Twenty nonprofits are awarded funds to maintain and enhance unparalleled services for San Francisco residents.
San Francisco, December 30, 2015 —Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Arts Commission, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) with key partners today announced grants of $1.2 million that will help 20 social service and arts nonprofits continue providing key services to residents as part of the San Francisco Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative. In total, 74 community benefit organizations have received financial assistance and technical services from the $4.5 million Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund to secure long-term leases and affordable space. In addition, 75 organizations have received business development assistance, pro bono referrals and connections to city resources through a new one-stop position created to support nonprofits in the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
“San Francisco’s nonprofits sector represent over 116,000 jobs, which represents 17 percent of the City’s workforce, delivering critical services to support the most vulnerable in our community and enrich and expand our appreciation of diverse arts and cultures,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Working together with the Board of Supervisors, the City has developed a program to strengthen the sustainability and resiliency of our nonprofits, which is core to our San Francisco values.”
“San Francisco’s nonprofits are a vital part of our economy,” said Todd Rufo, director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Through dedicated services from our office and this city, these important institutions will continue to start, stay, and grow right here in San Francisco; while providing a range of important resources for residents.”
San Francisco’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative deploys a variety of tools to help stabilize nonprofits, including the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund, which was unanimously approved by the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors in October 2014. Introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim and former Supervisor David Chiu and amended by Supervisor John Avalos to include arts and culture, the Nonprofit Displacement Mitigation Fund provides critical services to support nonprofits facing permanent displacement and those previously displaced as a result of today’s highly competitive real estate market.
In order to expedite the technical assistance services and financial assistance support for organizations in need, the City selected the Community Vision (Community Vision) in partnership with the Community Arts Stabilization Trust and Urban Solutions to manage the program through a competitive process. The 20 social service and arts nonprofits that received financial assistance in this 2nd round of funding include:
Thirteen social service awardees that provide health services, legal assistance, and education to low-income seniors, veterans, homeless, families and youth in San Francisco:
- St. James Infirmary ($75,000)
- Eviction Defense Collaborative ($75,000)
- Nihonmachi Little Friends ($75,000)
- San Francisco Bicycle Coalition ($50,000)
- Our Family Coalition ($18,108)
- Asian Neighborhood Design ($65,000)
- Latino Community Foundation ($65,000)
- Vietnamese Youth Development Center ($50,000)
- Tandem: Partners in Early Learning ($50,000)
- Housing Rights Committee ($50,000)
- St. Vincent de Paul Society ($50,000)
- Transgender, Gender Variant, & Intersex Justice Project ($50,000)
Seven arts organizations that promote a wide range of cultural resources and programming, dance and theatre performances, exhibitions, arts education and workshops:
- Cutting Ball Theater ($100,000)
- Artists’ Television Access ($100,000)
- LEVYdance ($100,000)
- Theater Bay Area ($42,753)
- San Francisco Arts Education Project ($100,000)
- Roxie Theater ($50,000)
- SEW Productions/Lorraine Hansberry Theater ($11,000)
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to provide valuable resources to help stabilize these community organizations. The combination of technical assistance coupled with financial assistance will lead to long-term solutions for these valuable institutions,” said Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development in the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
“A vibrant arts and culture ecosystem depends on a healthy nonprofit sector. These new resources and critical staffing position in the Mayor’s office are helping to ensure the long-term health of arts and culture in San Francisco,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “We are proud to have helped fourteen arts nonprofits find long-term facilities and to have assisted other organizations in planning for their space needs.”
These grants are one component of the City’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, a collaborative effort that was launched in response to the recommendations of the Nonprofit Displacement Working Group, a group of 14 nonprofit representatives who worked with members of ten city departments to research and prioritize solutions to fortify the nonprofit sector. Recommendations included the creation of a nonprofit real estate holding company to support non-arts organizations, establishing a staff position to serve as a single point of entry for nonprofit inquiries and to interface with City departments as well as real estate developers to help nonprofits best access the resources of the City.
With increasing and diverse demands for government services, the City’s 6,864 nonprofits often work in partnership with the City to address complex challenges and address the needs of its residents. In 2014-15, the city’s financial investment in nonprofits increased by more than $42million (8%), the largest increase in more than 10 years.
Two examples of nonprofits that have secured space with help from this round of awards are:
• Vietnamese Youth Development Corporation, which secured a 5-year lease with two renewal options at their current location following the expiration of their lease in August. The organization serves over 500 youth and their families each year.
• Artists’ Television Access, which secured 5-year lease at their current Valencia Street location. The volunteer-run organization was at high risk of displacement. They have promoted culturally-aware, underground media and experimental work in San Francisco for more than 31 years.
The Community Vision is a nonprofit lender and consulting organization headquartered in San Francisco which provides financing, financial expertise, and socially responsible investment opportunities that benefit hundreds of community-based organizations serving low income people in Northern and Central California.
The Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST) secures space and works with community arts organizations to help develop and strengthen their financial and organizational capacity to purchase permanent facilities and navigate complex real estate issues. By collaborating with local government agencies, businesses, civic leaders, funders and artists, CAST celebrates, promotes, and preserves artistic and cultural traditions and innovations. Its goal is to ensure that San Francisco remains a vibrant and thriving home for arts organizations that sustain creativity, community participation, economic development and neighborhood stability.
Through 1:1 technical assistance to small businesses, workshops to support business owners, leasing services and neighborhood revitalization programs, Urban Solutions makes visible impact, from open storefronts that transform blighted vacancies to proud small business owners who support their families and their city. Urban Solutions’s overarching goal is to build strong neighborhoods, one business at a time.
Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development
Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development
T: (415) 701-5584 E: Brian.Cheu@sfgov.org
Kate Patterson, Director of Communications
San Francisco Arts Commission
T: (415) 252-2229 E: Kate.Patterson@sfgov.org