In the first photo, a volunteer group from the law firm Morrison & Foerster takes a break after a day of building with Habitat Construction Manager Charlie Coffee, shown standing. The second photo shows a group from Starbucks that volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco at the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program in honor of Starbucks’ Global Month of Service in April. Click on each photo to see an enlarged version of the photo.
During a two-week period at the end of April, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco completed an improvement project at the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program.
With the help of community volunteers, Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization team cleared brush, reseeded the yard, built eight picnic tables and eight new planters. Inside the facility, volunteers painted the Y’s gymnasium and re-grouted and caulked all of the tile in a family changing room.
The improvements saved the Y money that can instead be used for other facility upgrades or for programming, and the experience provided a way for volunteers to make a hands-on investment in the East Palo Alto community.
“I’d like to thank Habitat for Humanity for their commitment to helping us maintain a first-class facility where people of all ages, backgrounds and incomes can come together to learn, grow and thrive,” said Caretha Coleman, board member of the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto Family YMCA. “These improvements will help us better meet the needs of local residents and we look forward to building on our partnership with Habitat for Humanity in the years to come.”
Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program extends the work of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco into the neighborhoods where it builds – beautifying parks, renovating community assets like schools and community centers and delivering critical repairs to homes to improve the health, safety and well-being of residents in the neighborhoods it serves. Habitat Greater San Francisco’s two focus neighborhoods are East Palo Alto and San Francisco’s Bayview.
“The best part is that when Habitat Greater San Francisco says, ‘We build more than homes – we build and strengthen communities, too,’ – we mean it,” said Habitat Greater San Francisco CEO Phillip Kilbridge.
In addition to building and renovating 38 homes in East Palo Alto since 1989, Habitat Greater San Francisco has completed several neighborhood projects to improve community facilities in the city. These include the $135,000 in facility upgrades at Project WeHope, turning a one-time warming shelter into a full-scale homeless shelter. The organization recently made code-compliant upgrades while expanding the kitchen facilities at the Creative Montessori Learning Center, so it can better deliver hundreds of meals each day to its child care and pre-school students.
The author of this article, Lindsay Riddell, is the director of marketing for Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. She can be reached by email at LRiddell@habitatgsf.org