St. Francis Center

Now Even A Brighter Beacon

HIF improves quality of life for hundreds in Redwood City

Nearly 200 of Redwood City’s poorest community members rely on a nonprofit called St. Francis Center for a place to call home.  With forty-one units spread over three blocks, the organization is a beacon of hope for low-income families in the North Fair Oaks neighborhood.

With a mission that emphasizes safe, decent housing, the St. Francis Center is a natural partner for HIF.  When approached about providing major interior and exterior improvements to five St. Francis Center buildings, HIF saw this as an opportunity to make a huge impact for deserving families.

One of the residences, a 24-unit building, had kitchens in desperate need of rehabilitation: thirty-year-old cabinetry, cracked flooring, mismatched second-hand appliances, and inadequate lighting were just the beginning. The condition of the landscaping of several buildings was also grim: front lawns of two buildings were nothing more than dirt patches with a few old rose bushes.

After recruiting David Wright of Prometheus to serve as a volunteer project leader, HIF began pulling in companies to help make the repairs possible.  Amazingly, three different general contractors – Barry Swenson Builder, International Building Investment, Inc, and Monterey Construction Company – offered to divide up the kitchen renovations, taking on eight units each, with the support of Benchmark Environmental Engineering.

A dozen other companies stepped in help make the project possible, including A Plus Tree, Appliance Parts Distributer, DRYCO Construction, Dun-Rite Excavating, Inc, HD Supply, IQV Construction, Junk King, Kelly-Moore Paints, Mannington Flooring, Medallion Landscape, ProFloors, and Tacoma Fixtures. And, for the fifth year running, Prometheus Real Estate Group served as an HIF Corporate Champion.  On a sunny June day, Prometheus brought out a group of volunteers who donated a combined total of 120 hours in just a single day.

After eight months of work, the market value of the renovations topped $170K, proving to be one of the largest and most extensive renovation projects ever undertaken by HIF.  And, more importantly, with gleaming new kitchens and beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces with new seating for the families, HIF has given the St. Francis Center residents a safer and more dignified place to call home.