Funding Local Housing Solutions

Building Homes and Hope

The California housing crisis seems overwhelming and often without a workable solution. However, local, targeted programs can make a difference to those who are housing insecure.

Who are the people experiencing homelessness in our community? They are often familiar faces—the grocery cashier, a child whose parents are fighting to stay in the school district, the person sitting next to you in your place of worship. The 2022 Point in Time (PIT) Count and 2022 San Mateo County One Day Homeless Count and Survey recorded 274 individuals in Palo Alto, 169 individuals in East Palo Alto, and 56 individuals in Menlo Park who are facing homelessness. When we put numbers to the problem, solutions seem more plausible.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, in 2021 and 2022 Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) proudly awarded grants totalling $560,000 to 14 local nonprofits working tirelessly everyday to help those who need shelter.

Affordable Housing Factory in East Palo Alto
United Hope Builders (UHB) is a new social enterprise aimed at addressing all three barriers to affordable housing in Northern California: cost of construction, availability of land, and political will. UHB was founded by Pastor Paul and Cheryl Bains and is a majority BIPOC managed entity. The Bains’ also co-founded WeHOPE, a leading provider of shelter and services to unhoused individuals in the  Bay Area, and headquartered in East Palo Alto.

UHB has received two larger Dave Mitchell Impact Grants from PACF, one in 2021 for $50,000 and another in 2022 for $75,000. Our grants helped fund a new East Palo Alto modular housing factory, which broke ground this past July, paving the way to create 100 high-quality, local jobs with profit sharing and produce 400 modular housing units a year. One of UHB’s most innovative and mission-critical strategies involves working with nontraditional landowners to address the challenge of securing workable, affordable locations for these modular single and multi-family homes.

“I believe that none of us is as strong as all of us, and I truly believe that we’re better together than we are a part. I am so glad that we have this relationship with Palo Alto Community Fund because without them I think we would be further back than where we are.” – Pastor Paul Bains

Homekey Palo Alto
In August of 2022, LifeMoves, in partnership with the City of Palo Alto, was awarded $26.6 million in State funding to expand services for the unhoused in Palo Alto through an innovative transitional housing facility which includes wraparound services.

PACF is honored to be a part of this journey with LifeMoves through a $100,000 Dave Mitchell Impact Grant. We committed this grant in December of 2021, pending State project approval, in support of the Homekey Palo Alto application for State Homekey funding.

Located at 1237 San Antonio Road in Palo Alto near the Palo Alto Baylands, Homekey Palo Alto will provide a dignified transitional step for unhoused residents on the path to stable housing. LifeMoves will develop this interim housing shelter with 64 individual units and 24 family units—supported by comprehensive on-site services. The State grant award is a part of a California wide effort to sustain and rapidly expand housing for those currently unhoused or at risk of homelessness.

Housing Insecurity Nonprofit Partners
PACF is proud to partner with United Hope Builders, LifeMoves, and 12 other nonprofits working tirelessly everyday to help those who need shelter. Thank you to: Downtown Streets TeamLifeMoves (2022 Dave Mitchell Impact Grant recipient), Habitat for Humanity, Home and Hope, Housing Choices CoalitionLegal Aid Society of San Mateo CountyRebuilding Together PeninsulaUnited Hope Builders, and WeHOPE.

Please give where you live through the Palo Alto Community Fund and make a difference in our community today!

[Read the full December 8 email this story was featured in]