2000 Best Practice Awards
Best of the Best Winners: California
Best Practice: Mather Community Campus
COMMUNITY CAMPUS HELPS MOVE FAMILIES FROM
HOMELESSNESS TO HOMETOWN
Mather, California. Mather, California. On a street in rural California just east
of Sacramento, neighbors grow pumpkins for local schoolchildren to harvest.
Other residents gather for a softball game in the town league. Its
a typical night in a not-so-typical town for neighbors who are formerly
homeless residents living at Mather Commu-nity Campus.
The first transitional housing to obtain property
through the McKinney Act, Mather Community Campus provides housing, job
training and employment programs to previously homeless adults and families.
The campus, a former military base with 16 buildings on 31 acres, was founded
Receiving Best of the Best award from
Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r) are Rhondii Colson,
Pat Wilcox, James Rox, Sandi Carly, Ishmal Castro, John Vernell, Beth Martin
and Beth Valentine
core public and private agencies that include
the County Department of Human Assistance, the Area Emergency Housing Center,
Volunteers of America, PRIDE Industries and Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment.
Altogether, a network of 33 agencies and stakeholders provides a comprehensive
array of services.
The campus serves up to 200 single people
and 65 families. The programs results are impressive:
- More than 700 homeless individuals and families
have been served since the programs inception in 1995.
- All of the former students who responded
to a post-graduation survey had maintained their homes more than one year
- More than 60 percent of students who completed
job training at the campus found work, with an average starting wage of
$8.13 per hour.
- Twenty-two children from Mather Community
Campus were recognized as Outstanding Students at their local
schools and on the campus.
A 15-person team of managers from the five
core agencies operates the day-to-day functions through a lateral collaborative
process. One agency serves as the lead and holds contractual agreements
with the four partner agencies. An advisory committee composed of 13 community
stakeholders including homeless advocates, neighbors and campus students
assists the management team.
Although the project faced intense community
opposition initially and squeaked into existence thanks to a 3-2 vote by
the board of supervisors, the campus now enjoys considerable community support.
The reason is extensive recreation and education activities for neighbors
as well as the campus students. The Neighborhood Planning Advisory Council
holds its annual dinner at Mather, the Highway Patrol hosts safety seminars
for high school students on campus and the head of the local chamber of
commerce has publicly vowed to protect the campus.
In addition to housing, direct services include
case management, employment services, a career center, culinary training
and food services, building maintenance and painting training, landscape
training and services, childrens services and transportation. Grants
from the California Healthcare Foundation and HUD fund a HEALTH project
collaborative that provides health and dental care services to single people.
HUD funds totaling $3 million have leveraged nearly $71 million in private
Campus students are paired with a case manager
and employment services worker who provide primary program services throughout
the students two-year stay. This triad develops a graduation plan
during the first four months of the students arrival, helps students
obtain job training and employment and overcome personal barriers to employment
The effective intersection of community and
transitional housing resulted from creation of a partnership team in which
resident council members, staff leaders and a community advisory committee
contribute as equal partners. Stereotypes dissolve as neighbors with homes
interact with formerly homeless neighbors.
Contact: Rondi Colson, Phone: (916) 228-3102
Tracking Number: 1194
Winning Category: Geographic
Best Practice: Centro del Pueblo and Plaza
NONPROFITS SUPPORT SAN FRANCISCO COMMUNITY
BY INVESTING IN THEMSELVES
San Francisco, California. In the Valencia corridor of San Francisco, 14 nonprofit
agencies line up to pay rentto themselves. Ranging from the Jesuit
Volunteer Corps to the Tile Mosaic Shop, the organizations jointly own Centro
del Pueblo, the citys first nonprofit-owned, mixed-use office and
affordable housing complex. This self-investment has proved beneficial for
the more than 200,000 community members in 1999 who accessed the array of
direct services the co-located agencies provide on site. The nonprofits
also provide affordable housing and services to residents of the on-site
52-unit Plaza del Sol serving low-and moderate-income families.
