After last week's four-alarm fire burned four local businesses, including a few residential units, on the block of 456 Castro Street, the community (and city) rallied together, raising and offering financial aid. This week, two fundraisers are slated to help garner more fiscal support.
As SFist reported on prior, the San Francisco Fire Department was called to a residential fire at 4:30 a.m. last Saturday in The Castro. The burning was eventually put out, but not before expanding to other nearby businesses and creating exuberant amounts of damage, displacing some thirteen people and injuring two others.
Once the blaze was put out, four staple small businesses in SF’s iconic gayborhood – Osaka Sushi, Q Bar, Cafe Mystique, and BodySF – suffered smoke, fire, and water damage. This week's two upcoming fundraisers – one at Oasis, the other at Beaux – aim to lessen the sting of those repair bills, according to the SF Examiner.
The Benefit for the victims of the Castro fires - Thanksgiving Eve! event at the Oasis, held from 8pm to 11 p.m. on the 27th, is free to attend, though the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will be at the door taking cash donations. The night's festivities are to include performances from celebrated performance queens like Mutha Chucka, Kylie Minono, and more; expect jello shots, as well. All donations made at the door will go right toward the community’s post-fire rebuilding efforts.
The following philanthropic happening at Beaux, Castro Fire Fundraiser - Support our Friends at QBar/Osaka, is scheduled for Saturday, the 31st, and will feature a “beer bust” from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a number of raffle prizes. The usual motley crew of GoGo dancers, DJs, and drag queens will all be in attendance, including Juanita MORE!: “BRING LOTS OF CASH,” reads the event’s Facebook page. Though the funds collected might go to helping Cafe Mystique and BodySF as well, the event only states that the fundraiser is held to assist both Q Bar and Osaka Sushi.
Shortly after the fire, the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development opened the Small Business Disaster Relief Fund, allowing the four business to apply for upwards of $10,000 to be used for repairs, securing new leases, paying employees, etc.. A successful GoFundMe campaign also followed suit, raising over $6,800. A second (and still active) drive was created by the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District Working Group with a goal of raising $25,000; you can donate to that initiative, here.
Not much is yet known on the state of the residents affected by the blaze, but San Francisco does have safety nets in place to help assist victims in finding new housing.
Image: Flickr via David Goehring