Field Trip: Exploring the Bayview and Goodman Community Centers

Becki Fiegel

Several times a year, the entire MCF staff gets out of the office to visit and learn more about the organizations MCF and its donors support. I was excited to participate in one of these field trips earlier this month, when we visited the Bayview Community Center and the Goodman Community Center.

Bayview Community Center

The Bayview Foundation was established in the 1960s with a mission of providing safe quality housing in conjunction with meaningful programs and services. Today, the Bayview Townhouses and Bayview Community Center remain the only community center and affordable housing development in the city that are run together. In 1996, the Community Center became the Bayview International Center for Education and the Arts – and the explicit focus on the arts is obvious when you visit today. From La Mariposa de la Vida, a 19-foot mosaic mural designed and constructed by Bayview residents under the guidance of artist Marcia Yapp, to the mural on the fence created by the kids under the guidance of artist Jenie Gao, to the projects under construction by the kids in the day camp, art is everywhere at Bayview.

Underneath the beautiful art and lush community gardens, Bayview is showing its age, which is why they are in the process of redeveloping the community.

Alexis London, executive director of Bayview, told us that resident engagement is crucial to their process. Some of the families have been at Bayview for three generations and it was important to include them in the planning. To do that, they held 19 community listening sessions, in three languages.

The plans for the development, which will replace the 102 existing townhomes with 130 new units and rebuild the community center, take into account residents’ suggestions and concerns. Bayview is in the process of securing funding for the project.

From there, the group moved on to the Goodman Community Center.

Goodman Community Center

With 44,000 square feet in the Ironworks building and another 30,000 at the new Brassworks facility across the street, Goodman is huge, representing the exponential growth it has experienced since 2008. Michelle Green, Goodman’s chief development officer, was our tour guide for the day. She helped us understand the breadth of services Goodman offers.

From its five kitchens in the Ironworks building, Goodman prepares 160,000 meals a year, not including catering. Goodman offers meal programs for kids, a “pay what you can” lunch for seniors, and serves warm meals for its food pantry customers, along with the groceries it provides.

Goodman also serves as home to Working Class Catering, a full-service catering company that provides catering services for events at the Center and in the community, while also teaching teens how to run a full-service catering company. Many of the weddings held at Goodman – which is a popular wedding venue – make use of Working Class Catering’s talents.

Goodman isn’t only about food though. It serves 2,500 kids ages 3-19 through a variety of programs, including a preschool, after-school programming for elementary school kids, and job training programs for high school youth. Goodman also offers wellness programs for older adults, and has a fitness center on site.

The new Brassworks building houses the middle and high school programs. There are rooms set up for teaching and tutoring, for open mic nights, and for just hanging out. Brassworks also houses a large teaching kitchen, where youth in Goodman’s TEENWorks program learn culinary arts skills.

Goodman was bustling with activity, even with the middle and high school kids on a field trip. It was easy to see what a valuable resource Goodman is to the community.

Bringing Our Work to Life

Getting to see first-hand what these organizations are accomplishing with the support of MCF donors is inspiring, and really brings our work to life.