Excelsior Community Hub

San Francisco, California

Design Disciplines Needed
Architecture, Interior Design

Desired Services
The Hub leadership is seeking assistance from Public Architecture with spatial and interior design for a 2,500-3,000 square foot start up location for the Hub in the Excelsior neighborhood. The feel of this space will be critical to achieving the mission of the Hub. It must be welcoming and inviting to people of many different ages, abilities, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. The Hub’s leadership seeks to celebrate this rich diversity through its design. Flexibility is a core component of success as well. The capacity to subdivide for specific programs, but reassemble the entire space for community functions will greatly enhance the programmatic goals and productivity of the Hub. Branding the new space with a unique look and identity reflected in the façade, physical interior, and digital ports of entry will help to establish the Hub start up within the larger community. Finally, the Hub leadership seeks to incorporate environmental sustainability into the design and build out of the physical space.

Project Description

The Excelsior Community Hub is a new center where residents of every age and culture can find workforce programs and services at one convenient Excelsior site. The Hub makes it easier to get assistance-in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Tagalog-and helps collaborating organizations provide assistance in multiple languages. The mission of the Excelsior Community Hub is to create a viable link for workforce development that leads to financial sustainability of individuals and families, strengthened community, and Excelsior identity.

The Excelsior benefits from a global community, rich in cultural traditions. But recent immigrants, including youth and seniors, face unemployment at especially high rates. The Excelsior and the immediate neighborhoods surrounding it have a high number of foreign-born residents, and they have the highest percentage of youth under the age of 18 in San Francisco. Rising housing costs threaten stability for many. Scattered services make it harder to access, trust, navigate, and benefit from existing resources. Lifting incomes is vital for individual, family, and neighborhood well-being. Studies show that when people use multiple support services, their chances of success rise. The Hub will improve residents’ well-being and self-sufficiency and lead to a more visibly vibrant Excelsior community.

The Hub is governed by 11 collaborating community leaders who already know and serve this community. They represent the organizations that will bring services to the Hub. District 11 Supervisor John Avalos has made the Hub a priority. The San Francisco Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development provide planning and operations support. Local businesses and foundations will be important partners. The Hub’s leadership has developed a co-location and program integration plan that includes nine participating organizations and aims to offer the following services:

• Workers’ rights workshops
• Job placement
• Translation help with important documents
• Co-op academy
• Op-op incubation
• Basic social services
• Skills building
• Labor law workshops
• Employment workshops
• Career exploration
• College/vocational programs and development supports/referral
• Education empowerment
• Policy and advocacy work

Outcome

In our planning year, ongoing coalition reflection, review, and discussion, as well as stakeholder input, will inform program design. We will build assessment into planning and launch activities. We will document the planning process throughout the year to serve as a process model for future multicultural community collaborations. In year one of operations, we will track services used per unique participant, services used by participant family members, rate of completed referrals between CBOs, and achievement of milestones toward designated self-sufficiency outcomes.