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April 13, 2011

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April 13, 2011

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.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Before CWG was formed, I had volunteered for a coalition of local churches that collected, prepared, and distributed food to needy people. I then served on a task force set up by the city to make recommendations about homeless services. The task force's report was ignored for several years, until the CWG was organized. The CWG turned what had seemed like a pipe-dream into a reality.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Bring in more volunteers. Most of the board members have been involved for a decade or more. New, younger volunteers are needed.

November 16, 2010

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November 16, 2010

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 Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am now close friends with 3 residents of the Opportunity Center. The change for the good in their lives is huge, impossible to express in a short note.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

... make it even more visible in the community it serves.

November 15, 2010

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November 15, 2010

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.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The organization was able to overcome strong opposition to a low-income family housing project in Palo Alto.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more dedicated board members to help us achieve our mission.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I was a city council member when the organization was seeking to build the Opportunity Center

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

maintaining it's existing projects

What is its top priority in the long run?

adding new low income housing to the area

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 15, 2010

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November 15, 2010

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 Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping clients move on with their lifes.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Develop the next step in providing affordable housing for clients who have found work and need to rebuild their resources.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I read about the proposal to build an intergrated homeless service center with supportive housing when I came to my chosen community for retirement.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Continuing to support the services provides including rent subsidies.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Development of more affordable housing options with the community for working families whose members provide healthcare, childcare and retail services.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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