How DCYF Grantees Are Supporting San Francisco During the COVID-19 Pandemic

After the SF Department of Public Health issued the Shelter in Place Order in mid-March, our grantees stepped up to continue supporting San Francisco’s children, youth, and families. We’ve been keeping track of the services they have been providing during the COVID-19 pandemic based on five categories: basic needs, economic stability, education, social connection, and trauma care.

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In the next few months DCYF will issue a comprehensive report about our grantees’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic. For now, check out a few examples below.


 
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Basic Needs

FACES SF. The FACES SF staff has been providing gift cards for groceries, diapers, cleaning supplies, and emotional support for in-need families. They are also hosting a pop-up food bank, delivering meals to seniors in Bayview/Hunter’s Point, and have leveraged a partnership with SF State University to distribute educational kits to families.

Good Samaritan Family Resource Center. Every Wednesday and Friday Good Sam is distributing life essentials to 200-400 people: diapers, gift cards for groceries, and other necessities based on needs identified by the families they serve. They are also providing case work for the most in-need families and are working with undocumented populations to help them meet their needs.

Huckleberry Youth Programs. The Huckleberry House Crisis Shelter has never closed during the pandemic, offering 24-hour crisis intervention and resolution services and emergency shelter to high-need youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Huckleberry is also hosting a 24-hour Teen Hotline for youth and families.

Larkin Street Youth Services. Larkin’s emergency shelters are open and operating, and they have placed additional youth into local hotels via their Emergency Hotel Voucher Program. Larkin’s drop in sites are distributing takeout meals and hygiene supplies, and they are offering bathroom and hand washing access.

Urban Spouts. Urban Sprouts has shifted all of its programming to focus on food production. Their staff is distributing of fresh produce and hot meals to the community, and offering online demos featuring cooking, gardening, herbal medicine production, and meditation.


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Economic Stability

Enterprise for Youth. Enterprise for Youth has been offering virtual job readiness training and has been conducting conducting mock interviews between youth and community volunteers via video calls and virtual meetings. Enterprise is also actively collaborating with their current intern hosts and partners to offer remote assignments or structuring alternate jobs in order to provide youth paid work experience.

Jewish Vocational Services. JVS is fundraising to establish an Emergency Fund that will help provide financial support for their clients as they wait for unemployment claims to process. The Emergency Fund will also be used to help job seekers navigate resources, secure jobs in surging industries, and participate in training to help them access more resilient employment.

Juma Ventures. Juma primarily places their youth in jobs at Oracle Park during the Major League Baseball season. Since March they have transitioned their programming online, allowing their youth to “learn and earn” from a safe distance. Bonus: the San Francisco Giants have awarded $500 grants to youth who worked at Oracle Park as part of their “Giants Emergency Assistance Fund” initiative.

Success Center San Francisco. Success Center has placed ten people in positions with tech companies since the Shelter in Place Order went into effect. They have also transitioned their job readiness programming to a virtual format, and are keeping running list of open jobs in San Francisco on their website and on their Twitter feed.


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Education

826 Valencia. During the Shelter in Place period, 826 Valencia’s staff contacted 250 families in order to access their need for devices, and distributed eight laptops to families in need. Program staff are developing resources to help families get started with new ways of learning, including an English/Spanish step-by-step guide to using Zoom. Beyond tech support, 826 staff have helped students write book reports, practice spoken-word poetry, complete homework, and process current events.

Breakthrough San Francisco. Breakthrough is providing a wide range of academic support activities, including 1:1 virtual tutoring, middle, high school, and college admissions support, virtual ACT test prep, virtual college tours. Breakthrough also hosted 8th grade and 12th grade graduation ceremonies for their scholars.

Playworks Education Energized. Playworks has launched a Play at Home initiative during the pandemic. They have created downloadable books in English and Spanish for families to engage in active, healthy play. They are also creating “Play At Home” videos, and they are hosting “Virtual Recess” at regular intervals 15 times per week.

Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. Potrero Hill’s Team Leaders are conducting weekly education check-ins with students and their families. Team Leaders are encouraging students to go online and complete their SFUSD distance learning assignments, are providing support with school work, and offering reading support via Facetime. Potrero Hill staff are also picking up and delivering weekly homework packets for students who do not have internet access.


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Social Connection & Trauma Care

Dance Brigade. Dance Brigade is offering five dance classes per week via Zoom. The classes include an assignment for students to express their feelings through poetry and by creating and choreographing dance sequences that they will share with the class the following week. Students have also been asked to write a prayer or wish for children who are suffering in unsafe homes during the shelter in place order. The prayers and wishes will eventually be compiled into a movie that will be shown to students in the future when they are able to gather in person.

HOMEY. HOMEY has mobilized to connect with the community in several different ways: delivering meals to 16 families three days per week; securing a one-acre plot to start a community garden; distributing free computers to ten youth; teaching youth how to use Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other video conferencing apps; and creating a youth-led podcast that will focus on current events, health advice, and Mission District-related topics. HOMEY transitioned their youth and TAY groups to a virtual format immediately after the Shelter in Place order was put into effect, keeping that connection alive. They are also hosting Netflix viewing parties as a fun way for youth and staff to connect virtually.

LYRIC. LYRIC has provided one-on-one support for LGBTQIA youth via phone throughout the shelter in place order. They also continue to provide their youth groups, internships, case management services, counseling services, and leadership program via phone and video conferencing.

Niroga Institute. Niroga adapted their trauma-informed dynamic mindfulness classes and workshops to an online format. The classes and workshops are intended for use by youth at Juvenile Hall and in programming provided by other community-based organizations. General enrollment in Niroga’s webinars, and online classes and courses has increased since the shelter in place order with into effect.