Prometheans Changing Lives in Redwood City Community

Oct 10, 2012

Twenty-four families have a better place to call home after Prometheus Real Estate Group employees, affectionately referred to as "Prometheans," and the Housing Industry Foundation (HIF) joined forces to complete much-needed renovations on the St. Clare apartment building in Redwood City. The 24-unit apartment building is operated by St. Francis Center, a Redwood City-based non-profit organization.

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, 23 volunteers gathered bright and early at St. Clare Apartments and met their onsite leaders from two local companies, San Jose-based IQV Construction and Concord-based Empire Painting, who provided significant in-kind donations of materials and labor in the weeks leading up to the workday to make the project possible. The volunteers were then divided into teams and geared up to tackle one of three challenging assignments: constructing a privacy fence along one side of the property, providing two breezeways with a fresh coat of paint, and installing a colorful tile mosaic on an exterior wall. The team that tackled the painting of the breezeways included Darren Carrington, senior VP of Portfolio Management of Prometheus. "Volunteering and contributing toward making our local communities better is something that is engrained into the culture of Prometheus," says Carrington. "We encourage active participation from our Prometheans working within our 80 properties and the various departments in the home office."

image © daniel gaines photography

Around noon, the volunteers gathered in the sunny courtyard to enjoy Mexican and Salvadorian food freshly prepared by some of the apartment building’s residents. After getting their fill of carne asada and pupusas, volunteers hurried back to work to finish the painting, mosaic, and new fence. Sister Christina Heltsey, executive director of St. Francis Center, was thrilled to have the volunteers working onsite. "Giving the building a facelift encourages the tenants to have pride in where they live ... and [the residents to] feel more valued as people," says Sister Christina.

Lexi Paza, program and outreach manager at HIF, believes that the volunteer workday was the result of an ideal partnership. "A company like Prometheus that prioritizes the concept of ‘home’ can really connect with what HIF is trying to accomplish at the St. Clare Apartments," says Paza. "The families that live here are some of the lowest-income households in Redwood City, but why shouldn’t they have dignified housing? Everyone out here today believes that these families deserve a clean, well-maintained place to live, regardless of how much they pay for rent."

image © daniel gaines photography

The Promethean OutReach and Community Help program, or "POrCH," allows Prometheans to volunteer in the community with causes and organizations they feel passionate about. After just three short, yet successful years, Prometheus is extending the "POrCH" program to over 37,500 residents (known as Neighbors) with the goal of building a deeper sense of community making a difference in the world. Collaborating with HIF for the third straight year is an excellent example of both giving back to the communities in which Prometheus operates and also supporting organizations with a similar mission and vision.

image © daniel gaines photography

The volunteer workday was part of HIF’s Corporate Champion program, which provides local companies and their employees the opportunity to spend one day completing repairs on local shelters and housing facilities operated by nonprofit organizations. Prometheus is a longtime supporter of HIF, which receives all of its support through individuals and companies in the multifamily industry.

image © daniel gaines photography

Because of the generosity of industry partners, HIF was able to complete about $16,000 worth of renovations at the St. Clare Apartments for $3,000 in out-of-pocket costs. This reflects a powerful leverage of nearly $5 of renovations for every $1 spent. HIF Executive Director Meta Ware says, "This project could not have been done without all of the companies’ contributions and we are truly grateful and appreciative of their sponsorships."

image © daniel gaines photography

About Prometheus Real Estate Group
Since its inception in 1965, Prometheus Real Estate Group is the largest private owner of multifamily properties in the San Francisco Bay Area, with over 18,000 units throughout the Western United States. Its platform includes acquisitions, development, renovation and property management and its philosophy is centered on making the apartment experience more fun and interesting and providing a true sense of home. Most recently Recognition includes:

  • 2012 MHN Best Property Management Company of the Year
  • 2011 NAHB Best Property Management Company of the Year
  • 2010 MHN Best Property Management Company of the Year
  • Three Gold Nugget Awards & One Grand Award from the Pacific Coast Builder’s Conference

About the Housing Industry Foundation
For 23 years the Housing Industry Foundation (HIF) has provided the only multifamily industry based solution to the changing face of homelessness in our area. HIF completes renovations at no charge to non-profit housing shelters and transitional living facilities to improve the quality of life of their clients. HIF also funds emergency housing grants of up to $1,000 to cover housing costs and keep families in their homes. HIF is able to create so much value through its access to the expertise and resources within the multifamily industry, including in-kind donations of material and labor, to complete facility renovations and upgrades at significantly reduced costs. Through these projects, HIF has bettered the quality of life for homeless veterans, women in recovery, victims of domestic violence, and low-income senior citizens.

About The St. Francis Center of Redwood City
The St. Francis Center of Redwood City is a nonprofit organization helping families in need to live in dignity and become self-supporting members of the community. Founded in 1986, the St. Francis Center provides the local community with essential services such as housing, food, clothing, and education. The organization operates St. Clare Apartments, a low-income building for 24 of the very poorest families in the community.