Educating children. Empowering families. Enriching community.

2014 Success story

Star and Zafyre

Star looks toward a bright future

Star is a San Franciscan native. He is a painter by trade. He is also a single-father of a beautiful, little 4-year-old girl, Zafyre. He is a man with a past, as we all are, and eight years ago, while homeless in the Bayview District of San Francisco, he never imagined he would be raising a young daughter on his own. Star knows his history, but that is not his focus. He has a daughter to raise and a family life to build for the two of them. Star’s focus is on providing a bright future for Zafyre.

Two years ago, Star and Zafyre arrived at Holy Family Day Home. Zafyre was about to celebrate her second birthday, as Star was about to embark on his new journey as a single-dad following a separation from Zafyre’s mother. Having heard about the quality of services at the Day Home, Star brought Zafyre here to create a new sense of stability for his daughter after the upheaval of their lives.

The first couple months at the Day Home were a bit difficult for Star, as he adjusted to a new daily routine of single-fatherhood that included daily drop-off and pick-up of Zafyre from the Belugas classroom. Juggling these responsibilities with work, housing issues, and providing a new life for himself and his daughter took some time to learn. Working closely with our case manager, Jorge Ramirez, Star quickly learned the importance of routine and stability for Zafyre’s development. As Star put it, “Jorge didn’t give up faith in me and I didn’t give up faith in him.” Through this faith in each other, Star and Jorge are a team working together to bring new opportunity to the family each day.

Star and Zafyre arrive to the Sunflowers classroom each morning, and Star brushes Zafyre’s hair, which she insists be done in the classroom, not before they get to school. Without a permanent address, the Day Home has become their de facto home where their “family” resides and daily routines take place. In the center of their daily regimen is what Star calls “the best school in the world.” He hopes that Zafyre’s strong educational foundation will allow her to graduate college and pay it forward to others in the future.

In the classroom, Zafyre is flourishing. Her favorite classroom activity also happens to be Star’s profession, painting. She expresses her imagination with paint to paper as Star works part-time as a painter, with future ambitions of attending college and possibly obtaining his contractor’s license. Together, this father-daughter duo exemplifies what faith and hope can do in a short period of time. Star wishes the two of them could stay at the Day Home well beyond Zafyre’s pre-k graduation in 2016 because of the “family oriented” atmosphere that is always so welcoming. However, with a name that means “success,” we know Zafyre is already on the path to college and many great adventures beyond! In the meantime though, she will continue to enjoy starting her day with a hair brushing session with her favorite man in the world, her dad, at her home away from home, Holy Family Day Home.


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For more information about how you can help, please contact Carmen Dowell, Director of Development, at 415‑565‑0504 ext. 201 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..