HIF Happenings: Q1 2020

“Thank you for helping me to provide for my daughter.”

– Alexa Nolder

As we welcome a new year and a new decade, we chose this quote from HIF Housing Program Recipient, Alexa Nolder because it speaks directly to the power and promise of our organization and you, our HIF Family, the fuel and foundation of all that we do. At the heart of HIF’s mission is the belief that we are stronger if our communities are made stronger by supporting their efforts to provide for themselves and their families.

This past year brought changes to our board and staff, we created tremendous impact through our Homeless Prevention and Housing Programs and leveraged strong support from our industry expanding our renovation program. We also enjoyed renewed enthusiasm for HIF as we celebrated our 30th Anniversary September Summit. Our generous sponsors and guests set fundraising records and expanded our ability to make an impact in our communities.

This new level of energy and interest in HIF and our programs is, as it has always been, an opportunity for our industry to build and strengthen relationships while giving back to the community. It is also a recognition that the regional housing crisis impacts us all and that we can collectively work toward real solutions while we push back against a rising tide of cynicism that says there is nothing we can do.

We are excited about working with you in deepening HIF’s impact and setting a course for a new decade, fueled by 30 years of your support and partnership. Let’s roll our sleeves up together and help more families provide for their kids.

Steve Sullivan
Executive Director

Program Dashboard (1/1/2019 thru 1/31/2020)

Emergency Housing Fund

Grants: $320,000
Households Served: 175
Adults: 211
Dependents: 156
Average Grant: $1831

Renovation Program (2018-2019)

Renovations: 7
Volunteer Hours: 1165
In-Kind: $341,994
HIF Investment: $111,217
Market Value: $453,211

Affordable Housing Initiative

Applications Submitted:77
Approved: 26 (6 pending)
Ave. Client Savings: $1,200/mo
Total Value of Landlord Donations: $375,000

Affordable Housing Initiative

HIF expanded its reach by assisting working families secure affordable housing with a focus on teachers, non-profit professionals (like Alexa Nolder) and other community-based workers at 50-80% AMI (Average Median Income), saving an annualized $14,000 per family. Stan Jones of Institutional Property Advisors, and his son Harrison, partnered with HIF to launch this program with the support of area housing providers including Sequoia Equities, ABL Properties, Casco Property Management, AvalonBay Communities, Strom Properties, Raintree Partners, Essex Property Trust, Prometheus and Windy Hill Property Ventures. These companies have provided over $350,000 worth of in-kind donations, the program has reduced commute times for participating tenants and our tenants have realized savings of at least $1,200 per month, per household.

In 2020, HIF will grow this program to help at least 50 additional families secure affordable housing.

Renovation Program

HIF’s Renovation Program has helped restore my faith in people.”

– Alvin Hall, Transition Housing Manager at Free At Last (2018 Equity Residential Renovation Project)

We celebrate the impact, hard work and great collaborative spirit of our volunteers and Corporate Champions who supported HIF’s Renovation Program over the 2018-2019 period.

With staffing and leadership changes, our focus in 2019 was centered on planning to expand our projects in 2020. Our key Corporate Champions over this period – IBI, Inc., AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential, Windy Hill Property Ventures and Prometheus Real Estate Group (and almost a dozen of their subcontractors and suppliers and other contributing HIF board members) donated significant in-kind support, financial resources and expertise to over 7 projects in support of community agencies serving individuals and families in crisis including Free At Last, Unity Care, Spring Street Shelter and St. Vincent de Paul.

For more information on HIF’s Renovation Program or to get involved, contact Steve Sullivan: steve@hifinfo.org


IBI, Inc.

In 2018 and 2019, HIF enjoyed the strong support of Rod Edwards (IBI’s CEO & HIF Board Member) and his fantastic team. IBI contributed over $100,000 of in-kind support and at least 200 volunteer hours over two projects helping to transform Unity Care’s foster care home in South San Francisco (in partnership with AvalonBay Communities) and Spring Street Shelter (in partnership with Windy Hill Property Ventures) a nonprofit housing and mental health services organization for homeless men and women. IBI also secured significant additional in-kind support from their many subcontractors.

HIF renovation projects have a profound impact on both the community agency and participating Corporate Champions and vendors. As Rod said:

“IBI has been honored to partner up with HIF to help tackle one of the biggest problems plaguing the Bay Area: Homelessness. By putting our talented team members to work, we have been able to take part in projects where the dream of having safe shelter is realized by those that are less fortunate. The profound impact is not only realized by those that have found homes but resonates throughout our entire organization. Our partnership has provided our team with a sense of community and the importance of giving back.”

Emergency Housing Fund

HIF’s signature program continued to be a critical source of support for working families throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

The Rod Standard Grant Program Luncheon, hosted by John Millham of Prometheus this past April, helped give the program a significant boost as we provided over 160 families with emergency grants for security deposits, rent and utilities.

