An image of Eddy Street, Photo credit: Bruce Damonte

Welcome Message from Walter Harris, TNDC CEO

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Humbled to Join the TNDC Community

Dated 10.12.2021

Dear Friends of TNDC, 

I am very humbled to join the TNDC community. Like you, I was drawn to this community because I believe in the mission and values of TNDC. I see how when people have access to homes, health and wellness programs, food, and essential resources people do magical things in their lives. By working side-by-side with the people and communities we serve, we all ultimately make San Francisco and the world a better place.

It’s an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great organization of ours. Don Falk, others before him, and our entire TNDC community of staff, tenants, community members, and partners have taken TNDC from an idea to a nationally respected organization and critical resource for those left behind in an unjust system—people with low incomes, Black and Brown people, unhoused people, immigrants, and more.

As we move into the next era of TNDC, make no mistake, we’re headed for even greater places and greater challenges. A changing affordable housing industry, a need to continue to grow our work in Health and Voice, and a commitment to center racial equity all require us to evolve, reimagine, and innovate.

In this new phase of our journey together, I wanted to share some background on myself and what inspires and motivates me. I’ve been married for 23 years and have two adult children whom I love very much. My family, my curiosity, and hunger for knowledge all define me.

As someone who has served in the healthcare sector and grew up in public housing, I know firsthand the power of home and health. Housing is the key for people to be able to build roots, foster health, and focus on what’s meaningful for them—whether that’s raising a family, organizing for neighborhood change, or enjoying life’s day-to-day joys.

Like TNDC, I believe that our power resides in our people and their dreams for the future. The unjust conditions and barriers that stand between people and their dreams are systemic. Low wages and high rent, racism in housing, lack of resources in multiple languages—these are examples of systemic inequity and they’re by design. There’s immense power in knowing this reality because if something is by design, it means we can change it. We can design opportunities instead.

Many organizations aspire to change the world, but very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. TNDC has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation. Let’s build on this foundation together.

I look forward to diving into this work, getting to meet you, and working together to build opportunities for all in San Francisco and beyond. 

In community,

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Walter Harris (he/him),
TNDC CEO