Hard Work Equals Success

Aleli, Gennis and their 3 children were living in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in Pacifica; one they were forced to move into due to a rent increase by their previous landlord in Daly City.

This cramped living situation was difficult for the family. Aleli and Gennis shared the master bedroom with their growing seven-year-old son, Ezekiel, while 16-year-old Elijah and 21-year-old Erika slept on bunk beds in the second bedroom. The lack of space and privacy that their home provided made it extremely difficult for the children to study, play and grow.

Then the family learned about 36 condominiums being built by Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco in Daly City and they became beyond excited. They saw this as an opportunity to change their situation and provide them with a sense of security for the first time. Gennis and Aleli immediately signed up to attend an orientation meeting and applied.

When the homeowner selection committee volunteer went to visit the Reyes during their application period the family bubbled with enthusiasm. Aleli and Gennis both had tremendous smiles on their faces it was immediately obvious that this was a very caring and loving family with a strong commitment to their community and Habitat. And they were especially excited to learn about the sweat equity requirement. To them, the challenge of physically helping to build their house through sweat equity was more exciting than buying a fully built house.

Reyes_Gennis_and_Ezekiel_Painting_2014And, the prospect of becoming homeowners in Daly City was a dream that the Reyes family was waiting to fulfill. With the children’s school and Aleli’s job being in Daly City as well as the proximity to BART for Gennis and Erika to commute to work and college, the condominiums at 7555 Mission Street would be a perfect fit.

In April of 2013 the Reyes family's dream came true and today, the family is so happy in their new 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in Daly City - a home that they built with their own hands. The kids all have their own space to study.

And now, Aleli and Gennis are able to have some peace in their own master bedroom. A true testament to their pride, they hung up their construction hard hats to remember all of the hard work and commitment that they contributed to build their home.

The family also celebrated a big milestone right after moving into their home – Elijah graduated from high school. This was a huge accomplishment and he looks forward to starting college, majoring in graphic design.

“We no longer need to rent and keep moving around, looking for cheap and nice apartments. [Our home] is at a very convenient location and I saw the whole house come together. It's an unbelievable experience to be able to live in a house you built with your own hands,” said Elijah.

"It's an unbelievable experience to be able to live in a house you built with your own hands."


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