City officials and community groups celebrated the grand opening of the Bayview Essential Services Hub Tuesday. The hub, located at the Southeast Community Facility at 1800 Oakdale Avenue, will offer a range of services, including food distribution, rent relief and connections to healthcare providers.
“This is a testament to how quickly we can move if we work together,” said District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton, who also serves as the president of the Board of Supervisors.
The hub’s opening coincides with Monday’s launch of a third high-volume vaccination site at SF Market in the Bayview. The initial doses given per day at the Bayview site will be limited, but the city hopes to scale up vaccinations to at least 10,000 people per day once the city receives more doses, according to a Tuesday press release.
It is unclear whether the hub will serve as a community testing site or vaccination site.
Mayor London Breed called for unity at the grand opening, urging listeners to “put aside our complaints about what’s not happening.”
“If you need something, this is what this hub is about,” she said. “Work with us, have patience and understanding that these are the people that are working here to do what’s necessary to try to help you.”
The Bayview has had the highest rate of Covid cases citywide throughout the pandemic, and one of the highest rates of deaths. Black and Latinx communities have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, with Latinx people infected at higher rates and Black residents more likely to die than their white counterparts.
The hub was the product of collaboration between multiple community groups, including the Latino Task Force, Black Wall Street, Rafiki Coalition, Young Community Developers, MegaBlack SF and the YMCA. Many speakers representing these groups touched on the importance of Black and Latinx community groups collaborating to create the hub.
“This was a community struggle to get this building here, so let us not forget about our history,” said Valerie Tulier-Laiwa from the Latino Task Force. “Pre-covid relationships existed between the Black and brown community, but since covid hit, we have become closer.”
In addition to addressing the covid pandemic, Breed said the hub would also work to address a “pandemic of violence” in the Bayview community. Over the weekend, a shooting in the neighborhood left six people wounded. Since the start of the year, 73 violent crimes — rape, robbery or assault — have been reported in the neighborhood, according to police department crime data.
“We are going to take advantage of the opportunity that people are hollering all over the country that Black Lives Matter,” she said. “Let’s show people how much they matter to us.”
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