"First and foremost in importance is where you live."

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Born in Baltimore, MD, James moved to Hayward, CA in 1980 and has lived in San Leandro for eight years.

James spent his career as a logistics and management specialist for cargo and import/export firms; he retired in 2010 when his employer made the economic decision to trim his position. James was living in a market-rate apartment just a few blocks from San Leandro BART, and he became increasingly concerned about the rent increases he was starting to experience. “When you’re on a fixed income, you want peace of mind that you’re not going to get another [rent increase] note on your door,” he said.

 

One day, while driving along San Leandro Boulevard with his cousin, James saw the Marea Alta construction sign, and he took the initiative to look up BRIDGE Housing online. He joined the interest list (with 28,000 other people), navigated the application process, and was fortunate enough to move into his new apartment on January 24, 2017.

 

“This is the first time I’ve lived in a brand new place,” he said. “It’s close to the bank, supermarket, post office—everything you need.”

 

At 66 years young, James stays active through exercise, such as running, and volunteering at his church. In his bedroom is an electric keyboard, which he intends to play more now that he has the time and space to devote to his favorite music: gospel, R&B and classical.

 

“First and foremost in importance is where you live,” he said. “This place is truly a blessing.”

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