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Building a better Bay Area: Google asking you to vote for best ideas

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — How can the San Francisco Bay Area become a better place?

Ten local nonprofit charities are vying for $1 million in funding from Google’s Impact Challenge Bay Area. Google is asking Bay Area residents to vote for which nonprofit’s idea is the most needed for rebuilding a “better Bay.”

You can cast your vote by November 14 here.

The top five projects chosen will each receive a $1 million grant. The remaining five will each receive $500,000.

The 10 finalists who you can vote for are below:

Young Women’s Freedom Center

Mission statement: “YWFC is ending the incarceration of young women in Santa Clara County, in partnership with County and community-based partners, through building an ecosystem and community-based alternative model that supports justice-involved young women in reaching their full potential, accessing economic opportunities and becoming agents of change in their own lives, families and communities. This model will serve as a statewide blueprint for decarceration and decriminalization for communities most impacted by mass incarceration.”

Compass Family Services

Mission statement: “Compass will be bringing much-needed roving on-demand mental health services to homeless and recently homeless families in shelter and supportive housing programs across San Francisco, helping to address the trauma that contributes to and exacerbates homelessness; increasing positive outcomes such as housing stability, family well-being, and children meeting developmental milestones; and reducing negative outcomes such as homelessness recidivism, domestic violence, and child abuse.”


Mission statement: “Homebase is committed to transcending jurisdictional and system silos to solve the Bay Area’s homelessness crisis through collective impact, data sharing, and strategic partnerships to scale transformative strategies that ensure housing for all.”

Somos Mayfair

Mission statement: “Somos Mayfair will engage in a thorough planning process, modeled after the nationally recognized Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s “development without displacement” framework, to explore strategies for building community power, voice, and sustainable local economies via community-governed alternative housing models such as a Community Land Trust.”


Mission statement: “UpTogether is working to radically change how we address poverty using our unique, strengths-based approach–a combination of peer networks, progress tracking, and unrestricted cash transfers–and a low-cost tool. For pennies on the dollar, UpTogether’s technology platform distributes cash to low-income individuals while facilitating social capital exchanges and tracking impact. Members increase their incomes, start businesses, and help others in their community.”

One Degree

Mission statement: “The One Degree Common App is a first-of-its-kind online tool that consolidates multiple applications for public benefits and non-profit services, such as CalFresh and Medi-Cal, into a single online application, so that low-income and at-risk families in need can save time and energy on their path toward social and economic mobility.”

Brilliant Corners

Mission statement: “Housing is the key to ending homelessness. Yet San Francisco – like most communities – struggles with standardized strategies and resources to secure private-market housing for people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable, extremely low-income households. Brilliant Corners will house 1,000 people currently experiencing homelessness in San Francisco over three years through the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, a system-changing innovation that unlocks a range of housing options and ensures housing stability through dedicated landlord engagement, rent administration, and a variety of tenancy supports.”

College Track

Mission statement: “In the heart of Silicon Valley, all young people should have equal access to STEM skills and professional networks, but systemic injustice bars first-generation students of color from entry. College Track will create a continuum of STEM career services — from technical skill-building workshops in high school; to career exposure, networking, and internship programs in college; to post-graduation career connections — breaking down industry barriers to equip students for success.”

The Kelsey

Mission statement: “The Kelsey is a Bay Area-based organization pioneering disability-forward housing solutions that open doors to more affordable homes and opportunities for everyone. They develop affordable, accessible, inclusive housing communities designed to scale, and lead organizing and advocacy to create market conditions so inclusive housing becomes the norm. What started with Kelsey, a woman with disabilities who advocated for access and community, has become a movement towards an inclusive housing future led together by people with and without disabilities. The Kelsey has three Bay Area communities underway with over 200 homes in our pipeline and has engaged over 1,000 community advocates with and without disabilities.”

Code Nation

Mission statement: “Code Nation is a free, three-year coding education and career preparation program supporting high school youth in low-income circumstances to become the next generation of tech leaders.”

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