The Grand Opening of Excelsior Family Connections Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Ahsha Safai

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Mayor London Breed at the 5016 Mission St. Grand Opening! (portolafc.org)

The Grand Opening of Excelsior Family Connections was a special evening featuring a ribbon cutting by Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Ahsha Safai, tours of the new facility, and a donor reception. The event and the Center’s focus is on providing support to children and families in the Southeast sector of San Francisco.

Community members came together to support Family Connections Centers, the highly successful family support services organization for San Francisco’s underserved Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods. The remarks at the ribbon cutting were followed by a donor reception which featured remarks from Ingrid Mezquita, Director of the Office of Early Care and Education, an amazing silent auction and a chance for supporters to experience the new facility.

“We are so fortunate that here in the Excelsior we have Family Connections to take care of this community and the families that are an important part of what makes San Francisco a great place.” said Mayor Breed. “We know we are so fortunate to have Family Connections that has been in existence for over 25 years. But the security of this building will ensure that it is here for 25, and 25, and 25 more for years to come.”

The mayor’s remarks were followed by the presentation of a Certificate of Honor to Family Connections, accepted by Associate Director Yensing Sihapanya; remarks by Supervisor Ahsha Safai; and a presentation to the mayor by children enrolled in Family Connections Centers programs. Supervisor Safai later noted, “It was such a heartfelt amazing event… It was an honor to speak!”

We thank our event sponsors: Sutter Health/CPMC, Kaiser Permanente, North East Medical Services, Arana Group LLC, Episcopal Impact Fund and the Family Connections Centers’ Board of Directors.

For over 25 years, Family Connections has been filling a critical need for working and immigrant families in San Francisco’s Portola and Excelsior neighborhoods by providing a continuum of interconnected services including preschool and early childhood education, after school programs, parenting classes, financial literacy programs, English as a Second Language (ESL), and much more. Since its inception, Family Connections’ programming has impacted more than 40,000 community members in the southeast sector of San Francisco.

“I first joined Family Connections as the Director of the Excelsior center. I have always been inspired by this community and the amazing vibrancy of the neighborhood,” says Associate Director Yensing Sihapanya. “Over the years, we have worked with caring individuals to strengthen families and build community in an underserved area of the City.

The demand for our services continues to increase each year, and I am so proud of this organization for investing in the community and constructing such a terrific facility for children and family members. It’s truly an occasion to celebrate.”

Major funding for the new facility was provided by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and the Office of Early Child Care and Education working with Northern California Community Loan Fund and the Low Income Investment Fund. Additional funders in-clude S.H. Cowell Foundation, William G. Irwin Charity Foundation, Willow Springs Foundation, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, Hearst Foundations, Bothin Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Silver Giving Foundation, CPMC/Sutter Health Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas Fund, Family Connections Centers Board of Directors, individual donors.

Proceeds from this event will help Family Connections serve children; their parents, grandparents, caregivers; and entire families. This was a rare opportunity to ensure that needed funds are in place to provide services in a brand new, state-of-the-art family resource center.

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