Garage Sale Gives Accessories and Hope in Hayward-Silicon Valley

From kombucha brewing kits to Pilates workout box sets to an assortment of valuable antiques, everything was affixed to the price tag and lovingly placed on the quiet Hayward Street outside the house on Sunday.

This wasn’t a regular garage sale. Every accessory had a purpose — to help the hardships of the local family.

The twice-yearly event raises funds from the Family Emergency Evacuation Center (FESCO), which provides shelter, rental assistance and other support to homeless and low-income families in Alameda County.

Preparing for each sale is a month-long loving job by Spanish interpreter Janet Alfaro, who is half-retired in her 60s. She collects and prices items donated from the entire community, and twice a year on weekends, she and a group of volunteers sell them outside Alfaro’s home.

“I wanted to provide meaningful and substantive information, but I didn’t have it in my checking account,” says Alfaro. Hayward, CA – September 19: Visitors browse for sale at the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition’s twice-yearly garage sale in Hayward, Calif., Sunday, September 19, 2021. Aric Crabb / Bay Area News Group) That was 11 years ago, and Alfaro has been hosting garage sales ever since. It has become a famous event in her neighborhood and elsewhere.

All proceeds will benefit FESCO, which operates the 25-bed Remarquis House family shelter. This is Hayward’s only homeless shelter that accepts single fathers. The group also runs Banyan House, which provides six months of temporary housing for families to recover. The group also provides rental and other assistance to low-income families who need help earning income.

According to program director Sara Boyt, the Alfaro garage sale, which takes place each spring and fall, is “important” to our clients’ FESCO services. The organization is funded by the City of Hayward, Alameda County, and the federal government, most of which is allocated to specific programs. Garage sales, each bringing about $ 3,000, offer significant flexible cash that FESCO can use to pay for electricity, get a bus pass, or make necessary home or car repairs. Hayward, CA-September 19: Belt buckles, rings and other items were filmed at the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition fundraising event on Sunday, September 19, 2021 in Hayward, CA. The annual yard sale in Hayward raises funds for family homeless shelters in the area. (Aric Crabb / Bay Area Newsgroup) And it’s more important than ever, Boyt said.

“The need is great,” she said. “And we are surprised that the eviction moratorium will end at the end of this month.”

When the pandemic eviction protection expires, Voit and her staff are worried that more families may be homeless or at stake. Already, the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded the economy, so the average time people spend in FESCO shelters has increased, she said. The program has a waiting list.

As of the last count of 2019, Alameda County had no more than 8,000 homes, of which 487 lived in Hayward.

On Sunday, the last of the three-day sale, the item covered Alfara’s driveway, extended into the garage, down the sidewalk in front of […]

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