CHW celebrates 2016 milestones at annual DreamBuilder fundraise
Karen Sanchez, who was 13 years old when her family moved into CHW’s Las Serenas community, spoke about how the resources CHW provided helped her realize her dream of going to college and giving back to the community.
“My family moved here without anything, and despite working very hard, they were not able to give me much financial support,” Sanchez said. “Under those circumstances, I saw college as out of my reach.”
It was a woman named Martha who worked CHW’s community center who inspired Sanchez to try anyway. Sanchez had been involved as a volunteer and participant in the community center’s after-school and leadership programs, which helped her make new friends and adjust to life in the U.S.
“It was so important to have a place where I could go study, or a place where I could use the computer,” Sanchez said. “Martha gave me constant encouragement and connected me to resources and opportunities every step of the way.”
Sanchez is now a senior at San Diego State University and plans to attend graduate school after she earns her bachelor’s degree in social work next year. CHW President Sue Reynolds said stories like Sanchez’ exemplify the organization’s belief that an affordable home is where success and transformation begin.
“Your home affects everything. And a home has never been harder to find,” Reynolds said.
CHW is working against the housing crisis in California, where rents are now up 3.8% over the last year with median rents of $1,750 for a 1-bedroom and $2,110 for a 2-bedroom, while new construction rents often exceed $3,000, according to apartmentlist.com. By the end of this year, CHW will have completed major rehabilitations on 300 affordable homes and broken ground on 230 new apartments. In addition, CHW acquired and preserved 300 existing affordable apartments. With almost 3,000 apartments today statewide, the organization is on track to provide homes to 5,000 families and senior households by 2020.
Media contact: Tony Manolatos
About Community HousingWorks
Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a nationally-recognized non-profit organization that helps people living on low wages and fixed incomes move up in the world, in San Diego and across California, by building and owning stable affordable apartment homes and providing onsite services and opportunities for residents to achieve their dreams. CHW has nearly 30 years of success developing new and renovating existing multi-family, affordable rental apartments in urban, suburban and rural communities. With nearly 3,000 rental apartments in 36 communities statewide, CHW proudly serves more than 8,000 children and adults each year. CHW and our strategic partners deliver onsite programs to give residents the knowledge, tools, and hope to achieve their goals and dreams. As a result, many adult residents are able to get out of debt, improve their credit, and start a practice of saving for the future; and youth have a safe place to learn and grow, improve reading ability, and succeed at school. CHW is an Exemplary-ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, and member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. Learn more at www.chworks.org.