The Multiplier Effect of Habitat for Humanity
Evan and Kitte first met while in Teach for America, an organization that recruits a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity in low-income communities. After their Teach for America commitment ended, Evan and Kitte married and Evan committed to following his passion to educate and empower under-privileged youth. When they started a family, Kitte stayed home to care for their young boys, James (4) and Sean (3) and Evan became the Principal, biology, and math teacher at Bridgemont High School in Daly City. Bridgemont is an accredited college prep high school that serves urban students from San Francisco and surrounding areas with a mission to provide students, regardless of economic status, a personalized, well-rounded, ethnically-diverse, college prep education in the framework of the Christian faith.
As Evan continued his work at Bridgemont, it became more and more apparent that homeownership was a far off dream. They struggled everyday just to make ends meet while paying an oppressive rent consuming 56% of every paycheck. They couldn’t imagine a way off the treadmill.
In his daily work at Bridgemont, Evan would often receive Habitat Greater San Francisco outreach materials outlining the Habitat Greater San Francisco homeownership program and inviting families to learn more. Although Evan would consistently share these materials with his student’s families, encouraging them to learn more and see if they qualify to apply, he never considered learning more about the program for his own family’s benefit. However, one day he finally took a moment to read our pre-application, and it was then that he realized his family is precisely what qualifies as a Habitat Greater San Francisco partner family. So they tempted fate and applied.
This past November, Evan and Kitte were overwhelmed to learn that they were selected as a Habitat Greater San Francisco partner family to receive a single-family home on Carlton Avenue in Menlo Park, a previously foreclosed home refurbished through the support of Habitat donors and volunteers. He is also delighted to know that one of his current students will also move into their own Habitat home this coming spring. Jamir, a 15-year old student at Bridgemont, will move into a condominium at our 36-unit development at 7555 Mission Street with his mother, Donna, and two younger brothers next spring.
What is even more remarkable, is that there is yet another success story connected to Bridgemont and Habitat Greater San Francisco. In 2004, Jose and Javier, seventeen year-old twins and Bridgemont students at the time, were elated to find out that their family of five had been chosen as a Habitat Greater San Francisco partner family. Jose and Javier, after graduating from Bridgemont High School, headed off to college. Today, they are excelling, one at Columbia College and one at DePaul University, both in Chicago. They have said that their Habitat home “gave them the hope and motivation to move forward.”
Evan is proud that Bridgemont and Habitat together, are able to support families in multiple ways, improving the future for his own children and his students at the same time. According to Evan, “Habitat and Bridgemont are giving students hope and a future. It's this type of partnership that helps families get out of poverty and stay out.” He is honored to be a part of the multiplier effect that is Habitat for Humanity.
Learn more about the Habitat Greater San Francisco Multiplier Effect Today:
Meet the Juarez Family
Read more about Donna and Jamir's Journey