Yomo’s Story-San Francisco

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Not everyone can truthfully say that they built the home in which they live, but Yomo Shaw will soon be able to make that claim.

In one of the very first Choice Neighborhood Implementation (CNI) projects, Yomo works hard every day to help transform San Francisco’s Eastern Bayview/Alice Griffith public housing development into a new, sustainable, mixed-income community—brick by brick. In his job as a construction laborer, Yomo puts sweat equity into his neighborhood in hopes of seeing positive change.Yomo2

According to Yomo, Eastern Bayview has seen its fair share of violence and crime. Admittedly, Yomo himself was part of the problem.

“The person I used to be is a terrible person—I’ll never see him again. Out there selling drugs, doing crime, and all that. Around here it used to be really, really rough. There were lots of shootings and robberies.”

After being incarcerated for selling drugs, Yomo was released with a new attitude and a willingness to work for better opportunities for himself and his family.

Without much work history, though, it was difficult for him to find a job—one that would provide him with a living wage. Even with passion, a strong work ethic, and a desire to change his life, he couldn’t make enough to support himself and also provide for his six children.

Yomo-1It was then when he contacted Urban Strategies.

He worked with workforce development specialists and case managers who helped him develop his “soft” skills and also assisted him in joining the laborer’s union. Once he was a qualified apprentice, they were able to connect him with his current HUD Section 3 job opportunity. Yomo is now on his way.

“Now I focus on going to work and taking care of my family. I am happy with the person I am now.”



Back to the 2015 Impact Report