The Opportunity Center of the Midpeninsula was developed by the Community Working Group, in partnership with the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara and InnVision Shelter Network the Way Home. The Opportunity Center is a five story, mixed-use facility that houses multiple services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, including women and children, and 88 affordable apartments for the homeless and the very poor. There are two services centers on the ground floor - one designed to serve the general homeless and at-risk populations and one designed to serve homeless and at-risk women and women with children. Services are provided by numerous nonprofit organizations, with InnVision Shelter Network providing overall management and coordination.
Since its inception, the Community Working Group has built a broad-based coalition of public and private organizations with a common goal - to build and operate the Opportunity Center of the Midpeninsula. We have succeeded in creating community awareness and community and political support for this project, including unanimous approval by the Palo Alto City Council.
The Opportunity Center is located on Encina Avenue, within walking distance of downtown Palo Alto's transportation hub and Town and County Center. The total development cost of the Opportunity Center was $23,881,756. To realize this dream, we secured public funding from San Mateo County, the City of Menlo Park, the City of Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County's Housing Trust Fund, the State's Multi-family Housing Program, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Federal tax credits. We received grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Peninsula Community Foundation, the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Sobrato Family Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and several small private foundations, as well as corporations such as Hewlett Packard. Close to 20 faith communities conducted their own congregational campaigns for the project. Through the generous support of philanthropic individuals and families, foundations, and local corporations, we achieved a capital campaign goal of $8,000,000, as well as a $1 million Opportunity Fund campaign to help the poorest of the poor secure stable housing.
The Opportunity Center is designed to serve the estimated 600+ homeless individuals and families annually in the Midpeninsula area, including the 150+ homeless individuals that were annually served by InnVision Shelter Network/Urban Ministry of Palo Alto at its outdoor drop-in center and the 50+ homeless women with children that were annually served by InnVision Shelter Network/Clara-Mateo Division at its Elsa Segovia Center in Menlo Park. In addition, the Opportunity Center is available to serve the hundreds of low-income families and individuals who are temporarily displaced or currently housed but are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of family emergencies, job layoffs, medical crises, rising rents, foreclosures, conversion of rental properties or other housing challenges.
The Opportunity Center stands as a visible symbol of a broad community that cares for those most in need and is willing to provide the necessary support to make the dream become a reality. None of us could have accomplished such a monumental accomplishment alone. The Community Working Group's volunteer Board of Directors offers thanks to all of our supporters and partners, and knows that the pride instilled by this achievement is shared by everyone.