Holiday Spirit

Executive Director Maria Marroquin, Programs Coordinator Luis Cordero, and Juan, a compañero, staff a table at the Family Health and Wellness Fair at Castro-Mistral Elementary School. Courtesy the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.

Posted Dec. 30, 2022

From hot meals to job placement, the Day Worker offers a host of services

by Alejandra Pinto-Garcia / Special to the Voice

Every Monday through Saturday, compañeres line up to receive a fresh, hot and balanced meal for breakfast and lunch at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. In 2021, 14,973 meals were made and distributed as part of the Center's Healthy Meals program. That's an average of 1,248 meals distributed each month.

One of the compañeres who lines up regularly to receive a meal is a senior who was living off of $600 a month. This, he said, was barely enough for rent and he was often left with little to nothing to spend on food. The Healthy Meals program at the center has become crucial for many members of our community. For many, it is the place where they will receive their next meal.

Another compañere who would line up to receive a meal for herself and three children was a mom named Luisa. At the time, she and her family were homeless and turned to the Day Worker Center for meals. However, it became more than just a place where she and her family would get their next meal. Through the Day Worker Center's network, she began connecting with other local organizations. Soon after, she had found stable housing and a stable job. It was a full circle moment when not too long ago Luisa came back to the center but this time as an employer looking to hire a worker to help her in her home.

As a way to support our Healthy Meals program, a few volunteers come to the center and help tend to its garden. We grow and harvest vegetables that are later used in the kitchen for meals.

The Day Worker Center serves as a community hub for all community members. When asked what the center means to him, a compañero said: "I am very grateful to be a part of the Day Worker Center and for the support they have always given me. I love talking to my compañeros about our adventures and shared dreams."

In 2021, the Center connected members with more than 12,000 job placements and even though we are currently operating in a hybrid mode, our programs are still available. Our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered one-on-one for workers through Whatsapp or Zoom as well as our classes to prepare for the written portion of the driver's license test and our Racial Justice Workshops.

Compañeros also participate in educational workshops on topics such as how to make compost, how to safely dig, and using non-toxic products in housecleaning.

As a way to reach more community members, through our Outreach Program, we are able to connect and provide various resources in key community locations such as grocery stores, churches and community fairs. We hand out free face masks, hand sanitizers, and information and resources regarding worker rights, COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. We also help connect people with other social safety net services that are offered by Santa Clara County, the city of Mountain View, and local community-based organizations.

Starting in 1996, the Day Worker Center of Mountain View's mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment to connect day workers and employers. The center also strives to empower workers to improve their socioeconomic condition through fair employment, education and job skills training. And, it participates in advocacy efforts that support the day laborer community.

The Day Worker Center is one of seven nonprofit organizations serving Mountain View residents that benefit from the Voice's annual Holiday Fund. Donations to the fund are divided equally among the nonprofits, with 100% of contributions go to the recipients. Got to .

The Day Worker Center of Mountain View is located at 113 Escuela Ave. in Mountain View. For more information call 650-903-4102 or visit our website at .

Alejandra Pinto-Garcia is volunteer coordinator at the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.

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2021 Recipient Agency

Community Health Awareness Council
CHAC serves Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and seven school districts. Among the services it offers are schoolbased counseling and programs to protect students from high-risk behaviors.

Community School of Music & Arts
The Community School of Music and Arts provides hands-on art and music education in the classrooms of the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Community Services Agency
CSA is the community's safety-net providing critical support services for low-income individuals and families, the homeless and seniors in northern Santa Clara County, including Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Day Worker Center of Mountain View
The Day Worker Center of Mountain View provides a secure place for workers and employers to negotiate wages and work conditions. It serves workers with job placements, English lessons, job skills workshops and guidance.

Mayview Community Health Center
The MayView Community Health Center in Mountain View offers primary care services to low-income and uninsured patients in northern Santa Clara County. No patient is turned away for inability to pay for services, which include prenatal and pediatric care, cancer screenings and chronic disease management.

Mentor Tutor Connection
Mentor Tutor Connection matches adult volunteers who serve either as mentors with under-served youth in high school or as tutors to students in elementary and middle schools in Mountain View and Los Altos school districts.

YWCA of Silicon Valley
This group operates a 24-hour bilingual hotline and a safe shelter for women and their children. It also offers counseling and other services for families dealing with domestic violence.

As of October 3rd, 132 donors have contributed $71,561 to the Holiday Fund.
* indicates amount withheld at donor's request

46 Anonymous14,808
Robert J. Rohrbacher100
David E. Simon & Lynn Gordon1,000
The PS & KW Creger Family Trust 500
Catherine Howard*
Charlene Miyashita50
David L. Hatt250
Dr. Dana E. Backman100
Lisa Topping and Mark Buggy*
Kevin & Robin Duggan*
James and Marilyn Kelly*
Jim & Mia Whitfield*
Pamela Baird & Greg Unangst1,000
David Offen & Gail Nyhan*
Paul & Sarah Donahue2,000
Lawrence K. Wallace50
Mitch & Barb Topol50
Dan Pappas250
Karen & David Keefer100
Andy & Liz Coe100
Bruce & Twana Karney350
Norma Jean Bodey Galiher200
Thomas J. Mucha350
Laurie Bonilla & Ed Perry250
Ellen Wheeler50
Sara and Ricardo Jenez*
Peter Stahl and Janet Sloan1,000
Mark Flider250
Lyle & Sally Sechrest100
Ross S Heitkamp*
Sandra and Craig Peterson200
Ann McCarty*
Murray Family100
Max Beckman-Harned1,400
Sally Evans100
Karen Skold50
Steve Attinger500
Emily Arcolino3,000
Christopher and Mary Dateo1,000
Ed Taub and Sheri Gish108
Marilyn Gildea*
The Depenhart Family750
Laura and Dave Blakely100
Mary DeMasters*
Boris Burtin100
Judy Atterholt & Chris Petti*
Kelly Family1,000
Herta Schreiner & Miguel Garcia200
Wesley D. Smith*
Ann Kapoun200
Linda & Greg Kannall25
Anne Johnston*
Jim & Alice Cochran700
E. Denley Rafferty100
Bruce Heflinger1,000
Patricia & Roger Hayes50
Dolores N. Goodman500
Leslie C. and Anita N. Nichols*
Randy Tsuda & Julie McCullough*
Ross & Karen Heitkamp350
Reese and Kathleen Cutler*
Gary and Yuko Kushner*
Rudy & Debra Robinson 200
David D. Meir-Levi25
Tom & Barbara Lustig*
Elisabeth Seaman500
Cliff and Kara Chambers1,000
Jeral Poskey250
Jerry & Sherri Morrison 700
Judith A. Manton500
Kathleen & Serge Bonte200
Shirley K. Ingalls*
Jas Laskowski3,000
Margaret Chapman100
David Fung*
Leona K. Chu*
Jeff Segall & Helen He200
Kevin & Laurel Smith Charitable Fund3,000
In Memory Of

Jim & Sally Hayden-Myer210
Julie Lovins & Greg Fowler*
Mack & Laila Holombo*
In Honor Of

Edward, Petros & Thalia200
Ed, Petros and Thalia185
Businesses & Organizations

ebernsconsulting, llc150
Hewlett Foundation8,750
Packard Foundation8,000