Habitat Blog

Beautifying Green Spaces in the Bayview & Discussing the Affordable Housing Crisis

parkview

Written by: Saffron, Habitat Student AmbassadorThis past Saturday, we hosted a park beautification event at Little Hollywood Park in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. Volunteers gathered from all around the Greater San Francisco area to help with weeding, clearing, and cleaning the excess vegetation, helping beautify the park’s garden. From tech employees to friends searching for a fun weekend activity, a variety of volunteers made their way to the beautiful park for a morning of giving back.

guyscarrying
weeding

 

At the beginning of the park beautification event, we recognized John, a regular volunteer who has just completed 400 hours of volunteer work for Habitat Greater San Francisco. We handed him a card to say thank you for all of his hard work and dedication over the years.

 

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johnwheelbarrow

 

Let’s take a look at some of our other fantastic volunteers!

 
CHRIS

chris

Chris grew up in the Bay Area and has lived in the City for almost five years. This was his first time volunteering for Habitat.

What motivated you to volunteer with us?

My boyfriend invited me to this cleanup, but we’re actually thinking of moving to Bayview, so I thought it would be a good way to get to know the neighborhood.

Why is the housing crisis so important to address? What does it mean to you?

The Bay Area is really expensive, and it’s really hard for people to live here. I definitely think that everyone feels it, and it’s really sad to see neighborhoods change just because people can’t afford to live there. So I think it’s really important what Habitat is doing.”

 
CECILIE

cecilie

Cecilie has lived in San Francisco for about two years. Her former colleagues at a software company were participating in a volunteer week, so Cecilie decided to join them.

What motivated you to volunteer with us?

They had a lot of projects going on in the City. It’s very easy to sign up with them, and they’re doing a lot of good for the community here.

Why is the housing crisis so important to address? What does it mean to you?

It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed now. It’s getting out of hand in San Francisco. And it’s noticeable to tourists and everybody outside, especially long-term residents here that are losing their housing — it’s a crisis and really sad and definitely something that needs to be handled immediately.

 
BRIE & RYANNE

brie

Brie has lived in San Francisco for six years and it’s home to her now.

What motivated you to volunteer with us?

I got a Hands on Deck email, and I knew it was going to be a nice day so why not?

(Our Hands On Deck group is made up of Habitat's on-call volunteers. We notify you of same-week openings [with no obligation to attend]. To join, sign up here.)

Why is the housing crisis so important to address? What does it mean to you?

It’s crazy living here and knowing that it’s not really sustainable for most people to live here. And you end up in the same apartment forever and ever, because it’s all you can afford and you’re afraid of your landlord raising your rent, because then you can’t live here anymore. So, it’s a really complicated issue about something that affects everyone.

 

Ryanne also lives in San Francisco and grew up about an hour north from the City, so she considers herself “semi-local.”

What motivated you to volunteer with us?

I heard it from Brie and it’s nice to be able to do something that’s a one-timer or whenever you’re available — it makes it really easy to come out when you can.

Why is the housing crisis so important to address? What does it mean to you?

It’s really part of your day-to-day consciousness in San Francisco to feel like you’re so privileged to live here. It’s crazy to think that people don’t have the same opportunities, or they work here but they can’t live here — it’s frustrating.

 
COLLEEN

colleen

Colleen is a 24-year-old woman who moved from Connecticut to San Francisco this past February. She has worked for Habitat before and was excited to volunteer for the first time in the San Francisco area.

Have you had any favorite experiences working with Habitat in the past?

I led two Collegiate Challenges in college — one of which was to Mandeville, Louisiana. It was great leading college peers on the week-long experience.

Why is the housing crisis so important to address? What does it mean to you?

It’s visible. You see it every day so I think it’s just a part of everyone’s life. Whether or not they’re directly affected, it’s on everyone’s minds, certainly.

 
JP & COLIN

jpandcolin

JP is from New York and visited his friend Colin in San Francisco for the weekend.

What motivated you to volunteer with us?
Colin has done Habitat a couple times. I was coming out here for the weekend and he mentioned that he was going to be doing a project in Little Hollywood Park. I thought it was a phenomenal opportunity to come out, help his community, and get outside on this beautiful summer day.

 

Colin is originally from Philadelphia but has lived in San Francisco for about four years.

What motivated you to volunteer with us?
I’ve done Habitat a couple times now. This is my second park beautification project and revitalization project. I’m also volunteering at the East Palo Alto project right now. JP and I did a lot of volunteer work in college together, so I knew that he would be a good person to come out here with today — drag him out here nice and early on his visit.

Do you have a favorite experience from working with Habitat?

The first time I did a park revitalization was with my company. I thought it was great team building. Then last weekend, I was partnered with a high school kid that was doing mandatory volunteer work. I thought that was a great experience to be able to not only show him how to work hard and make an impact on his life, but also show him a new perspective on actually giving back to the community.

 

Check out the photos on our Facebook page to see our volunteers in action and all that they accomplished!

Join at our next volunteer event!
Sign Up to Volunteer

 

About Neighborhood Revitalization

Our Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) program aims to help with the beautification and expansion of gardens and community parks to make them safer, cleaner, and more accessible to the residents of the surrounding communities. Our park beautification events take place in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco and in East Palo Alto. During these events, volunteers normally prune shrubs and trees, remove brush and invasive plants, and spread mulch depending on the needs of the park and community.  Learn more at www.habitatgsf.org/revitalization.

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