Site Updates – We’re almost there!

July 15, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

The update you’ve been waiting for….


At Habitat Terrace we have three-bedroom units nearing completion and have begun framing the two-bedroom homes.


Our volunteers, along with our construction staff and AmeriCorps members are working hard this week to frame-up the next 11 homes in our 28-home development in Ocean View. Have you visited? If not – it’s time to get your framing on.



Meanwhile, at Mt. Burdell trusses have been delivered for three of the 1o homes and framing is underway on all houses. We are excited to have so many dedicated volunteers supporting us in Novato, as well as three interns who will be with us until mid-August.

MtB_Update  IMG_1136


Stay tuned for more updates on our latest Habitat homes.

Well, until next time folks!

Worlds Collide! Build With Pride 2.0

June 16, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

Day 2 of #BuildWithPride! We’re also building with Kent Bloom and two of our favorite homeowners, Shirley and Federico. So basically, a great day.

A photo posted by Habitat Greater San Francisco (@habitatgsf) on

For our second annual Stephen Blake Jacoby Build With Pride event last weekend, we were joined by 79 incredibly amazing volunteers, including Kent Bloom, whose partner, Steve, posthumously inspired the first iteration of BWP; Shirley and Federico, two homeowners who completed their 500 hours of sweat equity before last year’s event…and came out to volunteer, anyway; and several students from St. Ignatius College Prep, taking their summer vacations to volunteer and learn about the Bay Area’s housing crisis. All that together adds up to 639 volunteer hours over two days…fueled by 39 (well-deserved!) pizzas.

In other words, we had a super team of volunteers — but in case you don’t want to take our word for it, you can watch everyone Build with Pride!

Check out our Flickr for more pictures from Friday and Saturday and see you next year!

Construction Update!

May 20, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

Great news Greater San Francisco Habitat-ians!

At our newest development, Mt. Burdell Place in Novato, our construction crew and volunteers poured our final two foundations last week and boy do they look amazing! We are that much closer to being able to provide affordable homes in Marin County. Big shout out to all of the fantastic volunteers who helped make this milestone possible!

Mt. Burdell progress


But WAIT – That’s not all!

Remember when the road in front of our Habitat Terrace homes was a giant trench or a pile of rocks? If not, here’s a recap…

Before and After - Habitat Terrace Road

Look! The road is in and, great news, it’s gorgeous! Who knew a road could be so spectacular?

And if that’s not exciting enough, Habitat Terrace has some other exciting news – we have been officially granted our Certificate of First Occupancy at Habitat Terrace from the City of an Francisco. You may be asking yourself, but what does that mean? It means that we have completed a home!

  • Walls
  • Roof
  • Flooring
  • Windows
  • Paint

Only 27 more homes to go! We haven’t started accepting applications for our Habitat Terrace homes yet, but that’s coming soon. Stay tuned.

Cert of Final Completion, Habitat Terrace

Stay tuned to Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco blog for more updates.

Are You In? Yes, You Were!

May 6, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

SV Gives ty blog graphic

As many of you know, SV Gives 2015 wrapped up this morning at midnight – and to put it simply, you guys rocked it! In just 24 hours, you came together to raise over $44,000 – more than twice our original goal of $20K – for affordable housing and financial stability for hard-working families on the Peninsula. We are totally blown away, and all we can say is thank you!

Actually, we had a little trouble with that part. See below.

Well. We tried. Thanks again! Click here for more information.

1 Million Hours: Counting Down and Looking Forward

May 1, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

Our amazing month of 1 million hours has come to a close, and it’s safe to say it was a good one. Sure, you guys, our incredible volunteers, were busy, but let’s take a look at what you got done, shall we?


1 Million Hours By the Numbers:

  • 808 amazing volunteers served
  • 7667 total hours in
  • 4 cities and 3 counties, spread over
  • 10 sites, including
  • 2 parks, 2 build sites, the YMCA in East Palo Alto, and Justin Herman Plaza for the Brown Bag Build!


Our favorite volunteer moments:

Chillin’ out with our Smitten Community Rockstars!

Our #SmittenCommunityRockstars out #HabitatTerrace, being appreciated and just generally great people. @smittenicecream

A photo posted by Habitat Greater San Francisco (@habitatgsf) on

Being part of Compassion Weekend with Menlo Park Presbyterian!


Doing warm-up Zumba at our staff/board/YLC park beautification in the Bayview with the local YMCA staff!


Racking up over 200 hours (and 50 door/window frames!) of volunteer work at our first ever Brown Bag Build!


Kalimah’s birthday build!

17289526952_019c6206cc_o (1)

So, now what?

