Singing “California is a Garden of Eden. It’s a paradise to live in or see. But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot, if you ain’t got that Do-Re-Mi,” keynote speaker, Kat Taylor, captured the hopes and frustrations of so many Californians struggling to make ends meet. But, for the 1,200 residents living in Sunnydale—San Francisco’s largest public housing campus—who are physically isolated from, yet surrounded by, a city marked by prosperity and success, Woody Guthrie’s lyrics ring especially true.
That’s why nearly 400 guests joined Mercy Housing California on March 15th for Home is Just the Beginning—a fundraiser to sustain our transformative services in Sunnydale. Event Chair, Ford Fish, and renowned social justice advocate, Kat Taylor, who was honored with the Sister Lillian Murphy Housing Justice award, highlighted the need for economic justice and the opportunity for a better tomorrow in Sunnydale.
Inspired by Presenting Sponsors, Kilroy Realty and Salesforce, leaders and businesses from across the city donated $500,000 toward added services and community amenities in Sunnydale. These services and amenities include community gardens, back to school and summertime activities, and predevelopment funds to design a community center with a gym, childcare, and a Boys and Girls Club. The evening’s contributions matched an extraordinary $500,000 gift from The Susan Wang fund, bringing the total raised to $1 million.
In a video that premiered during the evening, Ruth Jackson, a Sunnydale resident, reflects on the upcoming transformation sharing, “When people have something that they can enjoy, they take care of it.” To see the full video, click here.
Embedded in the stories of residents like Ruth and in our shared vision for Sunnydale, is the fundamental belief that quality, affordable housing is a means to an end—to thriving communities and new opportunities—and, that home is truly just the beginning.
Mercy Housing is grateful for the generosity of our sponsors and guests for their support and partnership in transforming Sunnydale and forever changing the lives of the families who live there.