Habitat Greater San Francisco revitalizes a Bayview neighborhood in three days

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Last Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 20-22, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco mobilized hundreds of volunteers to revitalize a neighborhood in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point district.

Longtime Bayview homeowner Alfreda Furgensen poses with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco volunteers who cleared out massive blackberry bushes that took over her entire backyard.
Longtime Bayview homeowner Alfreda Furgensen poses with Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco volunteers who cleared out massive blackberry bushes that took over her entire backyard.

Over the course of three days, the blitz-style construction event, entitled Building Blocks: Bayview, took place within miles of Gilman Playground in the Bayview.

Building Blocks: Bayview was a three-day event that focused on making critical safety and accessibility repairs to three homes. The homes belong to three senior women who are longtime Bayview residents and have been in their homes for decades. Volunteers rebuilt fences, repaired decks, installed flooring, painted houses and landscaped yards.

Habitat Greater San Francisco also repaired Martha Hills Learning Center, a preschool and infant center in the Bayview. In addition to making repairs to the learning center itself, volunteers built large planter boxes for the center to start a community gardening program. Martha Hills Learning Center will incorporate food from the garden into meals provided at the center.

Ultimately, Building Blocks helped keep a Bayview learning center intact and longtime homeowners in their homes.

Building Blocks: Bayview is part of Habitat Greater San Francisco’s Neighborhood Revitalization program, which aims to extend the work of Habitat for Humanity into the neighborhoods where Habitat builds – renovating community assets such as schools and community centers, delivering critical home repairs to improve the health, safety and well-being of residents on a large scale, and beautifying parks and gardens.

Longtime Bayview homeowner Alfreda Furgensen worked alongside Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco volunteers who helped revitalize her entire backyard.
Longtime Bayview homeowner Alfreda Furgensen worked alongside Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco volunteers who helped revitalize her entire backyard.

“Our Neighborhood Revitalization efforts are aimed at transforming neighborhoods, so that critical community services can continue to be provided to residents, longtime homeowners can age in place and people continue to have a sense of pride for the neighborhoods they call home,” said Maureen Sedonaen, Habitat Greater San Francisco’s CEO.

To date, Habitat Greater San Francisco has built or renovated 43 homes in the Bayview and hosted 73 clean-up events at community parks and gardens.

Habitat Greater San Francisco focuses its Neighborhood Revitalization effort on two neighborhoods: San Francisco’s Bayview and East Palo Alto in San Mateo County. These neighborhoods were chosen because they have a high volume of long-time homeowners, many who need repairs but may not be able to afford them, and because Habitat Greater San Francisco has a history of building homes in these neighborhoods. The home repair program improves safety and health for long-time homeowners and can allow senior homeowners to remain living in their homes independently, rather than having to sell their homes or move.

To apply to Habitat Greater San Francisco’s home repair program or express an interest in volunteering at our next Building Blocks event, please visit www.habitatgsf.org.

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