Geoff and Debbie at Leigh Avenue Senior Apartment Grand Opening, San Jose
By Geoff Morgan
President and CEO
Love in Action
One of my key sources of meaning and purpose in this work is how we are able to help in real life our most vulnerable residents. A colleague of mine said he thinks love is overrated, that what really matters is the power of what we actually do for others. That makes sense to me, but I think it doesn’t acknowledge why we do what we do. I put all this together in one word: Grace. Grace is love in action. Our team is in the business of giving grace through shelter and services to for our most vulnerable residents, many who have felt forgotten or judged after years of service to family and the community.

Debbie was born and raised in San Jose in the Seven Trees neighborhood and attended Andrew Hill High School. As a mom, she spent 20 years caring for two of her children with chronic illnesses, right up through the time her resources and options ran out. Gladys worked for High Technology companies for 20 years. When they were outsourced, she worked three jobs until she had a heart attack. Gladys finally bought a mobile home when she knew her current housing wasn’t an option, only to see that vehicle taken, when she ran out of choices. Kent was coming through addictions and pulling his family back together when tragedy struck and he started to lose hope and resolve.   

All three are life-long San Jose or Santa Clara County residents.     

All of them were blessed eventually by counselors and county services that brought them temporary shelter and services.  

All of these community members are now housed and thriving at Leigh Avenue Senior Apartments.   

All of us, our relatives, our friends, but by grace, could have been in the same position, could be in need now, or may be in need in the future. I am surrounded by a mission driven team that is an instrument of this grace in a real way, from the board room, to the construction site, to the classroom, to the food bank. 

Thank you to all our partners for the incredible work they do to serve our over four thousand residents. You are love in action.

Leigh Avenue Grand Opening Video
We think Silicon Valley Video did a fantastic job capturing the impassioned crowd at our Leigh Avenue Grand Opening event on 11/17/21.

Listen to Debbie, Gladys and Kent's stories here: Leigh Avenue VIDEO.
Thank you to all of the funders that made the Leigh Avenue project possible:

CalHFA • Citibank • City National Bank • City of San Jose
Federal Home Loan Bank - Affordable Housing Program
The Housing Trust Silicon Valley • LIIF TOAH loan
Raymond James • Santa Clara County Measure A
Santa Clara County Housing Authority
Section 8 project-based vouchers
The mural at Creekview, San Jose
Program Highlight
Murals at FCH Properties
First Community Housing Senior Asset Manager, Bianey Martinez is on a mission to create beautiful spaces at FCH properties. In 2020, she commissioned the painting of a mural at our Second Street Studios in order to enliven the large bicycle storage area. Bianey worked with Lacy at Empire 7 Studios to tell a unique story of the benefits and joy of biking.  
The next project was a beautiful mural of a hummingbird for the Creekview Inn community room. Empire 7 Studios also created this gorgeous piece of art that will uplift residents for many years to come. Lacy uses all no or low-VOC paint for her murals. 
Murals are important as they not only add color and make a space beautiful, but they provide an opportunity to tell a community's story, create a unique experience, engage residents, and endeavor to increase appreciation for the arts and artists. Murals create a vibrant space that people want to visit, live in, and take care of. They encourage you to slow down and admire your surroundings and create important conversations and expand thought. 
Art in any form reduces stress hormones and releases feel-good hormones which help to combat stress and pain. With that in mind, Bianey is planning yet another mural for our Iamesi Village dog exercise area that will feature images of Tom Iamesi and his beloved dogs, Zeus and Larry. We can’t thank Bianey enough for her consideration and care of our residents and helping to improve their lives in so many ways.
The mural at Second St Studios, San Jose
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