| With its lease rapidly expiring, the Day Worker Center caught a lucky break this week: The center has been given an extra month in its current spot, giving its board members valuable time to continue their search for new digs in town.
For the past five years, the center has been located at the Calvary Church on California Street. The center now has until Aug. 31 to find a new site, said center director Maria Marroquin.
The decision came from Calvary's pastor, the Rev. Jim Springer, and was characterized by Marroquin as a "huge blessing."
The main factor preventing the center from finding a new location boils down to price, said staff member Matthew Tompkins. The center can afford a monthly lease somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 -- "hopefully more like three," Tompkins said -- but hasn't had luck finding anything in that price range.
"This is a really pricey area, it's tough around here. We're having such a difficult time," he said.
The center must find a location in an area of the city that is zoned for business use, and will have to submit a proposal to the city for approval once a location is found, a process that could take several weeks, Marroquin said.
Ideally, the space would be at least 1,500 square feet in size and located on or near El Camino Real, Marroquin said, but she isn't sure if they will be able to find anything matching that description in their price range.
Besides working as a liaison and pick-up place where clients can coordinate with workers, the center offers services like translation assistance and English language training for workers. The center provides a place where workers can gather while they wait for jobs, and there is a daily car-wash service offered to clients.
Marroquin said one option is to find a much smaller and cheaper space, but that will mean whittling down the center's operations to just a desk and a phone, where Marroquin or other staff can coordinate clients to pick up workers from their homes or other locations.
Additionally, Tompkins said, they might have to do without a rental space for awhile, and would then coordinate the services using their own cell phones.
"At this point, we need to consider all the possibilities," Marroquin said.
What they don't want to consider is moving out of the Mountain View area, where the center has established deep roots with the local community.
"Most of our constituents live here, and if we went somewhere else transportation would be difficult for them," Tompkins said. "That's not what we want to do."
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