ABC7 Alternative Housing Partnership Feature

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Qaim Shah and his young son Tauseef have a little less to worry about these days, thanks to a donated apartment in San Francisco.

“I really appreciate it because it’s a tough time,” said Qaim Shah. “It’s pretty easy for me to go in and out and it’s a pretty quiet neighborhood.”

The 9-year-old Tauseef recently had a bone marrow transplant and is undergoing treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

Young boy on zoom

Due to the pandemic, housing a family like the Shahs, with a child who is severely immunocompromised, has become even more challenging for Ronald McDonald House Bay Area Charities, which helps facilitate housing and services for patient families in Oakland and San Francisco.

“We had to lower capacity inside the housing to make sure we have proper social distancing. And what’s that really meant is we’ve had to think about resources differently,” explained Laura Boudreau, Chief Executive Officer for RMHC Bay Area.

Enter companies like Veritas Investments and Apartment List, which partnered with RMHC to significantly increase capacity.

“About three months ago, we donated 10 apartment homes to Ronald McDonald House for their use and for the use of families like this one, who need a safe place to stay while their children are getting treatment,” said Jeff Jerden, Chief Operating Officer for Veritas Investments.

The donated apartments have worked so well for Children’s Hospital Families like the Shahs, the hope is, it’s an arrangement that will live on long past the pandemic.

“This is a creative solution to a problem during the pandemic, but it really opens up incredible opportunities for how we can support more families in the future,” said Boudreau.

For the Shahs, it’s all about the here and now, and having a safe, comfortable, convenient place to live allows them to really focus on Tauseef and his treatment.

“Thank you for helping me with the apartment. And I really like it. Thank you,” said Tauseef.

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