clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Guy from 'Mission Playground Is Not for Sale' Video Tells His Eviction Story

New, 7 comments

In a new video from BuzzFeed Yellow called "What It's Like to Get Kicked Out of Your Neighborhood," we meet Kai, 20, whose family was evicted from the Mission District. Kai is the same affable, dreadlocked 20-year-old from last fall's infamous "Mission Playground Is Not for Sale" video, in which Dropbox employees who had reserved time on the playground's soccer field got into a heated exchange with neighborhood players who had arrived first. (A now-discontinued app from SF Park and Rec had allowed the employees to pay a fee and reserve, and the resulting misunderstanding helped kill that program.)

Kai walks BuzzFeed's videographer around the Mission, pointing out the window of his old bedroom on Shotwell and 20th Street and noting the changes to the block in recent years (what was once a biker bar now courts hipsters; the site of a former Latino bakery is now condos and a salon). Kai's family had been renting the apartment for about $800 per month, but in 2005 they were evicted, and the apartment sold for around $1.3 million, Kai tells BuzzFeed. He recalls the awkwardness of living there while prospective buyers came through:

I remember being in my house and having to stay in my room while people are going through the house and opening closets and opening doors and checking things out—having to be unseen, being told by my mother that I'm not supposed to be here right now. After leaving the Mission, Kai's family lived in the Richmond District. But they were evicted again, in 2008.

In the video below, Kai walks through Clarion Alley, where his parents once lived; runs into a tour of the Mission District ("never seen that before"); and offers his take on the soccer field standoff, which ended with the two groups playing separately on opposite sides of the field. "There is still this segregation of people," says Kai, "people that feel that they are a part of the community without showing that they're part of the community."

· What It's Like to Get Kicked Out of Your Neighborhood [YouTube]
· Mission Playground Is Not for Sale [YouTube]
· Rec and Park Retreats on Soccer Field Permits [Mission Local]
· Video: Let's Have an Honest Conversation About the Housing Shortage, Shall We? [Curbed SF]