As the end of 2019 — and the decade — nears, many are reflecting on what's changed in their life and in their community, for better or worse.
While many in Silicon Valley have gained tremendous wealth over the last 10 years thanks to the burgeoning tech industry, the period has also been marked by a significant rise in homelessness and poverty. Mountain View had an estimated 37 homeless residents in 2011; according to the most recent count, there are 606.
As the need for housing and services persists and grows, it's vital that community members support local nonprofits working to help those in need. To that effect, we ask that you consider donating to the Voice's Holiday Fund this year.
All donations to the Holiday Fund will be shared equally among seven recipient agencies that serve Mountain View residents: Mentor Tutor Connection, the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, the Community School of Music and Arts, the MayView Community Health Center, YWCA Support Network for Domestic Violence, the Community Services Agency, and the Community Health Awareness Council.
These organizations provide crucial services that help low-income and homeless individuals and families, as well as children and those struggling with health issues. The MayView clinic offers preventative health care and never turns away patients or goes after them for non-payment, while the Community Services Agency (CSA) of Mountain View and Los Altos provides programs for low-income families aimed at preventing homelessness, that include rental assistance and free groceries. CSA also serves hot lunches at the Mountain View Senior Center five days a week, dishing up nearly 33,000 meals in the 2018-19 fiscal year alone. The Day Worker Center offers job training and English lessons while providing a secure space to hire help for small jobs. The Community School of Music and Arts provides music and art education at local public schools, and Mentor Tutor Connections pairs local students with adult mentors and school-based tutoring. The Community Health Awareness Council offers affordable mental health services on a sliding scale and has counselors on-site at Mountain View-Los Altos High School campuses, and the YWCA Support Network for Domestic Violence offers a range of services including shelter, legal aid and rape crisis support.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation handles all donations and does not deduct administrative costs from gifts, which are tax-deductible. Donors can contribute anonymously or in someone's honor, and donations can be sent in the mail (see our ad in this week's paper) or made online.
Last year, Voice readers and the Wakerly, Packard and Hewlett foundations contributed a total of $72,000 to the Holiday Fund. With the need only growing, we hope to raise even more money this year to support these organizations' efforts to improve the lives of local residents.