property taxes. Gentrification is an economic, housing, and health issue; where people live and work has a direct impact on their health. This film shows the historical context of gentrification and explores the lives of long time San Francisco residents being affected by gentrification. FIGHTING FOR HOME addresses devastating disparities and health impacts on the low-income individuals and families who are being displaced.

Discussion Guide

Themes Explored

  • Health impacts of displacement from one’s home.
  • Historical implications in urban renewal and how this creates displacement.
  • Social movements as a collective tool to fight for social equity in moments of injustice.
  • Public policies in place that affect the living conditions of tenants in San Francisco.
  • Mental health issues that come along the stressors in being displaced from one’s home.

Discussion Questions

  • What does home mean to you?
  • What is the Ellis Act?
  • How did the Ihotel movement impact San Francisco housing laws?
  • What strategies did they use to protect Ihotel?
  • Describe the health impacts that come from being displaced from one’s home?
  • How many families were impacted between 1997-2014, due to Ellis Act evictions?
  • What is the annual income per household to live comfortably in the city?
  • What common themes did you noticed between Marty and Teresa’s story?
  • How is your home a determinant of your health?
  • How did you feel after seeing the amount of evictions presented on the eviction map?

Facts and Resources 


  • From the end of the Great Recession in 2009 to last year (2013), the number of Ellis Act evictions rose more than 400 percent.
  • In 2013, Ellis evictions grew 175 percent from the year before. During that time more than half of the Ellis evictions were carried out less than a year after a building had changed hands.
  • San Francisco's median home price of $850,000 is the highest in the U.S. There is a 48% gap between the median income and what it would take to afford a median-priced home (which would take an income of $110,000 a year), which statistically defines the housing crisis for the working class (making San Francisco the least affordable city in the U.S.)
  • Between 2010 and 2012, more than 13,000 technology sector jobs were created in the Bay Area.
  • Since 2011, 69 percent of the no-fault evictions have occurred within four blocks of a private bus shuttle stop for tech company employees.
  • San Francisco has the second highest inequality gap of any major city in the country.
  • San Francisco is the single most expensive place in the U.S. to rent an apartment, the median rent on a two-bedroom apartment is $3,250 per month
  • 8,000 Latino families have been displaced from the Mission since 2000. African Americans only make up 7% of the city.
  • Families with households making $50,000 to $75,000 made up a quarter of Mission households in 2000; now they make up 13 percent while households with incomes of at least $100,000 have increased.
  • Families facing evictions describe a sense of hopeless feelings and heath concerns resulting from stress over being priced out of the city. Displacement and even the threat f displacement really impacts people’s health.


Partner Organizations

Eviction free San Francisco

Eviction Free San Francisco are a direct action group with a main goal to stop the mass of evictions in San Francisco.They help out tenants that are in building that are being threatened with eviction by making sure real estates speculators and landlords are being held accountable for displacing families for profit.


Mission Economic Development Agency  (MEDA)

MEDA is located in the Mission District and has goal is to improve economic and social conditions in San Francisco's low-income residents, with a majority being Latino families since 1973. They strive to help families in all aspects like opening and improving small businesses, purchase homes and prevent foreclosure. The doors they open help families who are in a financial challenge get a better understanding of their situation and how to grow from it. MEDA also wants to maintain the cultural identity and increase resources in the Mission District.


Main Office: Plaza Adelante

2301 Mission Street, Suite 301

San Francisco, Ca 94110

(415) 282-3334; fax: (415) 282-3320;

Causa Justa:: Just Cause

Causa Justa :: Just Cause (CJJC) is a multi-racial, grassroots organization building community leadership to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents. In 2010, CJJC emerged from the strategic collaboration of two powerful organizations: St. Peter’s Housing Committee and Just Cause Oakland. These two organizations represent more than 30 years combined experience working toward housing and racial justice for African Americans and Latinos. With offices in East and West Oakland and in San Francisco’s Mission District, together we are a force for justice and unity among Black and Brown communities.

