Senior Spotlight

Help With Bills Available

By Judy Goddess

Need help with your water, sewer or power bills?

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced an emergency community assistance program to help residential customers struggling to pay their water, sewer and Hetch Hetchy power bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential customers who have been financially impacted as a result of COVID-19 or the shelter-in-place order and have a maximum household income under 200% of the San Francisco Area median income will be eligible to apply ($170,300 annual income for one-person household; $205,000 annual income for two-person household).

The following reduced rates will be available:

• 35% off sewer bills;

• 30% off Hetch Hetchy power bills, and;

• 15% off water bills.

To enroll in the program, eligible customers can complete an online application form. Find the link at and search for Senior Spotlight.

The program will expire on Sept. 4.

To qualify for the program, residential customers must demonstrate the following:

• Be a residential customer seeking a discount for your primary residence, with an SFPUC account serving only your dwelling unit under your own name, and;

•  Have experienced a loss of income related to COVID-19 or the shelter-in-place order and be experiencing financial hardship and difficulty paying your water and sewer and/or Hetch Hetchy power bills.

 Meal Delivery for Seniors

Great Plates SF is a temporary food program that serves older adults who are at heightened risk due to COVID-19. This program is due to expire June 10, 2020.

To enroll, call (415) 355-6700. Criteria:

• Persons 60-64 years of age and in high-risk categories (i.e., people who have received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, have been exposed to COVID-19, or who have underlying health conditions);

• Persons living alone or with one other adult who also meets these criteria;

• Income eligibility: Earning less than $74,940 for a one-person household or $101,460 for two-person households.

Helpline available seven days a week, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Support is provided in multiple languages.

Seniors who currently receive state or federal food assistance such as CalFresh or home-delivered meals should contact the DAS helpline.

Additional information about Great Plates Delivered SF: 

Open Conversation with SF Senior Beat

San Francisco Senior Beat is a nonprofit sponsored by the San Francisco Community Living Campaign. Please join our free, monthly virtual outreach and feedback session on Wednesdays.

Learn more about this e-zine profiling city residents age 50 and older. Join us for our monthly virtual get-together, where we learn about each other.

Editor Robin Evans and her staff want to let you know about our relatively new online publication and learn more about you. And we want your feedback. What do you like? What don’t you like? What are we missing? How are you coping with COVID-19?

To join the conversation, you can find this link on

For future dates, keep an eye on our events calendar,

Community Living Campaign

Many readers may have already identified websites and programs that occupy them during this time of sheltering in place. For those who have not, I suggest you check out the calendar of the Community Living Campaign (CLC). 

CLC is a citywide nonprofit that helps seniors and people with disabilities “live and thrive in our homes and neighborhoods as we grow older. We bring greater joy, health and connectedness to San Francisco seniors and people with disabilities through community-building, empowerment and advocacy.

“The Community Living Campaign helps community-driven, collaborative solutions come to life while also serving as a strong voice at City Hall. We advance the ideas, talents, and energies of seniors and people with disabilities in all that we do.”

Community Living Campaign, including the events calendar: 

Judy Goddess is a reporter with SF Senior Beat. For more information, visit or contact Judy at (415) 759-1994 or by email at

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