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LGBTQ mental health clinic rallies against ‘sudden and unjust’ eviction

A man stands in an office with large colorful abstract wall art, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, and white shoes.
Queer LifeSpace director Ryan MacCarrigan stands in the lobby of the mental health center at 2275 Market St. | Source: Jackson Stephens / The Standard

What was supposed to be a celebration for a nonprofit that provides affordable mental health care to hundreds of LGBTQIA+ clients from its clinic in the Castro became a plea for help as it fends off displacement.

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí planned to honor Queer LifeSpace on Saturday by presenting a certificate for its 13 years of service and internationally recognized training for queer-affirming therapists.

But the clinic’s executive director, Ryan MacCarrigan, turned the ceremony into a rally against displacement because he said the landlord has been shaking him down for “dubious fees and penalties” that are setting him up for a “sudden and unjust eviction.”

The property managers even started showing the clinic space to other prospective tenants, MacCarrigan alleged, “in a highly unethical breach of the active lease agreement.”

“We think that the landlord is committing fraud and making unlawful claims that we owe money we do not owe,” he told The Standard ahead of the midday event, which drew a few-dozen supporters. “They’ve shown us the numbers, but no justification for the numbers. So we said, ‘Hell, no. This is ridiculous.’ And in response to that, they threatened us.”

Regent West Limited and Renoir Property Management, the owners and caretakers of 2275 Market St.—an aging three-story mall in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District—didn’t return multiple emails and calls for comment. Ultimately, someone claiming to be their attorney but who refused to give their name denied the claims in a phone call with The Standard.

“None of this is true,” said the spokesperson, calling from a number linked to Danfoura Law Group P.C., which court records show has worked with Regent West and Renoir Property in at least one other case. “There are no efforts to evict this tenant whatsoever.”

Alex Davis, an attorney for Queer LifeSpace, said the fees Regent West and Renoir Property Management demanded from Queer LifeSpace are “certainly not standard or professional.”

“I work with 30 to 40 other clients—and normally I represent the landlords,” he said. “And I can tell you that this is not a typical process. What the landlord has provided is not typically what landlords provide.” 

A diverse group of people stand in front of a building, holding signs with messages like "No more lies!" and "We will fight back!"
About 40 people showed up to the rally, including San Francisco supervisors Aaron Peskin and Ahsha Safaí. | Source: Jackson Stephens / The Standard

In a news release Friday, MacCarrigan said the dispute centers on maintenance costs the landlord began demanding last year without explaining how they were justified.

“The costs they’re claiming were from when the space was empty because of the pandemic,” MacCarrigan said. “It’s B.S.” 

Byron Yee and Angela Yee, under the aegis of Regent West and Renoir Property Management, acquired the decades-old, three-story shopping center at 2275 Market St. in late 2019, when city records show it sold for a little over $8 million.

Just a few months later came the pandemic and resulting closures.

An office lobby with a reception desk, brochures on tables, posters on the wall, and a small seating area with a couch and table lamp.
The lobby of Queer LifeSpace, which services hundreds of LGBTQIA+ clients from the heart of the Castro District. | Source: Jackson Stephens / The Standard

Queer LifeSpace sat empty for the better part of two years as its staff worked remotely. MacCarrigan and other tenants who spoke to The Standard said they kept up agreed-upon rent payments and didn’t hear anything from the building owners.

“Then, they show up three years later saying these operational costs went up by an abnormal amount and you owe us all this money,” said Davis, the clinic’s lawyer. “And a lot of these costs accumulated during Covid when all of this was shut down. That was the sketchiest part.”

Some tenants are still negotiating with the landlord and declined to comment. Others have opted to leave, including a longtime barber who packed up this week.

Queer LifeSpace argues that the abrupt uptick in operational fees amounts to a violation of a lease the clinic secured through 2027. And after a year of negotiating, settling and negotiating again, MacCarrigan said the landlord won’t budge.

A colorful mural with abstract figures and a dog's face, has protest signs reading "HEAR WE FIGHT" and "YEE-HAW NO MORE LIES!" placed near comfy chairs.
Clinic supporters held up posters at the Saturday rally that read “Hear ye, we will fight” and “Yee-haw no more lies.” | Source: Jackson Stephens / The Standard

“The landlord’s being a bully,” Davis said. “The law firm they hired is basically a collection agency. I mean, they’re a small business. They don’t run themselves in the same way as a large professional real estate owner and they’ve messed up. … But instead of acknowledging that they messed it up and working with us, they’re being hard-headed.” 

So now, the clinic is appealing to the public for help.

Safaí, who showed up to the Saturday rally, called it “just wrong” that a clinic providing life-saving services finds itself on the brink of displacement.

“Landlords should be helping businesses stay in San Francisco, not driving them away,” he said. “We need to step up—this isn’t just about one organization; it’s about taking a stand against the bigger issues hurting San Francisco right now.”

A group of people watches a man speaking into a microphone on a city sidewalk, flanked by two holding protest signs with slogans about truth.
Queer LifeSpace Executive Director Ryan MacCarrigan, right, convened the rally in hopes of drumming up public support for the clinic. | Source: Jackson Stephens / The Standard

Among those bigger issues, MacCarrigan said, are the vulnerable lives at stake. More than half the clients at Queer LifeSpace identify as non-cisgender, he said, and more than a third are people of color.

“When there are all these attacks by the right wing and feelings of existential dread for the people we work with, it doesn’t help that the agency that is trying to help you is also being attacked,” he said. “In fact, it invokes a sense of terror. That’s what a lot of our clients are telling us.” 

Stephen Torres, who co-chairs the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, said the entire neighborhood has a stake in the fate of the clinic.

“We’re talking about the preservation of our small businesses,” he said. “We’re talking about mental health resources. Right now we are in danger of losing these things.”

    Jackson Stephens also contributed to this report.

    Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at