Neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what motivates Ana to volunteer for her neighborhood’s Homeowner Association (HOA). When Ana was voted into the HOA, she started investigating the abnormally high property taxes and was able to successfully get back thousands of dollars for each family in her neighborhood — much to the surprise and delight of her fellow Habitat homeowners!
“I like the fact that I can have an extra set of eyes for our community, in case something goes wrong.”
Photography by Sean Cope Pictures
Before owning a Habitat home, Ana did not have a space of her own or a community to devote her time to. She lived with her mother, brothers, nieces, nephews, and her 12-year-old daughter under one roof. As a single mother, she shared a room with her daughter in this single-family home.
After years of living in a crowded environment, she applied for a Habitat home. She learned about Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco while volunteering on her daughter’s school friend trip. On March 2014, Ana became a Habitat homeowner at 7555 Mission in Daly City.
Ana describes the whole process as an amazing experience. Like all selected Habitat partner families, she had to complete 500 hours of sweat equity in lieu of paying a down payment. As an employee at a bank, she used her vacation days and weekends to make it happen.
Luckily she had community support to complete those hours. Her manager and colleagues pitched in some volunteer hours. And on a special volunteer event, she worked side by side with the Golden State Warriors players, including Draymond Green, who were there to lend a helping hand for a day of service. At the end of the day, she was surprised to find out that the players had donated all of their hours to Ana, putting her over her 500 hours.
As a strong believer of paying it forward, she donated her extra hours to her new neighbors and fellow Habitat partner families. Since Ana moved into her Habitat home, she and her daughter finally have a home to call their own.
“My daughter is able to focus on her studies, think outside of the box, and create her own path because she now has a space to call her own.”
This May, Habitat Greater San Francisco celebrated a month-long Women Build campaign to build and repair more homes for women who lead just like Ana. If you didn’t get a chance to join the campaign, you can still make a donation! Thank you for your help to make sure more local families like Ana’s are able to stay in the Bay Area.
Categories: Women Build