by Daphne Young, Education Reporter
In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the City of San Francisco has invested in community-led locations called “hubs” that are providing essential services to the communities most impacted during the pandemic.
The Mission District and Bayview already have hubs that have been serving the community during the pandemic. Now, the Pacific Islander Community Hub at Executive Park, also known as The Hut, is open and available for San Francisco residents.
The Hut officially opened its doors on Dec. 9, 2021. The community hub offers food, connection to vital services, family relief funds and employment training and services.
“As a Pacific Islander leader, this is a celebration and a great milestone,” said San Francisco Unified School Board of Education Vice-President Faauuga Moliga, the first Pacific Islander elected official in San Francisco. “We’ve been doing this work for a long time. This is a place of service for everyone. Everyone is loved and accepted in this space.”
The community resource center is a collaboration between the city and Pacific Islander-led community groups to address the needs of their communities in San Francisco. The unique needs of the Pacific Islander community were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizers say The Hut is committed to investing in programming and funding for COVID-19 recovery initiatives for the Pacific Islander community.
The Pacific Islander population grew by 27 percent in California.
“This is restoring hope to a community that felt hopeless,” remarked Gaynor Siataga, director of the Pacific Islander Community Hut. “We’ve been here for over 100 years and many of us have been providing pro bono services to our community for decades. This has been a long time coming and we will not wait another 100 years to make sure our community is served.”
The Pacific Islander community has been in San Francisco for over 100 years and have never had dedicated city-funded resources for their community. According to the Pacific Islander Demographics Report published by the Regional Pacific Islander Taskforce in the Bay Area, between 2000 and 2017, the Pacific Islander population grew by 27 percent in California.
The U.S. Census Bureau has identified 19 distinct ethnic communities within the Pacific Islander populations, showing its diversity and growth. Almost one in five Pacific Islanders in California reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, with 53 percent of the Bay Area’s Pacific Islander population living in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and San Mateo.
Much like the Latino Task Force Hub located in the Mission and the Bayview Hub located on 1800 Oakdale Ave, The Hut will be offering job assistance, help with applying to various city and state programs, immigration support and COVID-19 response, including providing food assistance to address food insecurity.
The Hut to provide support, including job assistance services
“I am looking forward to collaborating with the Pacific Islander Community Hut,” said Latino Task Force leader Valerie Tuliyer. “I look forward to the service that you’ll bring to this space and to the community. The community will come here and return here because they will trust you with their vulnerabilities and know that you will not judge them for seeking services.”
The Bayview Essential Services Hub partners including Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) and Young Community Developers (YCD) will work closely with The Hut to provide support, including job assistance services. Plus, additional funding for The Hut services is provided in collaboration with Latino Task Force.
“I am excited to champion the effort from the Board of Supervisors to invest in our Pacific Islander community,” said Board President and District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton. “It is important to invest in a community-led COVID-19 response and recovery plan that ensures its services are culturally competent and appropriate for the community that it serves.”
The new Pacific Islander Community Hub is located at 150 Executive Park in Room 2450 and is open for drop-ins Monday and Fridays, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments are also available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by calling 415-240-6720. We urge residents to check it out!
Daphne Young is the Education Reporter at the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. The Chicago native is an award-winning journalist who’s covered news for radio and TV stations around the country. She attended San Francisco State University and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. If you have an education story that you’d like to see the Bay View cover, please contact Daphne by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.