In 1968, West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center (West Bay) was founded by local activist activist Ed de la Cruz to address the most pressing socioeconomic challenges facing the Filipino immigrant community living in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMA) District. West Bay was born from a consolidation of six established community service agencies that served the Filipino community at the time in 1968. These agencies offered community services such as vocational training and employment opportunities, domestic violence resources, transportation coordination, early literacy program for children ages 0-5, parenting workshops, legal and immigration assistance, healthcare, housing information assistance, counseling, crisis hotline, and case management. The consolidation of these agencies greatly improved community programs and developed a more coordinated service delivery system for the SoMA community. West Bay was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on October 21, 1977.
West Bay is the oldest Filipino-led nonprofit organization in Northern California. The SoMA area is its priority neighborhood because of the significant presence of Pilipino Americans in the community and the importance of SoMA in the history of Pilipino migration in the San Francisco Bay Area. Community involvement and responsibility are the foundation of West Bay’s mission. Integral to its success is the understanding and practice of direct involvement of the community in the formulation of priorities and programs, and the active involvement of its staff and Board of Directors. Over time, services were added to fit the needs of the Filipino community such as our Kapihan, Kasamahan, and Kwentuhan (K3) Seniors Program.
West Bay is especially committed to enhancing the lives of Filipino youth that reside in the SoMa District, where high incidences of crime and neglect abound. One of the most important vital services that West Bay added in response to community feedback is its afterschool and summer youth programs. In 2004, West Bay opened its doors to Filipino and SoMA children grades K-5 with the help of volunteer students and alumni from the University of San Francisco (USF). West Bay is the only organization in the SoMA whose youth programs are intrinsically linked to USF student organizations and academic departments.
In response to a study by the National Federation of Filipino American Association (NFFAA) which found that Filipino American students are more likely to drop out of school and never finish school as well as be more likely to have lower test scores and overall academic performance than any other Asian American ethnic group, West Bay applied and received its first government grant for our afterschool and summer youth programs in 2007. Since it first opened its doors to Filipino and SoMA children and youth, West Bay’s youth programs have increased the number of honor roll students each year. The students have a 100% homework completion rate, improved civic engagement and respect for others, and an increased likelihood to make healthier decisions physically and socially.
For more than 45 years, West Bay has helped thousands of recent immigrants and low-income U.S. citizens. The organization continues to provide culturally-sensitive academic, social, health, and economic sustainability services to newly arrived immigrant youth, their families, and seniors in the SoMA community of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Starting in the summer of 2014, West Bay began a new path toward an intensive focus on college preparation for its youth programs. Under Executive Director Vivian Araullo, West Bay has split the afterschool youth program into two: The Afterschool Academic & Values Enrichment Program for our grades K-7 students and the College Preparatory Program for our grades 8-12 students. In the summer, our Summer by the “West” Bay Program includes all of our students grades K-12.
- Rebecca Delgado Rottman (Board President), VP of Community & Government Relations Academy of Art University
- Brian Figula (Board VP), Operations manager and program director of Entercom San Francisco – 96.5 KOIT & 98.5 KFOX radio
- Rodel Rodis (Board Member) Chief Attorney Rodis Law Offices
- Archimedes Dayan (Board Member), Registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente
- John Ngau (Treasurer), Broke at Pacific RealtyJoaquin Jay Gonzalez III (Board Member), Professor at Golden Gate University and University of San Francisco, Board President at Pilipino Senior Resource Center
- Letty Quizon (Board Member)
Vivian Araullo (Non-Voting): Executive Director of West Bay