Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Community groups call for help

Many community based organizations fade away for lack of resources.  Some Bayview Hunters Point organizations seem determined to stick around.  Two of those have issued calls to their communities and supporters to help them do just that. 

Old Skool Cafe, an organization that has found a way to build life and work skills with at-risk youth while dishing up some great eats, is reaching out to the community.  Core organizers hope their years of work and the youth-serving project they've created will be embraced more broadly.
Old Skool Cafe has style 

Old Skool Cafe held a soft opening of their new space at 1429 Mendell Street on March 29th, 30th and 31st. Patrons chose from a savory selection from Old Skool's International Soul Food Menu.

Quesada Gardens Initiative's need for
Leadership High School at Quesada Gardens
Leadership High School students helped in the gardens this week. 
funding went public in SF Public Press.  What started as an all-volunteer effort has become full-time jobs for several residents.  As the group nears its 10th birthday, its average annual budget of $20,000 veered into unrealistic territory for organizers who must either build the organization enough to offer them modest support or try something else.

Quesada Gardens Initiative is a community building organization, which means its mission is the kind of labor intensive, street-level community organizing that must be consistent over time to succeed.  The insurance and fees associated with building and maintaining public spaces and artwork has stretched residents' ability to pay for years. 

Many other community-emergent organizations are struggling just as much, of course.  You will find these organizations in Bayview Footprints Local News, the voice of a network of community building groups.  In fact, the Footprints Network first formed because of the scarcity of support and resources for the small informal projects that were creating change where other efforts had trouble showing results.  These groups decided that sharing resources and helping one another was the only option.

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