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Community Youth Center breaks ground on Richmond District hub

The Community Youth Center of San Francisco broke ground Wednesday on a Richmond District community hub that will help the organization expand on programs and services in the neighborhood.

The 7,160-square-foot, two-story building located at 952 Clement Street will offer workforce development programs, a shared community room for workshops, administrative offices and space for other programs once crews finish construction. The facility will also feature a state-of-the-art computer club and rooftop garden.

Mayor London Breed, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Richmond District Supervisor Connie Chan and other city leaders gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking Wednesday morning.

Sarah Wan, executive director of CYC, said at the ceremony:

“This space is not just a CYC center. It’s truly a community center. There will be a community space that will also open to all the community partners.”

The organization commemorated its 50th anniversary last year.

Jerold Chinn/SFBay Assemblymember Phil Ting (center) presents CYC Board Chair Jaynry Mak (left) and Executive Director Sarah Wan (right) with a resolution honoring the youth organization’s 50 years of work in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (Jerold Chinn/SFBay)

As part of the Coalition for Community Safety and Justice, the CYC has also taken action to support and protect Asian and Pacific Islander communities facing heightened verbal and physical assaults.

The coalition was formed to address safety concerns that intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic. Acknowledging racism and xenophobia challenges the API community has faced through the pandemic, Breed applauded CYC for stepping up to help protect some of The City’s most vulnerable residents.

The mayor said:

“We had a trusted organization in CYC, who partnered with us to start an escort program, a program that seniors and people who did not feel safe could reach out and get the help and the support that they need as they run their errands along Clement Street, or in Chinatown or in other places in our city.”

Ting was able to secure $2.5 million in the state budget to help CYC purchase the Clement Street property, which he sees as an opportunity to fill a void in youth services and organizations on The City’s west side.

He said:

“We have a lot of young people who need places to go after school. We have a lot of young people who need guidance, mentorship.”

CYC is still $2 million shy of its $5 million fundraising goal to support the new center, which is expected to open in 14 to 16 months. The public can make donations by visiting the CYC website.

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