Initial HUD technical assistance helped 5
of the 14 agencies to collaborate in 1988 and eventually expand to reincorporate
as Centro del Pueblo in 1992. The mayors Office of Community Development
and the National Economic Development and Law Center played key roles as
well. CDBG grants help support the project, which received $1.4 million
from Bank of Americas Community Development Bank and $1.5 million
from foundations and corporations. The collaboration currently has a positive
cash flow of $28,000 above the budgeted $330,000 and has generated additional
revenue through renting an on-site auditorium and other meeting space to
The agencies relied on the following steps
to achieve ownership:
- Conduct feasibility study to determine community
needs, nonprofit capacity, local government interest, available land and
prospective private partners.
- Determine a corporate structure for ownership
and operating purposes.
- Identify and secure public and private financing
Co-ownership and collaboration encouraged
the agencies to pool their resources in new efforts. The
agencies monitored lending institutions on their Community Reinvestment
Act (CRA) performance and, through one of the faith-based members, provided
volunteers to assist with projects in low-income areas of California,
Arizona and New Mexico. The collaboration also has built several hundred
Plaza del Sol residents and community members
can meet multiple social service needs in a single settingfrom child
care to legal services to housing counseling. Plaza del Sol has an on-site
resource center that offers residents access to computers, employment referrals
and tutorial services. Center computers linked to the San Francisco
Unified School Districts computer system expand educational resources
available to residents and help students improve their grade performances.
Contact: Larry Del Carlo, Phone: (415) 241-6183
Tracking Number: 600
Winning Category: Program (Community Builder)
Best Practice: Parker-Kier Building
HISTORIC RESTORATION PAVES THE FUTURE ROAD
IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING
San Diego, California. Architectural awards, affordable housing and historic
preservation rarely goes hand-in-hand. Yet the 87-year-old Parker-Kier building
in San Diego, California, has achieved all three through partnerships and
an array of funding sources. Overlooking San Diego Bay, the renovated facility
provides 34 units of rental housing for low-income individuals and individuals
with mental illness.
The San Diego Housing Commission, which purchased
the deteriorated property located in a neighborhood suffering from urban
blight, showed the vision to preserve its original beauty while providing
Recipients receiving Best of the Best
award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
housing. The commission partnered with two
nonprofitsThe Association for Community Solutions (TACHS) and A Community
of Friends (ACOF)to operate the facility and provide access to off-site
support services for the 22 mentally ill residents.
These organizations soon found themselves
responding to another callthat of the community resisting the concentration
of mentally ill residents at Parker-Kier. Through a series of community
forums, TACHS and ACOF helped allay complaints by educating neighbors
on the characteristics and needs of mentally ill individuals. The nonprofits
also worked closely with the city council and police department to address
issues related to parking, property line disputes and site security.
HUDs Shelter Plus Care grant provides
rent subsidies for the mentally ill residents. Additional funding includes
an interest-free loan of $695,000 from the city of San Diegos Redevelopment
Agency, $82,000 from the San Diego Housing Commission, $315,000 from the
San Diego Housing Trust Fund and $135,000 from the State of California Energy
Independent living supplemented by support services has allowed the residents
to steer clear of institutionalization and maintain a stable life. In turn,
resident stability has helped diminish the neighbors concerns. Additional
results include financial benefits for the community, which does not have
to bear the burden of institutionalization for the mentally ill.
On the heels of the Parker-Kier restoration,
owners of nearby properties have begun to renovate or tear down abandoned
buildings. The waterfront business district west of the Parker-Kier is undergoing
Winner of a national award from the Association
of Local Housing Finance Agencies, the Parker-Kier restoration has maintained
San Diegos link to the past while paving a road to the future in affordable
Contact: Elizabeth Morris, Phone: (619) 525-3601
Tracking Number: 648
Winning Category: Geographic
Best Practice: Fremont Family Resource Center
ONE-STOP CENTER HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED
|Fremont, California. One-stop shopping may indicate convenience in
some circles, but the words changed the lives of a family of eight who recently
approached the welcome desk of the Fremont Family Resource Center in California.
