After dealing with the North Peninsula Neighborhood Services Center losing its funding — leaving South San Francisco with no safety net services — the city celebrated the opening of the YMCA Community Resource Center this week.
The newest Core Service Agency officially opened its doors Monday, and began providing safety net services to the communities of South San Francisco, Brisbane and San Bruno. Through a contract with the San Mateo County Human Services Agency, the Community Resource Center joins seven other organizations that comprise the core service agencies throughout the region.
“San Mateo County’s core service agencies provide a critical safety net services to community members in need and help form the backbone of the county’s support system,” Dave Pine, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to welcome the YMCA as a core service provider and we look forward to a successful partnership.”
The goal of a Core Service contract is to eliminate the causes and ameliorate the conditions of poverty by advancing the self-sufficiency of low-income individuals. Services include food distribution, shelter and housing referrals, as well as assistance with benefit forms, financial education and landlord-tenant mediation. Services for northern San Mateo County have most recently been provided through the Human Services Agency’s Regional Office on Huntington Avenue in South San Francisco. The new contract institutes YMCA as a long-term provider of these resources. The Community Resource Center is co-located with the YMCA’s existing Youth Service Bureau mental health clinic, across the street from HSA, at 1486 Huntington Ave.
A $276,000, 26-month contract between HSA and the YMCA started June 1, said HSA spokeswoman Effie Verducci. The city did recently give a $25,000 block grant to the Salvation Army for safety net service funds to be used on a rental assistance project. This was the grant taken away from the North Peninsula Neighborhood Services Center because of claims the organization lacked auditing documentation and clear planning among other financial concerns. YMCA has the expertise to do a good job on core services, said South San Francisco Mayor Karyl Matsumoto.
“When North Peninsula kind of went down the tubes, both the county and the city said ‘we need to find a new provider,’” Matsumoto said. “Everyone thinks the YMCA is just sports, but they also have very effective core services. They’ve got the staffing and are convenient since North County staff is across the street — it’s kind of like a one-stop shop. We can’t be more excited.”
Meanwhile, Marie Ciepiela, YMCA center director, is excited about taking on the job of being a core agency.
“We are a doorway for any community member to come through for emergency assistance and basic needs and we will make sure people get the help they need,” she said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to combing our strength as a community-based agency with the San Mateo Human Services Agency to give our community accessible, responsive and effective services.”
For more information go to hsa.smcgov.org.
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