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 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.