I spent this morning on the lawn of Promontory Park, gazing at the downtown skyline. I was not on Twin Peaks. I was in the middle of San Francisco’s newest public housing development, Hunters View. Located in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, Hunters View is part of our full-scale collaborative effort called HOPE SF which aims to revitalize the city’s most distressed public housing developments with no displacement of current residents.
Mayor Lee, Leader Pelosi, Supervisor Cohen and others came out to celebrate the grand opening of Hunters View and the culmination of four years of political leadership, hard work, collaboration, financing, and construction — as well as the support and participation of the residents, who up until now, have lived in dilapidated barrack style housing since 1957.
Behind us was a new community center and 107 new apartments, looking out on downtown San Francisco and the East Bay Hills.
“It takes a village,” was a phrase echoed by many today. In this case, the village is the whole city and all layers of government, as well as business, philanthropy, and the community.
Moving families from their current reality of poverty, isolation and violence, so that they are part of San Francisco’s economic prosperity, takes the long term commitment from everyone, and deep systemic change. We were all there today to celebrate that commitment and to keep it going — because today’s opening was only phase one.
PJ Lulio, a resident living at Hunters View in a second floor apartment, told us “Change is coming! We’re on the right path, and we’re going to get there.” PJ is one of several residents coming together and forming the Hunters View Host and Activities Committee. As a Peer Leader, he leads activities in the community that rebuild hope, trust and social bonding, part of what makes HOPE SF unique.
He expressed the sense of hope for the future that up until now, has been missing among residents of HOPE SF for generations. HOPE SF’s residents have been relegated to poor housing in communities that many would consider isolated from the main hub of the City for too long. HOPE SF takes an innovative full-service approach by combining bricks and mortar development with human capital development, focusing on building community, improving education, health, and safety, and creating jobs.
Hunters View is one of four HOPE SF sites, which also include Alice Griffith, near candlestick park (starting construction next), Sunnydale in Visitacion Valley, and Potrero Hill, where residents are also leading transformation efforts in their communities through similar peer leadership programs. In total, over 4000 public housing units will be rebuilt over the next 20 years.
Read other stories about the work with resident leaders and partners in HOPE SF:
- Five Take-Aways on Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
- The Voices of HOPE SF Youth
- Year In Review: Transforming San Francisco’s Public Housing
- Meet Deandre’s Family
- More stories from our HOPE SF team