The family had only the clothes they wore with no funds to purchase insulin
for a diabetic grandmother and her 15-year-old grandson. Her adult pregnant
daughter had not received any prenatal care; another adult child suffered
a severe head trauma without rehabilitative care. The center coordinator
worked with three of the 22 agencies co-located on-site to provide clothing,
temporary housing vouchers, funds for permanent housing, Medi-Cal insurance
Betty Jutzi/Iris Priest/Letha Barnett receiving
Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez
coverage, hospitalization for the 15-year-old
diabetic and employment assistance.
Comprehensive co-located support services
from dozens of city, county, state and private nonprofit agencies grew from
dreaming/visioning sessions hosted by the city of Fremont during a 12-month
period. Representatives from nonprofit and government agencies suggested
the need for a coordinated approach to the provision of essential services.
The Fremont Resource Center project emerged with the goals of increasing
community access to services, improving the quality of services and improving
Project supporters presented the concept to
the city council to gain buy-in and authorization for financing. Outreach
to dreaming session participants identified potential partners. The city
financed and renovated two office buildings through a combination of $12.5
million in Certificates of Participation funds and $3 million in CDBG funds.
CDBG funds were used to prepay long-term leases for at least 51 percent
of the space and rent that space to CDBG-eligible nonprofit agencies. This
arrangement allowed the city to lease prime space at well below market
rates to participating nonprofit agencies.
Once the centers buildings were renovated
and lease agreements were signed, the centers staff worked in partnership
with tenants to develop a governance structure and integration of services.
In response to the multiple regulations and service protocols of the
22 partner agencies, the center established a collaborative governance
structure that includes community members and staff from all tenant organizations.
Agency co-location has helped foster collaboration
and efficient service among partners, which has benefited families. Parents
can now deliver their children to the child care center, take a parenting
workshop at the citys Youth and Family Services division, and stop
by the career center to explore a new profession before heading off to a
job-training program. In fact since opening in June of 1999, the Fremont
Family Resource Center has attracted more than 120 participants a day to
its career center and workshop attendance at the Citys Youth and Family
Services division has increased 200 percent, largely due to the space and
the onsite child care center.
Contact: Robert Calkins, Phone: (510) 494-4502
Tracking Number: 2181
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)
Best Practice: The Telemedicine Program in
The Telemedicine Program Uses Advanced
Technology to Provide Health Services to Residents in Public Housing
Monterey Park, California. To improve access to health care, The Community Development
Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA) partnered
with The Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science to launch The
Telemedicine Program in Public Housing. Using advanced telecommunications
technology, The Telemedicine Program provides public housing residents with on-site
access to diagnosis and treatment of sight-threatening diseases.
The program allows doctors to examine patients
who live miles away in urban public
Carolos Jackson, Berdette Glover and Maria
Badrakhan receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and
Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
housing communities without ever leaving their
offices. State-of-the-art cameras, ophthalmology equipment and computers
transmit real-time images of the patients eyes to the doctors
computers at the medical center, allowing a physician to make a diagnosis
and recommend treatment. A physician attendant operates the equipment on the
patients end and communicates directly with the doctor.
The program was an immediate success in identifying
and treating individuals at risk of permanent vision impairment or blindness.
Of the patients screened during the first two years of operation, 46 percent
had severe sight-threatening conditions that required immediate treatment.
Besides providing much-needed access to health
care for public housing residents, The Telemedicine Program offers an opportunity
to support welfare-to-work participants by creating new employment opportunities.
All centers employ public housing residents who are training to become certified
telemedicine technicians. Eight residents have been successfully trained
as medical office assistants. One medical office assistant is beginning
her senior year as a nursing student at the University of Southern California.
In addition, two of the medical assistants plan to apply to the Physician
Assistant Program in fall 2001.
The program also demonstrates how telemedicine
can be cost-effective in providing health services to underserved urban
communities. By practicing preventive care, patients maintain better health
and avoid costly emergency room visits.
