I am a social service worker who has seen first hand the amazing work that Community Working Group has done for Palo Alto and the greater Bay Area community. CWG was the guiding force for the construction and implementation of a low income housing complex in Palo Alto which includes 88 units for familes and single adults. For some of these families and adults, this housing was the first they have experienced in years.
CWG's advocacy continues as they work with the property managers, social service staff and the greater community to advocate for low income and homeless families and adults. Thanks to their hard work and generosity many of the individuals have become self sufficent and remain housed.
In my profession, it is so great to have non-for profit organizations help advocate and provide services for those who go without, especially now with the economy and other govermental cuts in services. CWG does this in the utmost professional manner and are great to collaborate with for needed local services.
The Community Working Group is a grass-roots organization, formed in 1998, when the only local venue providing any services to our unhoused neighbors was flooded out. A partnership of local churches, various levels of government, and concerned citizens came together and succeeded (after several years) in building the Opportunity Center of the Mid-Peninsula, a facility that provides services (breakfasts, clothing, medical referrals, case management) to hundreds of poor people in the area. It also has four floors of very low-income housing for singles and families. Demand for this housing vastly outstrips the supply, so the Community Working Group is now in the process of raising money to put up another very low-income housing facility entirely for families.
Housing in the area is among the most expensive in the country, so many people who provide crucial services (such as teachers and medical technicians) cannot afford to live in the community where they work. The Community Working Group is working to strengthen our community by expanding the stock of affordable housing. This will also have the side effect of diversifying the community, and reducing the number of people who have long commutes, with the consequent environmental benefits.
CWG has created a unique facility that has alleviated homelessness on a major level. If CWG had the resources to do what they have done in Palo Alto, the solution to homelessness would be within reach.
CWG has created a focal point in Palo Alto for addressing housing issues. It has done this in a way that is a model for other communities: clear goals and projects, community involvement, evidence-based forums and policy-based actions. Because of housing pressures in Palo Alto (little land available, difficult approval processes, high price of real estate) the CWG has been essential to forward movement. BRAVO!
CWG is known as an organization that delivers on its promises. It fostered the creation of a service center for our local unhoused population when that goal seemed impossibly idealistic. Not only was the center built but it grew to include permanent housing for its target population, changing the shape and destiny of poverty in our community for the good -- and for the long term. The organization continues to foster the health of this center while seeking out new opportunities to house the most vulnerable. The organization's credibility is such that even in recessionary times it continues to be able to raise money for the causes it believes in. Its good will in the community is a priceless asset.
The Community Working Group (CWG) is one of a very few organizations on the San Francisco peninsula dedicated to helping people in the lowest income levels. The organization works to make sure that adequate services are provided and is responsible for two properties that provide very hard-to-find housing for very low income people, including the disabled. CWG engages the community in dialog about the importance of maintaining economic diversity; works with locally elected officials to make sure that local housing policies include low income people; and actively seeks partners to locate, plan and develop new facilities. I'm proud to serve on this board.
I am a volunteer, board member and donor to the Community Working Group in support of its mission to provide service facilities and housing for those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. CWG developed an intergrated facility with services and supportive house. Getting families and individuals housed and then providing much needed counselling, health and other support services has been a winning combination to successfully helping people gain selfesteen and motivation.
The Community Working Group is an incredibly effective organization that is run almost completely by very dedicated volunteers. It raised the necessary funds to build and open the award-winning Opportunity Center and it continues to pursue other critical affordable housing projects. The CWG has gained great community support for its professionalism, commitment to affordable housing and support of the homeless, and effectiveness in meeting its mission and program objectives.
I have been associated with the Community Working Group for over 12 years. I have witnessed the commitment of the volunteer Board of Directors to achieve amazing results. They raised funds to buiild the Opportunity Center, a development that has 88 apartments for formerly homeless individuals and families and those at risck of becoming homeless. The building also has a drop-in center for those who are still unhoused, offering food, showers, lockers, email accounts, case management, employment assistance, medical services, laundry, computer access, and assistance in securing public assistance. It is a unique model of housing and services that has been visited by people from all over the country. CWG also purchased a small 10 unit apartment complex that is available to tenants with very low incomes. Their latest project is the construction of a 50 unit apartment building for working families with very low incomes. It will be built in Palo Alto in the next two years. CWG's Board is responsive to community needs and continues to search for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations in meeting the housing needs of the poorest members of their community.
The Community Working Group is responsible for the creation of the Opportunity Center in Palo Alto, which provides both supportive housing for singles and families, and drop-in services for the unhoused in the community. It fills many needs, including medical and employment services, and does so in a dignified and respectful manner.