Meet the Gubbio Staff
CHRISTINA ALVAREZ, Executive director
Christina joined The Gubbio Project's Board of Directors in 2015, serving as its Treasurer and its Vice-Chair. She became Gubbio's Executive Director in 2018, and is honored to serve in this new role. She has 15 years in the nonprofit sector, with a focus on affordable housing, human rights advocacy, LGBT activism and animal welfare. She lives with her wife and sons in San Francisco.
Tina Christopher, Program Manager
Tina was born in Hayward, but lived most of her life in Solano County; she moved here to San Francisco in April 2010. Tina has two grown sons and has recently remarried. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going on trips, and riding her motorcycle. She began working at The Gubbio Project April 2011 when she had a free day of no classes at CCSF. She had the opportunity to volunteer and thought, "Why not?!" She says "My life has been forever changed and there is no doubt that this is the path I am supposed to be on. I am thankful that I get to spend my days using my own life experiences and the knowledge I received from CCSF here at The Gubbio Project with my unhoused brothers and sisters. To share time with and learn more about the people in our community, to somehow be a help in making their day or their life better, and to be a part of their life is all a blessing and an honor."
John Brett, Site Coordinator
John grew up on a wheat farm far from metropolitan SF. He began work at The Gubbio Project in June 2016 after having slept on the floor of Saint John the Evangelist during a street retreat with The Faithful Fools. He's a seminarian and has chosen to work with The Gubbio Project as he continues his formation and discernment. He continues to work as a ministry assistant with the San Francisco Night Ministry and previously completed a Chaplaincy Residency at John Muir Health in Concord. Prior to seminary, John completed his BA in Spanish and Performance Studies at Dartmouth College and arrives to Gubbio with a background in non-profit work, having served as the director of a regional legal aid program in Washington State.
Ed Bowers, Hospitality Monitor
Ed has lived in the San Francisco Tenderloin for 14 years. He doesn't remember too much before that, though he remembers that he graduated with a "worthless" English-major degree from the University of New York at Binghamton. He was married twice, and has written a few poems. Now, he says, "I am honored to work at a job that for me is from the heart instead of for the wallet."
Leonard Gardiner, Hospitality Monitor
Leonard was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa. He studied general education in Nigeria and Human Services at the University of Phoenix. He came to the United States in 1982 and has been in San Francisco since 2008. He now lives in the Tenderloin and has been at Gubbio since 2014, starting out as a volunteer and bringing with him experience from his previous work at Glide and The Living Room, other Tenderloin establishments. He has two boys: Evan, 27, and Lavarius, 19, who works at the Tenderloin Museum and is attending City College.
La’shonda joseph, hospitality monitor
A native of the Bay Area, La’Shonda joined the Gubbio team in 2018. Quoting John Wooden, La’Shonda shares, “‘Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.’” La’Shonda aspires to be a case manager one day, and sees her Gubbio experience as playing a formative role in her preparation for that future career.
Crystal LOWE, HOSPITALITY MONITOR
Crystal is a native of San Francisco and a wonderful mother to an awesome and handsome boy. After overcoming being a homeless teen, she found that her passion and destiny is to help those who find themselves in situations less fortunate than others, and to lend a helping hand or listening ear to people whenever she can. “Becoming a part of The Gubbio Project,” Crystal say, “was like a dream come true.”
Jenna Mcelroy, part-time development associate
Jenna started volunteering with The Gubbio Project in 2013 as a hospitality monitor and has been supporting Gubbio's development work ever since. She currently works with the ACLU of Pennsylvania as their Major Gifts Officer and serves as a board member with the School of the Americas Watch. In San Francisco, she worked as the Development Director with Jamestown Community Center and in other development capacities with Bissap Baobab and San Francisco Baykeeper. She has been involved in many projects along the US-Mexico border and throughout the US & Latin America, documenting human rights abuses and aiding in migrant support work. She graduated with her Master’s in Law & Social Policy and Master’s in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her rescue pup, Cap'n Crunch!
bekah puddington, hospitality monitor & outreach assistant
Bekah is a full-time volunteer at The Gubbio Project through Mennonite Voluntary Service. A native of northern New York, Bekah is loving her experience of living in San Francisco so far! She has her BA in English and a background in working in education in a variety of settings, including in public schools, in a rural boarding school in South Korea, and in the great outdoors of North America. She is eager to learn all she can and to be a helpful presence at Gubbio this year.