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Leaders intervene to save North Richmond senior center

N E W S  RELEASE from office of John Gioia:

Contra Costa County
JOHN GIOIA (joy-a)
District One
Board of Supervisors

For more information contact:
Luz Gomez – Deputy Chief of Staff
Office 510-231-8689
Cell 925-785-2439

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2013

North Richmond Senior Center Saved from Closure

North Richmond, Calif.,
North Richmond seniors can now breathe a sigh of relief.  For months, residents in this tight-knit community feared that a pending foreclosure would shut-down their beloved senior center. Now, thanks to efforts by Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia and key community leaders, the North Richmond Multicultural and Family Center (aka the Senior Center) will remain open after a last-minute short-sale averted foreclosure.

The transaction, which closed on October 15, ensures the continuation of services and transfers ownership of the building to the non-profit Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC). Earlier this month, Supervisor Gioia obtained approval by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to use $156,830 in Park Dedication funds to enable CHDC to purchase the building and save the senior center.  Lloyd Madden, Neighborhood House President and CEO, negotiated the short sale price on behalf of their new Board of Directors.

Neighborhood House of North Richmond (“Neighborhood House”) has operated the senior center for nearly 30 years providing residents a safe place to gather for social, recreational, family, and civic events. The center is the hub and heart of the community.

In recent years, Neighborhood House experienced a severe financial crisis leading the building’s mortgage holder to begin foreclosure proceedings due to missed payments. “We came together and brought resources to the table to keep this important community center open” Supervisor Gioia said.

The Park Dedication funds can be used to meet local park and recreation needs, including senior and community centers. According to the County Assessor’s records, the current assessed value of the property is in excess of $325,000.

Through the efforts of Supervisor John Gioia’s Office, Congressman George Miller’s Office, Community Housing Development Corporation, and Neighborhood House of North Richmond, the current mortgage holder agreed to the short sale enabling the transaction. A plan is in place for continued services to seniors and other residents of North Richmond.

“Losing the senior center would have been like losing a beloved family member,” said Corrine Sain, the Center’s Director for the past 29 years. “The entire community depends on us to be here to serve them. I thank Supervisor Gioia, the County, and everyone who helped us to stay open.”

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Annual Christmas toy and coat event Friday at Verde Elementary in North Richmond

N E W S ADVISORY

JOHN GIOIA (joy-a) | Contra Costa County | Board of Supervisors | District One 11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D | El Cerrito, CA 94530 | (510) 374-3231 www.cocobos.org/gioia For Immediate Release December 13, 2012 For more information contact: Luz Gomez, Deputy Chief of Staff – 510-374-3231 Office; 925-785-2439

What: Annual Verde Elementary School Toy and Coat Distribution

When: Friday, December 14, 2012; 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Where: Verde Elementary School, 2000 Giaramita Street, N. Richmond, CA

Why: More than 300 kindergarden – 6th graders at Verde Elementary School will be receiving a new coat and wrapped present at tomorrow’s toy & coat give–away.

Verde Elementary School is located in the East Bay unincorporated community of North Richmond in Contra Costa County, which is considered to be one of the most impoverished communities in the Bay Area.

County Supervisor John Gioia, whose West County District includes North Richmond, has been organizing the toy and coat distribution for the last 14 years.

This year, more than 20 volunteers to help sort and wrap items, and donations from the public totaling nearly $8000 have made the event possible. The toy & coat give-away will begin at 9 a.m. Toys will be located in the school’s multi-purpose room. Coats will be given at the library.

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Richmond’s RYSE youth center celebrates

(by Robert Rogers)

 
RICHMOND — Four years ago, the RYSE Center was just taking shape 
 
Today, it’s one of the city’s proudest success stories.
 
And it keeps adding new chapters.
 
“This community knew that young people could lead a center and develop the programming and have adult allies to help make it work,” said County Supervisor John Gioia, one of the founders of the Macdonald Ave. youth center. “And that’s what’s great about this center. It’s an alliance between adults and youths, but the youths lead the effort.”
 
On Dec. 8 hundreds gathered to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the RYSE Youth Center with s ribbon cutting for the opening of an outdoor stage, gardens, and basketball court.
 
In addition to the grand opening of the RYSE Outside’s project, the youth center distributed hundreds of toys to Richmond families.
 
The new outdoor area was funded mostly by the Bechtel and Lesher Foundations, to the tune of more than $200,000.
 
The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, established in 1989 and named for the founder of the Contra Costa Times, grants hundreds of thousands annually for community improvement and educational scholarships in Contra Costa County.
 
“Dean would be thrilled to see this,” said Lesher Foundation Executive Director Kathleen Odne, gesturing toward the outdoor ampitheater and dozens of children. “We are ongoing supporters of RYSE programming.”