Western Kentucky University
$5,000 Scholarship Award and Hearst Medallion
A protest banner hangs from the balcony of Save Midtown activist Jay Magitov as fog drifts over Midtown Park Apartments in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.
Lloyd Hordon, 52, plays with a water gun alongside his granddaughter, Maliya Hordon, 4, on their balcony at Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The Hordon family consists of three generations in their small three bedroom apartment. Lloyd's 21-year-old daughter, is a single mother to Maliya and needed to live with her parents in order to save money while completing school. Additionally is Lloyd's son, a construction worker whose girlfriend shares the space with the family. The young couple will soon be moving out to find a place of their own which will place the rent solely on Lloyd and his 51-year old wife, Amy, both of whom are on disability. Rent is currently $1,200 a month, over 40 percent of their combined income.
Victoria Thomas, 62, sits alongside her husband, Roosevelt Thomas, 72, as he watches his afternoon show on PBS in their bedroom at Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Victoria is the primary caretaker for her husband of 34 years as he has gone through six back surgeries due to a car accident while he was in the peace corp. He is now immobile and Victoria struggles day to day to manage his care in an apartment with no handicap access. The pair, originally from Mississippi, moved into Midtown Park in 2005 after being on a 6 year waiting list. Victoria said she worries on a daily basis about being pushed out of the complex and that Roosevelt's access to healthcare is dependent on staying in their home.
"I quit work to take care of him. He has pretty good doctors here and when he's in the hospital. I would hate to pack him up and send him back to the South," Victoria said.
Save Midtown activist Phyllis Bowie, 56, becomes frustrated while having a discussion with fellow activist Jay Magintov about what she feels has been oversight and failure by the Mercy Housing group at her home in Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Bowie, a former Airforce officer, interior designer and civil rights activist, saw her rent increase 400 percent and feels that racial discrimination is behind Mercy Housings rumored plans to push tenants out. "They would not be treating us this way if we were white," Bowie said. "I am calling the city out as a slum landlord that is not even interested in making things right. We are just the victims. It makes me sad that we're one of the richest cities in the nation and you can't take care of 140 units that was built because of urban development."
Pat Smith, 65, poses for a portrait alongside her adopted daughter, Francesa Smith, 15, and adopted son, Aditya Smith, 10, at their home in Midtown Park Apartments on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Smith is a foster parent to four children, all of which have mental or developmental disorders. While she did not see her rent drastically increase, she has been on a rent strike in support of her neighbors.
"My cost of living increases more and more. I have a daughter in college with autism. I have these at home with tremendous needs that I can't meet. You cannot take someones income and say what you're going to do with it," Smith said.
The portrait of Orice Johnson, who passed away from a stroke at the age of 90, sits at the home of her niece, Phyllis Bowie, a long term Save Midtown activist, at Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Bowie believes that Johnson's years of dedicating her life and time to the Midtown Park Apartments, where she lived for four decades, is the reason behind her stroke.
Save Midtown activist Donald Griggs, 68, plays his trumpet during a portrait session in his living room at Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Griggs lives in the 3 bedroom home alone following his wife's passing seven years ago. Although he is new to the Save Midtown movement, Griggs said he has been a political activist for years. A retired military air traffic controller, he decided to dedicate his time to saving the complex "on the basis of principle."
Jay Magintov, 36, puts his hand over his face in frustration as he looks over a letter from the Mercy Housing group, which was claiming to push off rent control for another year, as he prepares a press release for a small Save Midtown demonstration later in the day while at his home in Midtown Park Apartments on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Magintov has lived at Midtown for over 13 years and said he was laid off from his job due to all the time he was spending leading the Save Midtown group. "It's not addressing the problem. They're just pushing it off for another year. Then what? Then we're back to square one? No, fuck that," Magintov said.
Zebira Abdullina, 57, a native of Kazakhstan, breaks down in tears as she discusses the loss of her son, whose death she missed as a result of seeking political asylum, while at her home in Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Abdullina, formerly an economics professor, has lived at the apartment complex for over 12 years. She now fears that being pushed out will leave her homeless after what she felt was an accomplishment to get to the United States. " I paid the blood price. It's like a bad dream and then you wake up and you don't have a house. You don't have nothing. They push you on the street," Abdullina said.
Mary Watkins, 71, stands alongside her neighbors as they protest in front of Bank of America in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Watkins had been a resident of Midtown Apartments for over 40 years and has been active in Save Midtown's fight to regain rent control.
Katie Gilmore, 92, poses for a portrait in her bedroom at Midtown Park Apartments on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Gilmore's husband passed away earlier this year and she said she is now adjusting to living alone in her two bedroom apartment. While prefers to refrain from the politics of Save Midtown, she said she occasionally worries about being pushed out of her home. A native of Marshall, Texas, she has called San Francisco home for over 70 years.
Amir Khan, 28, a security guard at Midtown Park Apartments, makes his rounds patrolling the residential hallways on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Khan, who lives 20 minutes away from the complex, said he had to move in with his parents in San Brono Bay, Calif., due serving time in jail. Although he works for the complex he said he could never be able to live here to to the difficulty of making ends meat in the city.
Alex Bear, 28, of Portland, Oregon, takes a break to smoke marijuana with a group of close friends following his drag performance as his alter ego, "Hashtag Molly," at The Stud, a gay bar, in downtown San Francisco on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Bear, a previous resident of San Francisco, is recently engaged and was welcomed to the bar as a special guest. The Stud will soon be celebrating it's 50th anniversary and has hosted drag shows for over a decade.