$1.5 PRIVATE SECTOR FUNDS SECURED FOR ALICE GRIFFITH COMMUNITIES
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
October 6, 2005
Mayor Gavin Newsom today launched Communities of Opportunity
(COO) at the newly established Alice Griffith Opportunity Center.
COO is an innovative collaborative effort between the Mayor's
Office, City Departments, the philanthropic community and the
residents of neighborhoods experiencing the most socio-economic
The opening of the new center, the first green building in the
state and possibly the nation on public housing property, will
serve as a community center, providing services such as: educational
and vocational programs, youth services, supportive counseling,
senior services, one-stop employment services, and civic activities.
"In truth, while we are one city united in name, we remain
separate communities," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "In
our city's southeast, there's a San Francisco that is a community
apart, separated by geography, violence, and decades of neglect,"
Newsom continued. "Despite over 40 years of promises, programs,
speeches, high rhetoric, and good intentions, economic and social
conditions in the southeast were getting worse not better."
Newsom also took this opportunity to announce over $1.5 million
in philanthropic support that has helped Communities of Opportunity
evolve into a cohesive movement, since he unveiled the initiative
at his State of the City address almost one year ago. The funds
will go towards a number of activities including programs at the
Opportunity Center, a Parent University, Job Training programs,
Microenterprise development, and a childcare enhancement center.
The Opportunity Center is the culmination of months of work between
city departments (MOCD) the tenants association, parent association,
San Francisco Housing Authority and the private sector. In addition
to the community center, improvements to the development have
included street paving, tree planting, new playgrounds, a community
garden, computer hardware grants, high-speed Internet access and
a new park. All of these improvements have gone from concept to
implementation in an unprecedented amount of time. Future improvements
include repainting and eventual rehabilitation of the entire development.
In order to transform the neighborhoods where children and families
face the most significant barriers, the effort will remain focused
on five key programmatic areas: Economic Opportunity, Safe and
Affordable Housing, Family Support, Positive Youth Development,
Neighborhood Safety and Beautification, and the Building of Social
The Alice Griffith Housing Development or "Double Rock"
is one of the most isolated communities in San Francisco and the
Alice Griffith Opportunity Center is just the beginning of a community
transformation process. The Center is the direct result of the
residents expressed need for onsite services.
Dwayne Jones, Director of the Mayor Office of Community Development,
whose office is leading the effort said, "Never before has
the city been so strategic in improving the lives of our poor
and disconnected citizens. Communities of Opportunity will significantly
change the way our government responds to community needs and
the manner in which residents benefit from our efforts."
Over 100 attendees including city officials, residents as well
as the business and philanthropic communities joined Mayor Newsom
at the opening of the Alice Griffith Opportunity Center.