Residents in San Francisco’ Bayview District — one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — will have now have increased access to city services through a new Essential Services Hub opening on Tuesday.
The hub, located at 1329-1331 Evans St., aims to help residents most affected by the pandemic, providing services like access to health care and COVID-19 testing; financial subsidies for rent and food; job placement and training; access to food; and basic needs for families like diapers and formula. Additionally, the hub will also operate a learning hub for kids, offering full-day in-person programming, as well as internet access, for low-income youth and those experiencing homelessness or in foster care.
The services will be offered in multiple languages.
According to Breed, the hub is much needed in the neighborhood as it continues to experience some of the highest COVID-19 case numbers amid a citywide surge. Latinos account for 45 percent of all of the city’s cases while only representing 15 percent of the overall city populations.
In the Bayview, however, Latinos make up over 20 percent of residents.
“Throughout our city’s response to COVID, we wanted to focus on equity. We wanted to make sure we were reaching the communities that have been hardest hit,” Breed said. “It was very challenging at first, when the city wasn’t doing what it needed to do, especially for the Latino community and its residents in the southeast part of the city.”
“We know that this is a community (the Latino community) that has had many of the highest COVID-19 rates, particularly with frontline workers, with essential workers, with so many folks living in overcrowded housing and working in low-wage industries like restaurants, retail and small businesses decimated by this pandemic,” California Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, said. “For this hub to open to serve the fundamental needs around food, health care, unemployment assistance and eviction prevention, it couldn’t be more important.”
Supervisor Shamann Walton, whose supervisorial district includes the Bayview, said making sure the needs of Latinos in his district are being met is crucial in the city’s COVID-19 prevention efforts.
“We need to make sure that all of our services are culturally responsive and speak the language of the folks we’re serving in our community. This hub is another layer and another an essential step that allow us to do that,” he said. “Typically, our faith-based organizations and other community-based organizations would provide a lot of these services, but to have a space that you can go to and know that most of your needs are going to be met, or you’re going to be connected to the opportunity, is so important.”
The new hub is being operated by the Mission Neighborhood Centers, with help from its partner organizations the San Francisco Department of Public Health, University of California at San Francisco, and the Latino Task Force, among others. The hub is modeled after the flagship Latino Task Force Resource Hub at 701 Alabama St., city officials said.