Telemedicine is funded through an initial
grant from HACoLA and a congressional appropriation. Drew University donates
staff time and provides technical and medical expertise. Formerly, telemedicine
programs existed only in rural areas where access to health care is complicated
by lack of transportation, child care concerns and financial hardship. Recognizing
that many people in urban areas face the same problems, HACoLA and Drew
University opened the Telemedicine Center at a public housing community
in Long Beach, California, making it the nations first urban telemedicine
One of the stated objectives in forming the
telemedicine network was to create a nationally replicable health care delivery
model for addressing the unmet health care needs of medically underserved
urban communities. To replicate the program, take the following steps:
- Determine the needs of the community
- Determine a funding source(s)
- Find primary care and specialty care medical
- Obtain buy-in from the residential and medical
- Determine the location of services
- Purchase the necessary equipment
- Set up the infrastructure
- Develop policies and procedures and protocols
- Train medical office assistants and physician
- Market the services
Contact: Christy Miyagishima, Phone: (323)
Tracking Number: 3017
Winning Category: Geographic and Program (Public and Indian Housing)
Best Practice: Renaissance Entrepreneurship
Increasing Entrepreneurial Capabilities
in the Bay Area
San Francisco. Hailed as the nations
first micro-enterprise training and incubator program, the Renaissance Entrepreneurship
Center helps low- and moderate-income residents develop small businesses
and grow existing ones. The center has been in existence since 1985 and
it provides training for new and existing business owners and offers a business
incubator to stabilize struggling businesses.
Building Dreams, is something
that the center does everyday. This is accomplished by empowering and increasing
the entrepreneurial capabilities of socially and economically diverse people
in San Francisco Bay Area. The center is a unique multi-cultural marketplace
of entrepreneurs. Diversity is a critical factor of the centers success.
Program participants come, not only from a range of racial and ethnic backgrounds,
but have different levels of educational and occupational experience.
The center offers a comprehensive array of
business training and support programs offered at its facility as well as
off-site in the Bayview District of San Francisco. Services are offered
to people who are exploring self-employment, as well as those who already
own a small business and need specific kinds of assistance.
The centers goal is to spark lasting
economic development for individuals and communities that traditionally
have not had access to capital and business support. The center offers training
programs, a The center offers a range of practical, hands-on training in
business management for both the new entrepreneur and the more experienced
business owner. Applicants to any of the programs must demonstrate the motivation
needed to start and grow a small business, attend a free orientation and
submit an application. The Financing Resource Center assists participants
in the acquisition of capital from traditional and nontraditional source
of funding. It provides a conduit for traditional lenders to lend under
somewhat nontraditional circumstances or in specific markets such as minority,
women, low-to-moderate income and geographically designated business enterprises.
Staff prequalifies loan applicants and represents them to the appropriate
financial institution. An advisory board of Renaissance lending partners
assists with the program design and fundraising. Between 1995 through 1997
there were 46 funded loans totaling $2 million.
The centers Business Incubator is designed
to assist new entrepreneurs to successfully grow their small businesses
by providing low cost office space, office support services and business
management assistance. The Business Incubator is a long term, temporary
business location. Tenants are expected to develop specific goals for the
growth of their business. Tenants are expected to graduate from
the Business Incubator when they reach their goals and are ready to expand.
This process normally takes approximately three years. In addition, technical
assistance is provided twice per month by the centers staff and business
experts. Consultants cover topics such as financial planning, marketing
strategy, access to loans and business planning.
Center resources have increased area economic
development, expanded employment opportunities, and resulted in an infusion
of products and services into the area. More than 1,200 low-income residents
have received training, of whom 450 are now business owners. In 1999, these
businesses generated approximately $37.5 million and created 1,200 new jobs.
The business incubator has helped stabilize 45 businesses.
Contact: Claudia Viek, Phone: 415-541-8584
Tracking Number: 358
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)
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Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners
Content Archived: April 20, 2011