Latest news from RCD – Fall 2023

Sango Court in Milpitas Welcomes Residents!

Sango Court in Milpitas recently welcomed its first 35 residents. Continuing RCD’s expansion into the South Bay, Sango Court provides 102 new rental homes ranging from studios to three bedrooms, with half of the homes dedicated to households transitioning out of homelessness. Located within half a mile of the Milpitas BART station, Sango Court has revitalized an industrial site into a permanently affordable community. The transit-oriented development has ample on-site supportive services and property management and includes a community room with a full kitchen and multiple landscaped courtyards. The all-electric building incorporates green construction methods and renewable technologies such as rooftop solar panels, energy efficient appliances and materials, and drought-tolerant landscaping.

An early success of Sango Court has been our close partnerships with the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing and our service partner, Abode Services. These partnerships extend to our other Santa Clara County developments: Quetzal Gardens and the Bella Vista Inn.

The A link to: Bella Vista Inn is a successful A link to: Homekey project which involved converting a former motel into temporary, supportive housing for folks transitioning out of homelessness. We are thrilled that several former Bella Vista Inn residents are now moving into Sango Court after a period of stabilization and direct supportive services. With this multi-pronged partnership, we are able to help residents successfully transition from homelessness into permanent supportive housing.

Recently completed Sango Court in Milpitas

RCD & friends enjoyed Sparking Connections: In Bloom!

RCD supporters and partners enjoyed a wonderful evening at Sparking Connections: In Bloom

This September, we celebrated all that we’ve achieved over the past 12 months with our supporters and partners at our annual fundraiser, Sparking Connections: In Bloom!

We were pleased to honor three of our our service partners that provide essential case management and supportive services to our residents. We’re very fortunate to partner with Abode Services, Hope Solutions, and LifeLong Medical Care to help support our residents, especially those who may need extra supportive services. We know that so many of our residents’ lives have been impacted and touched by these organizations and we thank them for their many years of partnership!

We also celebrated our 2023 Irwin Mussen Scholars. Nine RCD residents pursuing higher education received scholarships to support their studies at a variety of colleges and universities, including Stanford, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz and more! In total, we distributed $29,500 in educational scholarships.

We would also like to thank all the supporters who helped make this event possible! In particular, we’d like to thank our title sponsor U.S. Bank, our presenting sponsor, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, and our ground breaking sponsors, Cahill Contractors, James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corp. and J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc.

Community Development in Unincorporated Alameda County

Celebrating Our Impact and the Next Phase

Community Development Impact Report (2016-2023)

We are proud to share the completion of our A link to: 2016-2023 impact report that details the work of our Community Development (CD) Department over its seven-year history. In that time, the team led many significant collaborations to enhance the quality of life in the Eden Area of unincorporated Alameda County.

The CD team’s primary goal is to enhance the well-being and support the empowerment of community residents, in close partnership with local people and organizations. After the COVID pandemic hit, the relationships we had developed and nurtured in the early years of this work became vital to the recovery of the Eden community, and we redoubled our focus on meeting community members’ basic needs and advocating for structural changes at the County level to support the development of the neighborhood. Together with our coalition partners, we provided groceries and meals to over 1,000 community members per month, successfully advocated for $2.2M in Alameda County Resilience and Vaccination Coalition funding, and supported nearly 17,000 COVID-19 vaccinations for community members.

This report documents RCD’s Community Development activities and impact since 2016. We are excited to share our results, and very pleased that our Community Development Department has lived up to RCD’s vision of growing our capacity to support the development of neighborhoods where our housing is located. We greatly appreciate the partnership of the many community organizations, residents, funders, and elected officials that have supported our CD programs. 

The Next Phase: Eden Empowerment Hub

As we look towards our next steps in unincorporated Alameda County, we know that the work continues. The next phase of our work is made possible by the A link to: California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI) which focuses on building a healthier California. We will continue to lead the  A link to: Ashland Cherryland Healthy Communities Collaborative – a cross-sector coalition that aims to achieve a healthy, just, and economically viable Ashland-Cherryland.

Our work will focus on the creation of a new Eden empowerment “hub” which will provide programming focused on economic empowerment, community health, and serving as a space to advance policy and systems change. We are currently in the research and pilot implementation phase of this initiative. Through 2024, we will focus on research, engaging with the community, and identifying impact metrics and measurements

RCD Spotlight: meet Ana Rasquiza, our new director of Community Development

Welcome Ana Rasquiza, RCD’s new Director of Community Development! Ana is joining RCD from First 5 Alameda and continuing her career focused on advancing equity in communities. We are thrilled to have her at RCD and excited about the next phase of our community development work under her leadership. 

What were you doing before you joined RCD? What brought you here?
I’ve spent twenty years working at the intersection of community and local government, always with a focus on advancing equity.  I’m passionate about systems change, community voice and care, public budgets, and data driven decision-making, including numbers as well as stories, images, observations, feelings, and narrative. A lot of my career has focused on early care and education as a strategy to advance equity in communities – a field with striking similarities to housing! Most recently, I led the policy, advocacy, and data work at First 5 Alameda.

What are you most excited about for what’s coming up from the Community Development team?
I’m so excited about our work in Unincorporated Alameda County; it is what drew me to the position! I grew up in a low-income, unincorporated community where we felt left out and looked down upon. My first experiences with policy and local government were in high school when I was involved with my community’s campaign to incorporate and become a city.  That proximity to the establishment of a new city sparked an excitement about local government that has always been core to my career. In many ways, I feel like I’m coming full circle with this work.

What’s a fun fact about you? 
My wife and I are moms to two rough and tumble little girls. They’re bruisers – real Xena Warrior Princess Energy in our home! Ours is an archery, kung fu, swords at the tea party kind of household. I love it!

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