This past December, Dan Fernandez of TARC Construction donated holiday gift cards to Emergency Housing Fund recipients to help them during what can be a challenging time for many parents. A program recipient, Ixtlac Duenas (a senior administrative assistant at a local university) sent us a wonderful thank you note signed by her and her children that beautifully encapsulates the importance of the donations our HIF family provides in support of our communities.


HIF Board of Directors:

We extend our deepest gratitude to several HIF board members whose terms of service have ended but without whom we could not have done this vitally important work.

Thank you to Mike Scrabis (Brook Furniture Rental), Cathy Balzen & Sam Sotoa (CORT Furniture), Julia Riccetti (Irvine Company Apartment Communities), Peter Dessau (Miller, Morton, Caillat & Nevis), Ahmed Sultan (The Arcadia Companies), Danielle Bayless (Essex Property Trust), Brian Moore (BellaVista Landscape Services which will continue to support our Renovation Program) and Steve Wilson (AvalonBay Communities) for your service to our mission and the communities we serve.

In 2019, HIF also welcomed new board members David Saarman (Saarman Construction), Kellie Meier (Prometheus Real Estate Group), Colleen Moore (View, Inc.), Goli Sarange (LeaseLock), Louie Huerta (Brook Furniture Rental) and Kelli Zarzana (CORT).  In January of 2020, Christian Jules Ong (The Arcadia Companies), David Gill (Interstate Equities Corporation), Jackie Todesco (AvalonBay Communities) joined our Board of Directors.  Our Board of Advisors experienced some change as well as Jeff Radzinski (IQV Construction and Roofing) and Wendy Johnson (Benchmark Environmental Engineering) moved to the Board of Directors while longtime HIF supporter Jim Shepard (AquaTek Plumbing) joined our Board of Advisors.

We look forward to working with these new board members as we expand our programs and impact in 2020 and beyond!


HIF Staff:

We are happy to introduce Arlene Marcos, HIF’s Office Manager and overall glue to our operation. Arlene brings to us over 26 years of experience operating her own event and wedding planning business and a collaborative spirit that will strengthen HIF’s programs and culture.

Also, please join us in congratulating Inas Elmashni-Atawneh, who entering her fifth year as an HIF Program Manager is now our new Director of Housing Programs! Inas has been integral to the success of HIF and we are excited about her leading our Homelessness Prevention and Affordable Housing Programs to a new level of impact.

HIF Events

Sharks vs Lightning

We enjoyed a great evening at the Sharks Nonprofit of the Night event on Saturday, 2/1/2020. Over 70 of our friends gathered before the Sharks took on the Tampa Bay Lighting for some good food and drinks courtesy of our sponsors Summerhill Homes, AvalonBay Communities and Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP. Thanks to our HIF Family for helping us to help keep at least an additional 15-20 families housed in February! Click here for more pics!

2020 Calendar of Events:

April 15, 2020
Rod Standard Grant Program Luncheon

May 1, 2020
Kicking out Homelessness

September 10, 2020
September Summit Gala Fundraiser

For more information on these events and sponsorship options, contact Arlene Marcos: arlene@hifinfo.org / 650-437-2980

Alexa's Story

When I first heard about HIF’s Affordable Housing Initiative, I was amazed that someone took the time to think about those who work in the community. This program would allow community workers to have reduced rent, which in turn, allows for a more livable life in the Silicon Valley.

I am a single mother to an amazing (and sassy) 4-year old (she was three at the time I learned about this program) and we all know that having children is expensive, but having them while also living in one of the most expensive areas in the US is a challenge. Trying to ensure that you have your bills paid, food on the table and everyone has the basic necessities is not always easy when 90% of your paycheck goes straight to your rent.

The HIF Affordable Housing Initiative (through the generous support of CASCO Property Management) really saved me a lot of stress, tears and money by collaborating with a local apartment complex in the area to offer me a reduced rental rate. Inas, the amazing Housing Program Manager at HIF, listened to my concerns and my needs as a person, a worker and a mother. She helped me through the process of paperwork and within a few weeks, she paired me with an amazing property that is within 10 minutes of my work AND my daughter’s school (double bonus!). Being in this program as allowed me to catch up on debt and work towards the savings account I’ve always wanted to have.

I have been in HIF’s Affordable Housing Initiative program for one year and just learned that I was approved for a second year! I was so thrilled when I got the news because now my daughter can stay close to friends she has made in our complex and see what it is like to live in a stable living environment that doesn’t involve moving every year.

Thank you for thinking of those who work for the community and offering me the chance to provide more for my family by offering reduced rental rates. You truly have changed mine and my daughter’s life. I know that this program will help so many other families in similar situations to mine, so keep up the amazing work you are doing!

With love,
Alexa and Zoe