Twelve organizations awarded funding to protect and expand opportunities for youth in affordable housing and the foster system; provide multilingual support to domestic violence survivors; introduce women, girls and gender nonconforming individuals to creative industry careers; and provide essential legal services.

Crossposted. Previously released by the City of San Francisco on Friday, August 7, 2020. 

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Community Vision today announced $3.1 million in transformative awards for nonprofit space acquisition and lease stabilization, including $2.15 million in vital support for Latino-led organizations expanding their space and services at new affordable housing sites in the Mission District. The grants are part of San Francisco’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI), which deploys financial assistance, professional services, assessment tools and other resources to help stabilize nonprofits, and are vital to providing and supporting residents including low-income families and children with social and mental health services as part of the response to COVID-19 and beyond.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Mission District and our Latino community, but we know the factors that led to this disparity existed long before this health emergency,” said Mayor Breed. “We need to ensure that the organizations serving the community have what they need to continue their work, while also continuing our progress to build more affordable housing and create more community-serving spaces in the neighborhood.”

With increasing and diverse demands for government services, San Francisco has nearly 7,000 nonprofits that often work in partnership with the City to address complex challenges and the needs of residents. Administered by OEWD, the NSI continues San Francisco’s groundbreaking support of nonprofit space and sustainability, and investments in resilience that assist nonprofits and prevent displacement. The underlying objective of all NSI programs is to ensure access to quality of life resources as well as education, health, and human services for residents of San Francisco, and real estate assistance is a cornerstone of the program.

In addition to the awarded grants, the Mayor’s proposed budget includes $2.8 million for Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative real estate assistance in Fiscal Year 2020-21. Should funding be approved by the Board of Supervisors, the next round of applications for real estate acquisition and space stabilization will open in late 2020. Grants are administered by Community Vision, which will offer several workshops with more information. Past program guidelines are available at Information about past NSI awardees and current resources can be found at

“The organizations that are being supported through these Nonprofit Sustainability grants are essential anchors sustaining the life and culture of the Mission. With so much hardship hitting my district, I am relieved that we were able to protect these funds and invest it strategically to help our community recover and thrive,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

“San Francisco’s nonprofits are a powerful economic engine,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Beyond providing essential services, resources and vitality to our communities, nonprofits helped restart our economy after the last recession, generating early job growth and attracting over $1.5 billion dollars annually in regional and national philanthropy. They are vital to our recovery and we are committed to working with them now, particularly those advancing shared and equitable prosperity, to hold ground and stay focused on their missions.”

Spaces supported by NSI funds will protect and expand opportunities for youth in affordable housing and the foster system; provide multilingual support to domestic violence survivors; introduce women, girls and gender nonconforming individuals to creative industry careers; and provide essential legal services. This funding will be instrumental in stabilizing 55,763 square feet of nonprofit space for an average of 15.6 years, for organizations annually serving 105,069 beneficiaries.

“It is so invigorating that our Mayor London Breed and our supervisor Hillary Ronen were able to support our campaign to keep our vibrant, effective and groundbreaking organizations at the center of the Mission’s cultural community,” said Artistic Director Krissy Keefer of Dance Mission Theater and the socially charged Dance Brigade.

“West Bay has been serving San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations for the past 50 years, primarily focusing on recent Filipino immigrant youth, seniors and their families in SoMa, and has never owned its own space,” said Carla Laurel, executive director of West Bay Pilipino Multi Service Center. “Now more than ever, owning our space and expanding means that we can answer the pressing needs of our community by providing in-person academic, social and emotional support to kids who live in small apartments and SRO’s and by supporting their parents, many of whom are essential workers, to go back to work.”

“COVID-19 is hitting our communities the hardest, exposing the inequalities in our education, healthcare, and economic systems. This innovative co-location with First Exposures and our partnership with MEDA allows us to continue serving the Mission community when we need to leverage collective resources the most,” said Youth Speaks Executive Director Cristy Johnston Limon.


About the Grantees

Real Estate Acquisition Grants

West Bay Pilipino Multi Service Center, an organization that is celebrating 50 years of service to Filipino Americans and has continued providing essential services to low-income, immigrant youth and their families during the pandemic, was awarded funding to acquire a 7,500 square foot building located in the SoMa Pilipinas Cultural District. The acquisition of the two-story building will increase its program square footage from 1,500 to 6,215 square feet. Services and resources offered include: academic enrichment and mentorship, college prep, Kuya Ate Mentorship, case management, and senior wellness workshops. West Bay received the maximum award they were eligible for, which is 25% of the acquisition cost for space operated by nonprofits in their new building. Total award: $647,395

Space Stabilization Grants

Nonprofit Space Stabilization Program Grantees

Alternative Family Services (AFS) supports vulnerable children and families in need of stability, safety, and wellbeing in communities. AFS is one of the last remaining Foster Family Agencies (FFA) still based in the city of San Francisco. AFS provides foster, adoption, shelter, and mental health services to court-dependent children and families in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. In December 2018, total square footage for their location at 250 Executive Park Boulevard was reduced from 9,949 to 5,537 and the price per square foot increased substantially. AFS reconfigured the space to include confidential, private meeting, therapy, and office space for clinicians. Total award: $18,316

