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, Project 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 to 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 the wallet."
Leonard Gardiner, Hospitality Monitor
Leonard was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa. He studied general education in Nigeria and received education in Human Services at the University of Phoenix. He came to the United States in 1982 and has been in San Francisco since 2008. He has lived in the Tenderloin for 3 years and has been at Gubbio for 2-3, starting out as a volunteer. He used to volunteer and work at Glide and The Living Room, also here in the Tenderloin. He has two boys: Evan, 27 and Lavarius, 19 who works at the Tenderloin Museum and is attending City College.
Lisa Roncella, Hospitality Monitor
Lisa is a native of San Francisco and has been a resident of the Tenderloin from 2002-2008. During that time she attended mass at St. Boniface and became familiar with The Gubbio Project. After completion of a Peer Mental Health Certificate Program through Richmond Multi Services, I came to work at Gubbio as a Hospitality Monitor.
Gonzalos Guoron Tzian, Hospitality Monitor
Gonzalo is from Tecpan, Guatemala. There he received an education to be a community health worker and health educator. He worked for the impoverished communities in Guatemala for almost three years. Gonzalo also studied social sciences and worked five years in the Office of Human Rights in Guatemala. He has been in San Francisco since 2010, living in the Mission, where he loves working because there are many people from Latin America and other parts of the world. He worked outreach for clients with Mission SRO from 2010 to 2012. Then, in 2015 he received a certificate for a specialization in mental health at SFSU with one of their programs.He enjoys helping people to have better health, especially people struggling with addiction. In his spare time enjoys cooking delicious food.
Crystal LOWE, HOSPITALITY MONITOR
My name is Crystal Lowe. I am a native of San Francisco and a wonderful mother to an awesome and handsome boy. After overcoming being a homeless teen I found that my passion and destiny is to help those less fortunate than others and also lend a helping hand or ear whenever I can. Becoming a part of The Gubbio Project was like a dream come true.
SANDRA COREAS IBARRA, HOSPITALITY MONITOR AND OFFICE COORDINATOR
Sandra was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, a mother of three, and has lived in San Francisco for most of her life. Sandra has overcome homelessness and addiction and is currently attending City College San Francisco to become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Her passion is to share her story with the communities at The Gubbio Project and to give people hope for a success story of their own.
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 and Latin America, documenting human rights abuses and aiding in migrant support work. She graduated with her Masters in Law & Social Policy and Masters in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. She currently lives in Philadelphia with her rescue pup, Cap'n Crunch!