Just because we’ve finished logging 1 million hours doesn’t mean we’ve finished logging volunteer hours altogether! There’s still plenty to do, especially with a new site in the works. Be sure to check out our other 1 million hours blogs here and here. Find yourself in this video of our volunteers over the last 25 years, or head over to our Flickr for more recent shots. Download our free volunteer swag for your social media. Join us this Tuesday, May 5th for SV Gives 2015. And, of course, most importantly…

Sign Up To Volunteer!

See you at 2 million!

A Present for You to Celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week!

April 14, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

We’re pretty sure there’s no way to thank you guys enough for give over 1 million hours of your time to help us out.

We think this video is pretty good, but we wanted to do more…so we got you some bragging rights! We’re sharing some social media swag you are welcome to download, share, and swap for the rest of the week, the rest of the month, the rest of the year, or the rest of your life (we have some pretty good looking volunteers, we know).

Just click to download! You can choose from a variety of Facebook covers covers, Twitter header photos header photos, or any general square images, or any combination of the three.

Enjoy and — one more time — thank you for helping us make #1MillionHours!

Facebook Covers

Click to download all 6 covers: Facebook Social Media Swag

Tom Marie FB Cover

Zoe Karla Aaron FB Cover

Roof Group FB Cover

Reyes Family FB Cover

Group Build FB Cover

Day Build FB Cover

Twitter Header Photos

Click to download all 5 headers: Twitter Social Media Swag

Twitter Power Saw Swag

Twitter ReStore Swag

Twitter Group Drill Swag

Twitter Group Dig Swag

Twitter Carry Swag

Square Images

Click to download all 4 images: General Social Media Swag (for Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, or just general sharing!)

ReStore Square Swag

Nick Hardhat Square Swag

Group Dig Square Swag

Jackhammer Square Swag

We hope you love your new swag! Don’t forget to tag Habitat Greater SF and keep on volunteering. See you at 2 million hours!

Happy Volunteer Appreciation Week! Meet Some of Our 1-Million-Hour Club Members

April 14, 2015  |  Leave a Comment

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation week, and if you’ve been following along, you know Habitat Greater SF has an extra special reason to celebrate (in addition to all you wonderful people, of course): we’re celebrating 1,000,000 hours of volunteer service! Obviously, we couldn’t do this without our incredible volunteers, so we tried to capture just an ounce of their incredible-ness here.

And just to say thank you to ALL our volunteers, we have some social media swag for you to use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or to print out and paste on your walls at home, if that’s your thing.

Eliza | Linda | Marie & Tom

Linda Knox – Volunteer Extraordinaire

VW15 Linda

Longtime volunteer Linda Knox may be be 1 in 1 million, but she’s given way more than an hour of her time over her 9 years (official last Tuesday – congrats, Linda!) with Habitat. So, what is it that’s made her hang around so long — aside from her being a volunteer extraordinaire? To celebrate 10 years, we got Linda to tell you in her own words.

1. Why did you originally get involved with Habitat?
My father was a long-time admirer of President Jimmy Carter’s social conscience. When our son Jason went to college, I was looking for a new place to volunteer. (see #7) Also, I was ready to be “physical”, and wanted to let my inner TomBoy fly!

2. What made you stay around so long?
HGSF has made me feel very appreciated, and has plugged me into MANY different roles over the past 10 yrs. I began working at the ReStore while we were waiting for permits to start construction at Capital. After a couple of weeks, when I started helping in the Lighting Dept. something clicked (we see what you did there, Linda!). I really liked Tony, who was then running the dept., and he was most generous with his time in training me. The Global Village trip to Vietnam was also one of the highlights of my life!

3. What do you love to do the most?
As to what I love most, that has changed over the years, but I would have to say working with the people around me, has been a consistent factor. The broad range of ages, experiences, etc. has created a network of friendships that enrich my life. At the core of that, I believe, is knowing while individual politics, etc. may differ, we are all committed to the Habitat mission of having our labors go towards helping others.

4. Why do you spend so much of your time volunteering?
I’m a 64-year-old happily married woman, financially comfortable, with no obligations. Not really a Lady-who-Lunches kind of gal… Habitat is my “work”. My involvement with Habitat gives me an identity; I’m very proud to talk about what I do.

5. What do you love to do when you’re not volunteering?
When not volunteering… Hmmm. Read, cook, visit with friends, travel (going to Peru in May!) work out at gym, EAT, spend time with my husband Sam, and sometimes have quality time with our son and daughter-in-law.

6. Were you a savvy construction/DIYer before you started? Did you have retail experience? Or did you learn everything on the job?
Not particularly… No retail experience. OJT (on the Job Training) both at construction sites and ReStore.

