Reaching across cultural and language barriers, immigrant students at the San Francisco International High School have compiled profiles of individuals working to solve a problem the students are personally affected by or interested in. These change makers are working to reduce evictions and homelessness.

Emiliano Chacon


Our group interviewed Emiliano Chacon. Emiliano is from San Francisco, but his family is from Costa Rica. He works at the San Francisco Day Labor Program & Women’s Collective. He has worked there for about three years. His work is about helping homeless people or the poor find jobs and making sure that they are paid well.

More About Our Changemaker

“I think the day labor program is important because when workers come together in one place, they are more powerful. They can tell bosses how they want to work, and also they can share with each other.”

What You Can Do To Help

If you want to help change the problem of homelessness, one thing you can do is if you need some people to help you to do something, you can go to the day labor program to find some workers, or you can call the phone number for the Day Labor Center: (415) 252-5375.

Another thing you can do to help is to donate to the organization that the Day Labor Program & Women’s Collective is a part of. You can donate some money to the Dolores Street Community Services, which helps homeless people. Or, if you don’t want to donate money, you also can collect some things that people don’t use (some things like clothes, books, toys or something), then give those to places like the Salvation Army. You also can give food to food banks like the SF-Marin Food Bank.

If you can’t do those things. The best thing that you can do for them is respect them. Try to not discriminate against them.

Student Group

Diarin is from Guatemala. She is 15 years old. She likes to play soccer. She is interested in this topic because she says that this topic is full of cool stories! Vivian is from China. She is 15 years old. She likes to read. Bahromjon is from Russia. He is 15 years old. He likes music, books, and girls. My name is Dilun. I am from China. I am 16 years old. I like to listen to music.

Julien Ball


Julien Ball is from Massachusetts. He has worked at the Alliance Of California for Community Empowerment for three years. The Alliance is a state-wide organization with neighborhood-based and issue-based chapters.

More About Our Change Maker

“People need to be able to live in the kinds of communities they want.”

Julien said that he cares about this topic because he thinks that it is not right that some people are getting rich when many other people are losing their homes and are unable to stay in neighborhoods they like because they don’t own their property. He said that people are being evicted every day.

Some of people who are not evicted don’t feel at home in their neighborhoods because everything changes. Also he said some of the new businesses discriminate against Latinos and long time residents. In San Francisco, it’s hard to find a place to live and the rents are high. He inspired us when he talked to us about how he and people at ACCE help the community, and that made us feel good.

What You Can Do To Help

If you want to help change the problem get involved by getting your neighborhood involved and then decide what the problems are in the community and how you can start to take them on. So if the problem is evictions you get people together and figure out what you can do about it. If you want more information, you can call ACCE at 415-335-7033 or e-mail them at to


Gonzalo, 16, is from Guatemala. Yol, 16,is from El Salvador. Anariba, 17, is from Honduras. Fai, 16, is from Samoa. Kenneth, 16, is from Nicaragua.

Fred Sherburn-Zimmer

Photo by Christopher Cook

Photo by Christopher Cook

Our group interviewed Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer, who usually goes by Fred. She was born in New Hampshire and works at the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. She has been working on housing issues on and off for 10 years. People who are being evicted or have other housing problems come and ask her for help.

More about Fred and her work

Fred loves her job because she is meeting new people everyday. She also find protests very fun. “For example, tomorrow we are going to go to four houses that are being evicted. The people being evicted are teachers in San Francisco. We are going to have a marching band and all these people will come out.” She said she wishes they were getting together for a different reason but sometimes it is still fun when you are fighting back to prevent or help prevent evictions.

What You Can Do To Help

If you want to help change this problem of evictions in San Francisco you can help change this problem!! You can donate money to the organisations that helps prevent evictions. You can also help by joining one of the protests. You can help change someone else life.
For more information visit the web site Or you can visit the tenants union page

Letty, 15, is from El Salvador. Tally, 17, is from Mexico. Winnie, 16, is from China. She likes to sing songs. She is interested in this topic because her mother is the only person earning money in her family so its hard to pay rent. Josue, 16, is from Honduras.

Elyse Kovalsky

elyse Our group interviewed Elyse Kovalsky. She is from New York and works in Stockton California. She is also a doctoral student inChicago at Northwestern University investigating how not having housing can affect people.

More About Our Change Maker
Elyse told us about how she is trying to help the homeless here in San Francisco. Homelessness, she said, can affect people’s health because it can be hard to keep healthy food or take care of an illness. It is also important because it affects their life because if you are homeless often it is hard to hold down a job.

What You Can Do To Help
If you want help to change the problem of homelessness, you can volunteer in a shelter like Raphael House in San Francisco. If you want more information, you can look at this website Another thing you can do to help is donate money or get involved with an organization that helps homeless people. Dolores Street Community Services is one organization, for more information go to

Student Group

Ricardo, 16, is from Chihuahua, Mexico. Jose, 16, is from Mexico, D.F. Franklin, 15, is from Honduras. He is 15 years old. He likes to play soccer.

Maria Zamudio


Our group interviewed Maria Zamudio, who is from Mexico, but her office is in the Mission. She is a renter. It’s expensive to live in San Francisco, so she fights for people who are getting kicked out of their apartment.s

More About Our Change Maker
She said in San Francisco, life is changing. A lot of high-income people are coming and they are buying property so they can rent it out really expensive.

The most important part of our interview was [we learned] that this is a really unfair situation with people who are renters. Like if a rich renter is renting an apartment and if someone who is not rich wants to rent, the landlord won’t say yes easily, because the renter wants people who can pay the high rents.

As a human rights issue, everyone should have a place to live and people in San Francisco deserve better than a city that has very few people or small amount of families.

Student Group

Ermias, 15, is from Eritrea. Karen, 16, is from El Salvador. Yennifer, 16, is from Honduras. My name is Elder I am from Guatemala.