MPW.72 / 2020 A Healing Heroine by Mike Kai Chen
Photographer
Mike Kai Chen
Team Cliff & Vi

Story Summary

Passionate Latino Cultural District community leader and San Francisco native Gaynor Siataga patrols the same streets where she was once a gang member. She’s now a community advocate and gang violence outreach volunteer.

Cautioned by doctors to rest while dealing with recent health issues and surgeries, the 43-year old mother insists the best way for her to heal is through her passion. She cares for her son, three sisters, twe brothers, and her parents, but also the members of her community who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Living in public housing since the 70’s, the family is urgently packing their entire lives into boxes after being ordered by the city to vacate within seven days for reconstruction. Skeptical they will be allowed to return, Gaynor urgently makes calls for loan opportunities and housing alternatives.

Regardless of her own personal financial and physical struggles, Gaynor selflessly continues to place her family members and community before herself.

“I am truly blessed. My family and my community are my life. This is how I heal myself.”