I am one of the Supportive Housing Associate Manager’s for the Mission Hotel. The Affordable Housing Programs are good for the homeless and formally homeless. You have to remember that the population that we house feels like the streets is the end of the road. That’s where we come in. We pretty much house everyone that is referred to us trying not to send anyone back to the streets. I’ve been working for THC for 8 years now and have seen a lot. I’ve seen a lot of our tenants move on to more permanent housing, school, jobs etc. There is nothing like seeing your tenants move up to a better life for themselves. I take a lot of pride in what I do.
This is the first job I’ve had that I actually like and makes a lot of since in my life. I always put myself in other people’s shoes because you never know that it could be you that becomes unfortunate and needs help. So I treat people the way I want to be treated and help them the way I would want to be helped. I care about my tenants and want better for them. I was born and raised in San Francisco and before working for THC; I did not know any programs exist such as this one and the ones alike. when I was younger I always saw people sleeping on the streets and I use to say when I get rich I want to take one of these old buildings that is abandoned and get most if not all of the homeless off the streets. I never could understand why the City of SF did not take these buildings and fill them with people off the streets. I still have those dreams in the back of my head. I do know now that it’s not that easy.
And even though I know I may not ever get rich, I do know that I’m making a difference working for THC. I started working here when I was 23 years old with a 5 year old daughter. Not only have I seen tenants’ life change but my life has changed as well. I didn’t have a destination in life at that time. I was just winging it. But after a while I started to appreciate life more and new that my daughter’s future relied on me. I am now 31 years old, married with 3 daughters now and in my 4th position going up with THC.
Seeing the things I saw in the TL just made me more ambitious for change. My mother was stabbed to death on Turk and Taylor when I was 11 years old. Now one would think that I would not want to step foot in the TL with that history. Instead I figured I needed to get over my fears and I began to work for THC. When I first started, my position required me to walk that same block my mother was murdered on and pay clients rent that were in our MPP program. That is when I conquered my fears and at that point new this was the place of employment for me to make as much a difference as possible. I don’t want any young child to go through what I went through at 11 years old. I think that reporters should start embracing the lives of the clients and the employees to see the difference that is made through Affordable Housing.
Please note that THC employs our tenants as well. I just recently interviewed a tenant from another one of our buildings as well as a former tenant. I feel like sometimes they know best how to treat each other. You have to have tough skin and care for people in general to survive in this business.
Fallon BrownFiled under: Letters to the Editor