San Francisco, CA. — West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center (West Bay) secured $5,650,000 from the City of San Francisco and the State of California for its effort to acquire and rehabilitate 150 7th Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, the oldest Filipino-led nonprofit in Northern California, addresses the most pressing socio-economic challenges of the Asian Pacific Islander immigrant community of San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) community. West Bay provides culturally sensitive, academic, social, health, and economic sustainability services to newly arrived immigrant youth, their families, and seniors. Over the years, the organization has served tens of thousands of some of the most vulnerable community members in San Francisco.
In the fifty-three years of serving the community, West Bay has had over six locations in the South of Market neighborhood and has had severe space challenges stemming from the ongoing gentrification and rising costs in SoMa, translating into unstable rent agreements and constant fear of displacement. For the past twenty years, West Bay’s programming has been operating out of a 1,500 square foot commercial space despite its program expanding to serving an average of 150 community members daily.
West Bay launched a capital campaign to purchase and renovate its new home in November of 2019. Despite the pandemic, West Bay was able to secure public and private sector support to purchase its new home, including support from its district supervisor, Matt Haney and the Board of Supervisors, who approved a $3 million funding recommendation from the Community Advisory Committee of the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development’s South of Market Community Stabilization Fund in February, 2021.
“San Francisco is committed to ensuring access to critical resources for our most vulnerable as well as education, health, and human services for all of our residents. We are proud to support organizations like West Bay, which has been providing these services over the past five decades, so that they can continue to make our communities strong.” says Mayor London Breed, who has been supportive of West Bay’s capital campaign from the beginning.
Additionally, West Bay was awarded funding from Community Vision Capital & Consulting, through the Acquisition Fund, which is funded by the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative. Tishman & Speyer and Boston Properties provided additional financial support for the acquisition of the building and over $360,000 of pro bono professional services were secured from private businesses.
“We couldn’t have done any of this without support for all sectors of the community. It was community organizations like United Playaz who generously shared their blueprint and private companies like Tishman & Speyer, Boston Properties, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Perkins Coie, Ground Matrix, New Deal Advisers and many others, that lent their expertise and dollars to make this capital project possible. MOHCD’s SoMa Stabilization Fund and Community Vision’s Acquisition Fund, which is funded by OEWD’s Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative were vital in providing the funding we needed to acquire the space.” said Carla Laurel, Executive Director of West Bay.
As West Bay’s program expanded, rather than turning clients away, West Bay relied on its relationships with the community and borrowed space from the Department of Park and Recreation’s Gene Friend Rec Center and partnering organizations like United Playaz. It was these very same partnerships that helped support West Bay’s capital campaign initiative. “This is a true reflection of community building and support from grassroots to grass tops. This would not have been executed without the leadership of our Executive Director Carla Laurel, her staff, and the parents and students of West Bay. We can’t thank our sister organization United Playaz and Rudy Corpuz enough for being a catalyst to West Bay’s vision towards this major milestone.” added West Bay Board President Genevieve Jopanda.
The new facility will provide benefits to the community, including improving programing and capacity by quadrupling program space from 1,500 to 6,200 square feet, spurring economic development by maintaining a rental space for a long standing AAPI community restaurant, and contributing to the permanence and identity of SoMa Pilipinas, San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural Heritage District.
Laurel shared that support from the city mayor and state Senator helped carry the project across the finish line. “The advocacy from Senator Wiener and Mayor Breed made the difference in our ability to have a realistic timeline for when we would be able to open our doors. Mayor Breed has supported us and other nonprofits in their stability in San Francisco through her investments in the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative year after year. The funding secured by Senator Wiener for the San Francisco community, during this time especially, really shows how much he prioritizes some of the most vulnerable community members. Senator Wiener and Mayor Breed have always been champions for our underserved community in ways that are not often publicized. We are so thankful to them for being our champions so we can finally have a permanent home for the Filipino community in the South of Market.”
“West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center is an integral part of San Francisco’s Filipino and South of Market communities. We need to ensure its long-term sustainability and stability. I’m thrilled we were able to secure $2 million in the state budget to create a permanent home for the Center and for the community”, said state Senator Scott Wiener, the lawmaker responsible for helping acquire the funding from the state.
West Bay’s Capital Campaign Fundraiser, with a goal of raising $1 million, will take place in September to close out the funding needed for build-out. This will enable West Bay to move into its new, permanent home in the Spring of 2022.