7. Before you volunteered with us, what did you do?
Before HGSF? Can barely remember… Housewife and mother, extremely involved school volunteer while Jason was growing up. Dog trainer at the Hearing Dog program at the SF SPCA for about 6 yrs. Tutor with 826 Valencia (worked with a junior high in SF on their school newspaper for 2 yrs.) Project Open Hand for 3.5 yrs. doing kitchen prep work 1 – 2 days a week.

8. Anything else you’d like to add?
I was given the extreme pleasure of meeting Al & Marilyn Willard on my first build project. They had already been involved for YEARS with our chapter, and our somewhat sardonic personalities clicked. Their friendship is one of the true joys of my life (and it doesn’t hurt that my husband Sam and Al enjoy each other’s company…) I believe Marilyn and Al created the template I’ve tried to emulate. If I had to name the single biggest influence on my involvement with Habitat, it would be them. They are the gold standard for volunteering; I’m just the next edition.

Thanks, Linda. You really are 1 in 1 million! You can volunteer with Linda at the ReStore by signing up here.


Eliza Evans – Small. Powerful. Volunteer-y.

VW15 Eliza

Eliza has volunteered more than 600 hours building homes at Habitat Terrace in San Francisco’s Ocean View. She saws like a boss.

In just three and a half years, Eliza has run the full gamut of volunteer positions with Habitat. One might call her a professional volunteer. One might be right.

1. How long have you been a volunteer at HHGSF?
I have been a volunteer for three and a half years. But I’ve been working with Habitat for 10 years now, in Virginia, Texas, Thailand, Wyoming, and San Francisco. I started as a regular volunteer, became an AmeriCorps and then a construction staff member, and am now a regular again. Full circle!

2. How and why did you start volunteering with HHGSF?
I moved to the Bay Area to start graduate school, but wanted to stay involved with Habitat. Once I met all the awesome staff, AmeriCorps, and regulars at GSF, I knew I’d keep coming back.

3. What was your favorite moment volunteering?
I’m not sure. If you need a real answer, let me know, and I’ll think harder about it.

4. What is your favorite power tool and why?
The impact driver. It’s small, but surprisingly powerful, like me. :)

5. What have you learned from volunteering?
So many things. Most notably, 1) how to build a house, 2) how to be a better leader, and 3) the incredible capacity of people to help one another.

6. Why do you think others should volunteer?
Primarily, it’s so much fun! On top of that, you learn an incredible amount and get to work with amazing people: the homeowners, staff, AmeriCorps, and other volunteers.

Thanks, Eliza. You really are 1 in 1 million! You can volunteer with Eliza at Habitat Terrace by signing up here.

Tom and Marie – Hammer and Nail

VW15 TomMarie


Marie and Tom are part of a tight-knit crew of regular volunteers at our Mt. Burdell Place site in Novato where we’re building 10 single-family homes. These two are no schlubs when it comes to building, either.

About 40 years ago, Marie and Tom — who have together dedicated more than 200 hours volunteering at Mt. Burdell Place —  built their own home by themselves. With their own hands, guys. We asked Marie to share their story recently and here’s what she wrote:

 We went to a bookstore. Tom read a book on carpentry, and we built a 2,200 sq ft house while living in a 12-by-60-foot trailer for a year.  No kids, only dog #1 and cat #1 at the time.  We did everything but the heating and drywall.  I shingled most of the roof, as Tom had to go back to work, and I was a teacher with summers off.  A year after moving into a house without window coverings or finished doors, we welcomed our first child.  

 We later built the smaller barn, and I got a horse and pony.  My retirement bonus funded an Amish built barn, which housed my truck and trailer and allowed me to ride indoor during the winter.  

 It was an adventure building that house in which we raised two children, cared for a dozen cats, five dogs, one pony, and four horses over the years. Most are buried there on that three acres. We brought our dog and one horse with us to California.

Marie and Tom say they build with Habitat Greater San Francisco so they can help other families realize their own dream of homeownership.

“We have a strong work and family ethic, and are happy to have others find their way,” she says.

And they say the people they volunteer with are pretty OK, too.

“There’s good people out here,” says Tom. “I haven’t met one I’d complain about yet.”

affordable housing Habitat Novato home building

This is the house Marie and Tom built in Ohio with their own hands. Now they build homes for others at Habitat Greater San Francisco’s Novato site.

House Aerial

Here’s an Aerial shot of the home Marie and Tom built in Ohio 40 years ago.

Thanks, Marie & Tom! You really are one, er, make that 2 in 1 million! You can volunteer with Marie and Tom at Mt. Burdell Place by signing up here.