“I didn’t have the resources
to engage in a bidding war
for a home that I still needed
to fix.”

Stabilizing neighborhoods.
Michelle’s home is one of
many which were vacant and
bank-owned until Hello
Housing intervened.

MICHELLE in San Lorenzo

When Michelle walked into her first Hello Housing open house, she knew she was home. Stepping through the door into the bright, beautiful, and welcoming space was all she needed to reinvigorate her dreams of homeownership. She was especially happy that this home was near her parents in the community she grew up in as a young girl in San Lorenzo.

After years of commuting over 1½ hours each way from her mobile home in Livermore to her job as a teacher in Oakland, Michelle was ready to move closer to work and to her family. However, she found herself quickly discouraged when competing with “all cash” investors. “I didn’t have the resources to engage in a bidding war for a home that I still needed to fix,” she explained. When she walked into this cheerful home in San Lorenzo, she could not believe that the program was designed for people just like her, who wanted to live in the homes that they were purchasing.

“Feeling safe in a place he
can call home, for as long
as he likes, makes all of the
difference for Larry.”

– Miguel, Caregiver

This is my home.
Larry’s home is an example of a Family Teaching Model where people with developmental disabilities and a “teaching couple” live side-by-side in a duplex.

LARRY in San Jose

Larry moved into his new home following the closure of Agnews Developmental Center where he lived for 29 years. He was nervous about the move, as was his brother Dan, until Larry visited the home and immediately picked out his new bedroom. Having his own room, filled with his vast collection of DVDs and colorful collection of stuffed animals, has meant the world to Larry. “Since Larry’s move to his new home, he has no problem letting us know where he wants to go in the community,” says his caregiver, Miguel. Larry loves to visit Starbucks where he is now a regular patron, known by fellow coffee drinkers and staff alike.

Larry shares a duplex with two housemates in an innovative program called the Family Teaching Model. Living in the adjoining unit, a trained couple provides 24-hour support to Larry and his housemates, along with a team of relief staff. It is clear that Larry is proud of his home, and relishes his ability to move independently throughout the home which is outfitted with ceiling-mounted lift systems, a roll-in shower and ramps to all outdoor spaces. Larry is happy to give visitors a tour, showing off his bedroom and his prized collections with a contagious smile.

“Now that he is in his
beautiful home I am sleeping
even better. He has really
become a part of the
– Joanie Pepper, mother of
Brucie Rosenfeld

Part of the community.
Bruce is flourishing in his
962 home developed by
Hello Housing, owned by
BAHC with person-centered
services by Elwyn NC.

BRUCE in Morgan Hill

Bruce Rosenfeld had lived in at Agnews Developmental Center for 30 years. He was born with brain damage and suffered seizures his whole life. When his mother, Joanie Pepper, realized that the center was closing, she was very concerned about what the future would hold for her son. Linking arms with many other concerned families, she embarked on a long journey to make sure her son and his peers at Agnews would be taken care of. She could not have imagined a more positive outcome. “It’s exciting, not just for me, but his life is so much better,” Pepper says.

Bruce was one of the first people to move into a “962 home,” named for Senate Bill 962, which authorized a new licensing category designed specifically for people with developmental disabilities. “I had been concerned that when he lived in the community he would feel isolated compared to having so many people around him at Agnews,” said Pepper. “Was I ever wrong!” Bruce enjoys an in-home day program, which includes many weekly field trips including movies, a model airplane club, parks, museums, restaurants, the light rail, ice skating shows, parades, bowling, and more. He even went swimming for the first time in 30 years and loves his trips to the pool. He’s enjoying delicious home-cooked meals, something that a large institution can’t provide. Pepper beams with pride when describing her son’s progress since moving into the Taylor House. He can now move his wheelchair without assistance, remember people and stories from his past and even speak in increasingly complex sentences – just a few of the amazing milestones Bruce has achieved since moving to his new home.