Oil and water. Fire and ice. Teacher salaries and Bay Area housing costs. These are all examples of things that simply don’t mix.
At least for the last one, however, there is a creative solution available. Based on the success of our educator homesharing initiatives in Denver and Miami, Silvernest worked with Teach For America and Encore.org to help young teachers find affordable housing in an expensive city. This time we helped Teach For America educators in the notoriously expensive San Francisco Bay Area!
Benefits of Homesharing for Educators: Remember the Three Rs?
Remember reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic? When it comes to the benefits of homesharing, this program has its own three Rs: rent, routes and relationships.
Rent: Living in or near San Francisco is very expensive. Renting space from a homeowner allows teachers to pay a monthly rent they can afford with their relatively small salaries. And because of teachers’ critical role in the community, many homeowners are excited to open their homes to educators and make an impact on their community.
Routes: A major side effect of the costly San Francisco housing market is the need to commute. The farther teachers have to live from the schools where they work, the more time they have to spend commuting—and the less time they can spend working with students, preparing curriculum and taking care of their own health and wellbeing. Homesharing allows these teachers to live in areas they could not otherwise afford, giving them valuable time back in their lives and creating more room for them to exercise their passion for education.
Relationships: While homesharing isn’t necessarily about becoming best friends with your housemate (although that sometimes happens), it does put two people with different backgrounds and stories in the same place—and can enrich the lives of both. Many retirees, empty nesters and community advocates are looking for a meaningful way to get involved and connect with younger generations, and what better way to do it than this?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the pilot's success!
Image credit: Piet Fotograaf on Flickr