SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Victims of a fire in San Francisco’s Alamo Square this past January are getting help through a new effort that partners a community association with a chain sporting goods store. The effort was launched because so many of the displaced tenants have not been able to find permanent housing.

Since the four-alarm fire at Scott and McAllister on January 31st, the Alamo Square Fire Fund has collected about $10,000.

Alamo Square Neighborhood Association President Gus Hernandez says more is needed to help the 35 neighbors who were displaced.

“The rents are astronomical and so people that were displaced who had been living there under rent control for many years are struggling to find an affordable unit that’s comparable to what they were living in. So they’ve either had to downsize to a studio or move out of the city,” Hernandez said.

Los Angeles-based Big 5 Sporting Goods has stepped in to offer an up to $5,000 donation match for money raised by the fund through the end of April.

“Unfortunately there’s been a rash of fires and they needed help basically,” said Rick Gridley, the company’s public affairs director.

Big 5 had a partnership with the neighborhood association through its Bay To Breakers race sponsorship. The company had previously donated $40,000 to Alamo Square and Panhandle parks.

Hernandez hopes more landlords come forward with more units through the city’s Good Samaritan program.

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