The Researchers


I was born in Mexico City. I have lived in the United State since 2003 and in San Francisco since 2007. I came here to find my father. We live with two ladies and two gentlemen from Mexico that I knew back in my province. We will need to change where we live due to bad conditions. The Health Department has declared that the building is unlivable. I have five children, ages 12, 7, 4, 1, and 6 months. I participated in this project to better our children’s living situation and to provide them with a better home. I wanted to participate in this project in order to have an opportunity to find better housing and to have a place in which our children can thrive.

2019 update: Melissa continues living in the same very small room with her family of 6.


I was born in Mexico City. I arrived in the U.S. in 2003 with my husband and son. Six years ago, I cam alone to San Francisco with my children, and spent three years looking for stable housing while moving from shelter to shelter. I have learned to take photographs using different techniques and to speak firmly and confidently. I have also learned others’ stories and made friends. This project inspires me to continue fighting for decent housing and to support other families who are going through similar troubles. My goals are to obtain work and to study in order to better myself as a person and as a single mother. I also want to take classes in leadership to continue helping my community and being a voice for change.

2019 update: Lucero is still living in affordable housing in the Bayview District.


I’m from Guatemala and this is the second time that I have come to the United States. I’ve lived in San Francisco for eight years with my husband and three children. Lian Gael, my baby, is only two months old. I was encouraged to participate in this project because I wanted to know more about the health consequences of inadequate housing on children. I want to continue fighting so that all families, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to decent housing. We all came here to seek a better future for our families.

2019 update: Concepción is not in the country now.


I was born in Leon Guanajuato, Mexico. I have lived in the same place in the Mission for 20 years. This was the place where my children were born and raised. I wanted to participate in this project in order to learn about photography. This project has been an opportunity to shine a light on everything that is happening in the Mission: evictions, people sleeping on the street, astronomical rent, fires, new businesses, fewer Latinos, and the construction of luxury condominiums. My goal is to keep learning and to keep fighting for the Mission as a Latino neighborhood where low-income families can live in decent conditions, with well-paying jobs and more opportunities for our children to go to college.

2019 update: Aurelia and Ana have stayed in their same rent-controlled units in the Mission District.


I was born in Copan, Honduras and came alone to the United States for a better future. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 12 years. I am a victim of domestic violence and I live with my two children, ages 10 and 3 years. I joined this program on the recommendation of Mujeres Unidas u Activas in order to continue in learning about community leadership. I was motived to demonstrate through photographs the reality and conditions of many Latino families living in this “American Dream.” I want continue working as a leader in my community, helping other women and being an example for my children of struggling to triumph over adversity.


I was born in El Salvador and live in The Mission. I have lived in the United States and in The Mission for twenty years with my six children and my husband. I have lived in the same house for twenty years. My children are 4, 8 , 11, 20 , 25, and 27 years old. My inspiration for participating in this project was to learn to take pictures. During the project I learned to take better photos and came to understand how others live. My goals are to teach what I learned and to take every opportunity to discuss our community’s needs for affordable housing.

2019 update: Aurelia and Ana have stayed in their same rent-controlled units in the Mission District.


I was born in El Tular Valle, Honduras. I arrived at San Francisco in 2008 with my brothers and with many dreams and illusions. After being evicted from where we lived, we had to live in a garage, during a time when my child was sick. I’m currently living in a family shelter with my husband, John, and daughter, Genesis, waiting to find a stable place to live. My goal for my community is that each family can have a stable housing situation.

2019 update: Deyser’s family has a new baby.


So begins my story. I was born in my beautiful port of Acapulco, Mexico. I reached the United States in July 2005 with a golden dream of working to give my son and my mother a better future. I have lived in three different homes in the Mission: Bryant, Capp, and now San Carlos. I have 3 children of 14 years, 7 years and 2 years. My motivation for participating in this project was that I was curious about photography. I learned that mine is not the family who suffers from instable housing. This project has motivated me to continue to raise my voice to fight for what is right and to advocate for my children and other families to have decent, healthy, and stable housing.

2019 update: Olga moved out of her former home in the Mission District.