EMERGENCY – help BDC kids get TOYS for XMAS!

The Mission SRO Collaborative is looking for toy donations for the 100 kids that live in and out of the single room occupancy hotels in the mission district. These are little brown kids who might not otherwise be able to afford toys for the holidays and BDC superstar Jorge Portillo (Program Coordinator for the M.SRO.Collab) is organizing an EMERGENCY TOY DRIVE to get them the toys that will put smiles on their faces this year.

the deets:
what: Mission SRO Collaborative TOY EMERGENCY
who: toys for the 100 little brown kids that live in single room occupancy hotels with their families
when: they need to get the toys by this MONDAY DECEMBER 21st, 3PM.
where: drop off the toys at 938 Valencia St. (btwn 20th and 21st – you don’t even have to leave the mission, hipster!) from 9am – 6pm or make special arrangements with Jorge Portillo (415-282-6209 ext 16, 12, or 19) and jorge@dscs.org
why: cuz these kids are off the radar and don’t have access to a lot of the services provided to homeless families.


We asked Jorge some questions about the toy drive and Mission SRO Collaborative and this is what he had to say:

BDC:What is the mission of the Mission SRO Collaborative?
Jorge: Though its currently being revised our current Mission Statement is:
The Mission SRO Collaborative provides tenants rights counseling, organizing leadership opportunities, case management, safe sex/substance abuse outreach services and community space to tenants of Single Room Occupancy hotels in San Francisco’s Mission District. We work together to empower single adult residents and families to defend their rights and organize themselves to improve their lives and living conditions.

BDC: Where do these kids live that will be getting the toys?

Jorge: The kids we work with live inside the hotels. Until recently the families I work with were considered Homeless under federal guidelines (I say until recently because the federal govt. just passed legislation removing families living in SRO’s from the federal definition of homelessness which will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on their ability to receive social services). Usually these families live in rooms that are no larger than about 8×10, share this space with 4 or 5 other people, have no kitchens, and share bathroom facilities with the variety of folks also living in those buildings. The buildings are in (pardon my francois) usually pretty shitty condition; abestos ridden, plagued with pests, unkept, and under exploitative management.

BDC: Why is it important to donate toys to the M.SRO.Colab?

Jorge: I think the most important reason is because so many of our kids are off the radar. They don’t stay in shelters or live on the streets (though they might as well) so they dont benefit from services for homeless youth, their parents can barely afford to keep the meager roofs they currently have over their heads much less buy them a gift, because they come from traditionally uber- marginalized communities; recently arrived immigrants, monolingual households, single parent homes, etc… and really can’t participate in afterschool programs or other programs where they might get gifts, and because we are really the only organization serving these amazing little buds.

For more information about the Mission SRO Collaborative contact Jorge Portillo, jorge@dscs.org


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