"I wish all moms could have the same choice." - Trisha Follins
For over a decade, Trisha Follins has worked as a pre-school teacher at the Iniece Bailey Infant and Toddler Center in Sausalito. From the beginning, Trisha knew she was getting into a profession that wasn’t known for its high wages. In fact, the median salary for a pre-school teacher is $35,510 — too low to afford the average one-bedroom apartment in Marin, let alone a two-bedroom apartment. Trisha followed her passion because she loves working with children and being part of their early development.
Trisha is now a resident of Drake’s Way, Marin’s latest example of an innovative, green, and affordable housing complex serving low-income residents. Before moving to Drake’s Way in Larkspur, Trisha lived in Marin City with her teenage son where he was bullied and harassed. Concerned about her son’s safety, she started looking to move to a different community. She discovered that places she could afford on her pre-school teacher salary were impossible to find.
Fortunately, the new Drake’s Way Apartments was under construction then. She applied for an apartment and was one of the lucky few to be chosen in a lottery. She and her son moved into Drake’s Way when it opened in December 2009. “Where we lived before wasn’t good for my son,” Trish says, “but now he’s doing great in school.”
Trisha is incredibly grateful to have found a home. Like Eji Bekele, Trisha is one of Marin’s essential workers fortunate to able to find a safe, affordable home close to where she works. The need for workforce housing like Drake’s Way is greater than the current amount of affordable homes in Marin. If Marin residents want to ensure that more of our teachers and caretakers can live affordably in our community, we need to plan for a range of housing options.
“This apartment means I can live close to my job as a preschool teacher in Sausalito. And it means I can stay in Marin where I raised my two oldest kids and want to raise my teenage son,” says Trisha. “I love how close it is to buses and shops, and how safe it is.”
She adds, “I feel lucky. I wish all moms could have the same choice.”