Oakley, CA, February 2021 – Chad was raised by a single mother at DeAnza Gardens, an EAH Housing community in Bay Point, Calif. Starting in high school and inspired by his hardworking parents, he worked and saved all he earned. He paid his own way through college and now, at 28, works as a business developer for a large company specializing in health and safety cleanups at commercial buildings. In November, he bought his first home, in nearby Oakley.
Chad is grateful for the stability EAH Housing gave him, his brother and his mother. “Living in affordable housing at DeAnza Gardens enabled me to have the opportunity to be successful, because my mom, a cafeteria worker for the Antioch School District, could manage the rent and take care of her kids,” he says.
During high school, Chad worked at restaurants like Subway. He later worked night crew at Lowe’s and during holidays at Macy’s. After high school he began developing his management skills, driving an ice cream delivery route, managing a San Francisco clothing store and doing sales at Nordstrom’s.
While working full-time, Chad earned an associate degree in psychology at Diablo Valley College and later a bachelor’s degree in economics at Sacramento State University. Then he was on to jobs as an account manager at a pharmaceutical company and as a recruiting manager at a large staffing firm.
Growing up amid the diversity of DeAnza Gardens’ residents and watching their daily struggles with financial challenges sensitized Chad to how tough life can be for some people. Now he’s finding ways to help out and give back.
“I thought I had a rough life growing up, but now that I work with affordable housing companies, I hear firsthand how some of their residents have it 200 times harder than I did,” he says.
Through his current employer, Ideal Restoration, Chad has participated in partnerships with nonprofits that help their community members, including one organization that fixes roofs and windows for people who can’t afford to pay for those repairs themselves.
“I’m giving back to the community with my company and it’s great,” he says.
Chad is also feeling good about giving back to his mother. He bought the Oakley house to share with her and they moved in just before Thanksgiving. “It’s super nice for me to be able to buy a home for me and my mother, to give her that feeling of owning something,” he says. “It makes me feel amazing.”