Historic Social Enterprise Cries Uncle as SF Rent Rises

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June 30, 2014; SF Weekly

Nonprofits in high-rent towns like New York and San Francisco are having a hard time with space, and so it is perhaps no surprise that at the end of July, Under One Roof, a historic social enterprise in the Castro District of San Francisco will close after 23 years.

“The key decision factor in closing the organization is the expensive rent in the Castro District, which is where we experience the strongest sales,” according to the group’s chairman, Tim Smith. “We are a nonprofit retail organization and the overhead simply prevents us from achieving our goals.”

Since 1991, Under One Roof has donated 100 percent of its profits to organizations working on AIDS, for a total of $4 million. The Castro Street storefront will close on July 31st, but before that, they are selling as much as they can.

“While we’re saddened that we’re winding down the organization, we’re committed to raising as much as we can for our beneficiaries,” Smith said. “[On Friday], the store was packed and sales exceeded our expectations so we’re feeling inspired and feeling a great deal of pride.”—Ruth McCambridge