Leo East Palo Alto Homeowner


A Home as a Safe Haven

Leo’s daily routine involves cooking an abundance of food in the kitchen—her favorite spot in the home. With more than 30 grandchildren who visit her regularly, she has a lot of mouths to feed. Since Leo purchased her home in East Palo Alto 40 years ago, it’s become a stable place for her family and friends. Her door is always open and free of judgment.

As a retired Nursing Assistant for San Mateo County, taking care of others has been a lifelong theme for Leo, who is now 92 years old. Throughout the years, Leo cared for her family, including her two brothers, mother, and daughter, before they all passed away. Her home has been a safe haven for second chances, where relatives and friends often sought refuge when they fell on hard times.

And during those same years, Leo found it difficult to keep up with essential home repairs on her fixed income. At the brink of losing her home, Leo’s health started to deteriorate from the stress. Her niece understood the importance of keeping the home in the family and applied for Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program.

Since Habitat installed new flooring in her kitchen, replaced her broken gate, and removed mold in her bedrooms, Leo’s health is getting better and she continues to care for others in her home.

"As long as I have a fridge and roof over my head, I’ll take care of anyone and everyone. My home has become a sanctuary where anyone can come by for supper without judgment."

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