Ford Fish Mercy Housing California Board Member

Getting to know Ford Fish: Pride and Hope For the Future

Ford Fish joined the Mercy Housing California (MHC) Board of Directors in 2015. He was the chair of MHC’s Real Estate Committee during a time of unprecedented growth for Mercy Housing California. A San Francisco native, Ford has 40 years of experience in real estate and construction project management. Ford tells us why he is so passionate about affordable housing:

“My career heading real estate and construction for global corporations has taken me all over the world and I have worked in 30 countries, but no place is as close to my heart as San Francisco where I was born and raised. I have seen extraordinary change in San Francisco, the Bay Area, and our country; change that causes me great concern.

I was raised by a single mother who was a secretary for the San Francisco Board of Education and received a modest salary. We lived a good life in several neighborhoods in San Francisco and my mother had no trouble renting a nice flat and providing me a good life. I went to public schools and graduated from University of San Francisco. Growing up, the parks and streets were my safe playground.

Socioeconomic conditions have changed dramatically and the childhood I experienced no longer exists. Lack of affordable housing is a major contributor to our declining quality of life, growing despair, and inequality. I joined Mercy Housing California four years ago because Mercy is working hard to help people in need to have a home and support services.

I have experienced many proud moments at Mercy Housing but the greatest of all is meeting the residents who move into our homes and see the relief and pride on their faces. To hear our residents’ stories of how their lives changed from desperation to joy with solid plans for a better future for themselves and their families gives me great pride and hope for the future.

I am particularly excited about our project to rebuild Sunnydale, a neighborhood located in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley where we are replacing over 700 units of World War II housing with over 1,700 units of new housing with a community center for the neighborhood and support services that help everyone succeed. Sunnydale is a diverse community with over 800 children who deserve the same opportunities I had to succeed and build a better life for themselves and their families. Children are our future and how we treat each and every one of them is a measure of our society.

I often hear from people that they want to help but don’t know where to start. I tell them it starts with helping one person find a home and that is Mercy Housing’s mission.”