Emil Girardi moved to San Francisco on New Year’s Eve in 1960. He loved everything about the city: the energy, the people, the hills. And of course, the bars, where he mixed drinks for most of his adult life.
About 10 years ago, the 83-year-old New York native had a stroke and collapsed on the sidewalk near his Nob Hill home. Everything changed.
“I didn’t want to go out of the house,” Girardi said, adding he only felt comfortable “going from the bedroom to the dining room.”
He started to fear the city’s streets — and growing older.
An out-of-state friend worried about his isolation and called a San Francisco-based nonprofit called Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly. The organization works to relieve isolation and loneliness among the city’s seniors by pairing them with volunteers.