Ashton is the force behind billing at HomeShare — any time you have questions or need corrections, she’ll be there to lend a hand!
Tell me a story that has greatly influenced where you are today.
My mother and grandmother fled Vietnam during the war, eventually settling in the East Bay. Growing up I was able to gain an understanding of how special their relationship with their adopted home in America was, and how much it meant to them being accepted in Bay Area, which really struck a chord with me. The opportunities they were given to develop a sense of community and build a better life for themselves and their children are something I think about often, and I credit it as the reason I was drawn to a field where I would provide that same sense of security to others.
That’s fascinating, how did that shape what you wanted to do career-wise?
I didn’t start my career in housing — I guess few people do. My first foray into the working world was handling operations and logistics for a corporate retailer, but I felt like I needed to do more. I always wanted to give others the same opportunity to live and thrive in a community that had done so much for my family and me, and HomeShare gave me that chance. This city and surrounding area is a melting pot, a region the world knows as an open-armed community with every flavor of people. Finding a way to help others find their place within its confines was a way for me to give back, and the cherry on the top of it all is being able to work with my friends every day.
Knowing the love you have for San Francisco for some time, what advice would you give to someone starting fresh in the city?
It’s funny you ask that: I was actually touring someone from Michigan yesterday who flew in the night before and he asked me the same question! The first thing I told him was not to live where you work. Sure, not having a commute is nice, but being able to experience other districts of the city and having that separation is really important; don’t shit where you eat!
The second thing I told him was to just spend some time getting to know the city. There is simply so much out there that people don’t get to experience due to the comforts of home. Simply getting out there and exploring can introduce you to so many unique places and people you otherwise would not cross paths with. Personally, I know my love of new and exciting restaurants has brought me to some of my favorite spots in the city I would never have gone to otherwise.
On a Sunday afternoon, where am I the most likely to find you?
If you happen to see me on Sunday, chances are that I’ll be cooking something extravagant I wouldn’t have time to make on a weekday. I love grabbing something special at a farmers market or small butcher shop and having that inspire whatever is on the menu for my housemates and me!
You might also find me out and about walking Bruce, my French Bulldog! He makes sure I don’t spend the weekends inside, so you may find me out at Chrissy Field playing with him in the sun or exploring an up and coming neighborhood. I love SF so much because any day of the week there’s something going on. You just have to step out your door and there will be something amazing for you to experience.