CJJC has a multi-faceted approach to fighting for social justice. They provide tenant rights advocacy and information to tenants through our Housing Committee/Tenants’ Rights Clinic. CJJC build membership through recruitment in the tenants' rights clinics and through neighborhood door knocking and outreach. CJJC grassroots campaigns to win immigrant rights and housing rights and work toward building a larger movement for social transformation.


Mailing: PO Box 3596, Oakland, CA 94609

West Oakland: 3268 San Pablo Avenue (corner of 33rd st), Oakland, CA 94608 | 510.763.5877 (p) 510.763.5824 (f)

East Oakland: 9124 International Blvd. Oakland, CA 94603

Mission District, SF: 2301 Mission Street, Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94110 | 415.487.9203 (p) 415.487.9022 (f)

Bayview District, SF: 2145 Keith Street, San Francisco, CA 94124 | 415.864.8372 (p) 415.864.8373 (f)

South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN)

SOMCAN is a multi-racial, community organization that educates, organize and mobilize the immigrant and low-income South of Market (SoMa) residents to fight for improvements to their quality of life by engaging in the decision making process that affects their neighborhood and greater San Francisco. Our mission is to build and support a strong, organized community that takes collective action to achieve social & economic justice and equity.  By providing political education, community organizing, leadership development and community meetings around critical issues such as land use and zoning, budget cuts, affordable housing, better economic opportunities, SOMCAN aims to empower the immigrant and low-income youth and families to change existing conditions and to be in the forefront in addressing the issues that affect them.


1110 Howard Street

San Francisco, CA, United States 94103

Meet the Filmmakers

  • Angela Madriaga is a graduating senior at San Francisco State University with her major in Child and Adolescent Development and her minors in Health Education and Special Education. Growing up in the South of Market of San Francisco, she was surrounded by multiple community organizations that caters to social service and advocacy work that serves low-income, Filipino, youth, families, and seniors. As a young person, she got involved with the South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAN), where she learned community organizing skills and understanding the sociopolitical framework of the Filipino immigrant experience within the United States and San Francisco. She is currently an Early Childhood Education Teacher at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Willie Brown, Jr. Fellow at the City and County of San Francisco. She hopes to gain the technical skills in film as she believes that it is a medium to promote social justice.
  • Brendan Bill is a fourth year cinema student at SFSU.  He has had an interest in documentary filmmaking for many years and has been thrilled to be producing documentary films in San Francisco.  Brendan wants his films to educate as well as showcase the talents of the many interesting characters that reside in the bay area.  He plans to continue making documentary films beyond graduation and hopes to someday travel the world for the sake of film. Brendan wants this film to shed light on the loss of culture that is taking place in San Francisco as a result of urban renewal, as well as call action to the youth of the community to fight for what is right. 
  • Celina Gonzalez is a Health Education major with an emphasis in community work at San Francisco States University. She has lived her whole life in San Francisco and always had a passion for helping and working with her community. It all started in High School when she volunteered at the Excelsior Family Connections, down the street from her house. From there she has volunteered at Monroe Elementary as a teacher assistants, Raphael House in the tenderloins, and was apart of New Door Ventures. Her passion grew as she got very involved with Raphael House and their outreach to their residents. Now she has been working with organizations and residents in the Mission District during the San Francisco housing crisis. Back in 2009, her family and her were evicted from their home in the excelsior district, so this film topic is very dear to her heart. Fighting for our home is her first documentary film she has been a part of and it has been a wonderful and educational experiences. She hopes this film sheds light on the health impacts that urban renewal is making on individuals and families lives.

  • Ulemj Buyan is a cinema student at SFSU, pursuing both documentary and fiction filmmaking. She aspires to travel all around the world, capturing and sharing beautiful stories and lives that people have lived and experienced. She began the Documentary for Health and Social Justice with a not a lot of experience in film production, but with the help of the class, she has gained a lot of hands on experience and confidence as a filmmaker. She is excited for future projects where she can produce, direct, edit and maybe even star in. 

*The information on these pages is provided by the student film makers and does not represent an endorsement or verification of statements from the Health Equity Institute