Community Working Group’s flagship project, the Opportunity Center of the Midpeninsula, is an affordable apartment complex and service center for homeless and extremely low-income families and individuals. The Opportunity Center is a positive, caring environment, where promoting the innate dignity of every person is the highest concern.
Partnering to serve the community
CWG developed the Opportunity Center in partnership with the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara and LifeMoves (formerly InnVision Shelter Network).
As part of the “housing first” concept at the Opportunity Center, CWG provides rent subsidies for new tenants moving from the streets, so that they can start to stabilize their lives with the assistance of the service providers.
The Opportunity Center includes 88 affordable apartments and a wide range of services for individuals and families who are homeless or very poor. The Opportunity Center is located on Encina Avenue, within walking distance of shopping and downtown Palo Alto’s transportation hub.
The ground floor is divided into two service centers — one designed to serve the general homeless and at-risk populations, and one designed to serve homeless and at-risk women, women with children, and families. Services are provided by numerous nonprofit organizations, with InnVision Shelter Network providing overall management and coordination. In addition, the ground floor houses a medical clinic operated by Peninsula HealthCare Connection, a nonprofit that CWG helped organize to provide medical and psychiatric services for the residents and clients of the Opportunity Center.
CWG pays for utilities, custodial services and maintenance for the service centers on an ongoing basis so that nonprofit partners at the Opportunity Center can focus on providing needed services to their low-income and homeless clients, rather than worrying about rent and upkeep of the facility.
Meeting community needs
The Opportunity Center is designed to serve the estimated 600+ homeless individuals and families annually in the Midpeninsula area.
In addition, the Opportunity Center offers services to 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.