Asian Women’s Shelter (AWS) supports immigrant, refugee, and U.S.-born survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking to escape abuse, heal and stabilize. Services include family law, immigration, physical health, mental health, sustainable safe housing, children’s development, and career development. AWS secured a three-year lease for a 1,175 square foot space in District 5. Funds will support professional services, moving expenses, tenant improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment as well as one-time staffing expenses for the relocation. Total award: $40,000

Dance Brigade (also known as Dance Mission) has the opportunity to increase its square footage from 8,600 square feet to 14,853 square feet and acquire a parcel in the to-be-developed multi-use property at 2205 Mission Street. Dance Mission requested support for pre-development professional services. Total award: $75,000

Galería de la Raza | Studio 24 (Galería) supports Chicano/Latino artists in the visual, literary, media, and performing art fields whose works explore new aesthetic possibilities for socially committed art. Galería offers a series of public programs throughout the year that uphold the creative placekeeping mission that the institution was built upon. Programming includes rotating exhibitions, public art installations, literary and performance community gatherings, and off-site civic engagement projects. Galería intends to lease 7,580 square feet at 1990 Folsom, a 143-unit housing development for families in the Mission District, which will include a licensed child development center and arts-related spaces. The proposed terms include a base term of 10 years with five 10-year options and one 5-year option for a total of 55 years. Galería requested support for pre-development professional fees, staff time and construction expenses. Total award: $575,000

HOMEY (Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth) inspires high-risk youth to not only choose a path of education, self-sufficiency and non-violence, but also strive towards physical, mental and emotional health. HOMEY’s key progams include: the Kalpulli Leadership Program, CALLES Care Management and IMPACT Work Readiness Programs, as well as Native Graphix, their social enterprise. HOMEY requested support for a 2,300 square foot space at 1990 Folsom, a 100% affordable housing development. 1990 Folsom provides improved long-term stability with an initial lease term of 10-years, two 10-year options, and a purchase option. Total award: $635,000

Open Door Legal (ODL) is pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation. Their goal is to show that poverty will be dramatically reduced when everyone has access to the law. They defend clients who are facing evictions, deportation, consumer fraud, foreclosures, and other civil legal issues. ODL secured a five-year lease expanding their square footage from 150 to 1,700 and requested support for furniture, fixtures and equipment, moving costs and one-time staff expenses for the relocation. Total award: $60,000

PODER (People Organizing to Defend Economic and Environmental Rights) has served low-income Latinx immigrant families and youth in the Mission, Excelsior, and

other southeast San Francisco neighborhoods for nearly 30 years. PODER fosters Latinx immigrant community members’ civic engagement by providing skills-building trainings on community organizing; conducting workshops on environmental and climate justice and, immigrant rights, family preparedness and other relevant immigration policies; educating Latinx immigrants on the importance of their participation in the decennial census; and fostering neighborhood resiliency through its urban gardening and urban cycling programs. PODER intends to lease an expanded, 1,639 square feet of space for a total of 35 years at Casa Adelante-2060 Folsom Street. When complete, Casa Adelante will provide of 127 units of 100% affordable housing for families and transitional age youth. PODER requested support for professional services, construction, furniture, fixtures, and equipment. Total award: $385,000

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities (SFCD) provides information, education, referrals, leadership opportunities and support services to families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need. It also provides information and training to professionals and collaborates to improve the coordination of systems and services for families. On January 2020, SFCD entered into a new agreement with its landlord at 1663 Mission Street to extend the lease for 10 years. They requested support for tenant improvements, professional services, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, staffing expenses that will help them grow in place. Total award: $57,628

The Village Project supports the well-being of children with an after-school academic support program with homework and literacy support, and sports. They also offer a free eight-week summer enrichment camp which consists of a literacy program, along with STEM activities, sports and fieldtrips in a safe and engaging environment for youth ages five to seventeen. The organization negotiated a lease in their current building, a church, at a cost of $500 per month. Their new, bigger, dedicated office space will allow for work stations for two staff members. The organization is requesting funds to for professional services, a rent stipend, moving expenses, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and one-time staffing expenses to support the new costs of the expanded space. Total award: $13,608

Women’s Audio Mission (WAM) uses music and media to attract over 2,500 underserved Bay Area women/girls/gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals annually to creative technology/STEM studies in the only professional recording studios in the world built and run by women. To date, WAM has helped place more than 800 women in careers at businesses including Dolby, Pixar, and SFJazz. WAM is expanding to a new space in SoMa that will accommodate its growing staff and serve an additional 300 women, girls and GNC individuals each year. They requested support for tenant improvements, moving costs and furniture, fixtures and equipment. Total award: $60,000

Youth Speaks (YS) creates safe spaces that challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change. First Exposures (FX) leverages mentoring relationships and photography to empower youth to thrive, express themselves, and become leaders. Youth Speaks/First Exposures (YS/FX) are partnering together to enter into a long-term lease and build out 4,628 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor of the new 2060 Folsom Street affordable housing development. YS/FX requested support for tenant improvements, moving expenses, professional services, and furniture, fixtures and equipment. Total award: $560,000