Bishop Marc breaks ground at Eviva Mission Bay

On Wednesday, May 20, Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California, joined Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco and representatives from the San Francisco Interfaith Council for the groundbreaking of Eviva Mission Bay, which will add 129 rental units in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco. More than 20% of these units will be moderate affordable housing. Bishop Marc’s comments about the importance — to communities of faith and to San Francisco — of providing essential housing are below. You can watch the entire event on YouTube here

“God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ So God made the dome…and God called the dome Sky.” Genesis 1

The dome within the vast universe is the first home for humanity and all life. We get our words ‘domicile’ and ‘domestic’ from the same source that is used in Genesis to describe the love of God in making a home for all of life.

So we might say that a deep spiritual impulse in us — a way that we are like God — is in our efforts to provide homes for people. Homes for ourselves and our families, yes, but an even more godly effort is the provision of homes for the stranger, the other. And most of all are we godly, the Hebrew Scriptures tell us, when we provide homes for the dispossessed and the disinherited.

Today we gather with our mayor, the Honorable Ed Lee, with the mayor who birthed this vision, the Honorable Willie Brown, with the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, with The Integral Group, with the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and with citizens to celebrate the groundbreaking of Eviva, a development that will contain more than 20% moderate affordable housing. 

The provision of moderate-level affordable housing in San Francisco is incredibly important, perhaps more important than we can outline at the present. Moderate-level affordable housing includes what I, the Interfaith Council, and Mayor Lee call “essential housing” — that is, housing for essential members of the workforce who cannot afford to live in San Francisco. Essential service workers are those people we value so highly in our community — the nurses who attend us in the hospital, the teachers of our children, firefighters, our clergy, artists, and social workers among them. 

Providing moderate-level income housing, including essential housing, is deeply and broadly a spiritual work. As such, for all of us in San Francisco and especially for the faith community such provision is a results-based way of working out what it means to live in the most income-unequal city in the most income-unequal democracy in the world. 

We give thanks for our city family leaders, for The Integral Group, for our faith leaders, for citizens. 

May we all aspire to the spiritual goal of making a home for all life, and most of all for the vulnerable.