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The Pop-Up Village Offers a 'Constellation' of Community Resources in San Francisco

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KaSelah Crockett (left) shares a tender moment with Chef Emaye, a vendor at the Pop-Up Village.
KaSelah Crockett (left) shares a tender moment with Chef Emaye, a vendor at the Pop-Up Village. (Courtesy the Pop-Up Village)

Every second Saturday in Southeast San Francisco, over a dozen organizations come together to offer much-needed resources to residents of the surrounding neighborhood.

At the Pop-Up Village, vendors teach healthy recipes and supply the ingredients so folks can make the meals at home. Dental care practitioners and physical therapists offer care and consultations, and barbers give fresh fades and line-ups.

Topics of violence prevention and civic responsibility are covered by Uncle Damien of the community action organization Us4Us. And representatives from the San Francisco Department of Early Childhood, as well as members from Tachelle Herron’s Ain’t I A Scholar organization, assist with a Youth Future Zone.

Chef Will B of WillBHealthy at the Pop-Up Village holds up a piece of fresh produce during a recent gathering.
Chef Will B of WillBHealthy at the Pop-Up Village holds up a piece of fresh produce during a recent gathering. (via The Pop-Up Village)

“It’s a constellation of resources,” says KaSelah Crockett, event organizer and head of the nonprofit organizations Compass & Keys and the Pop-Up Village’s umbrella organization.

This resource pop-up has been held for over seven years at various sites in Oakland and San Francisco. This year’s spring series will be hosted at the Southeast Community Center (SECC) at 1550 Evans Ave. in San Francisco, just off Third Street, between the Dogpatch and Hunters Point.

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On Saturday, April 13, in addition to farmers, poets and medical workers, there will be a special focus on reproductive health. April 11 through April 17 is known as Black Maternal Health Week; the week-long campaign, founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, was officially recognized by the federal government last April in an official proclamation by President Biden.

The week is a reminder of the inequities in reproductive health. In the United States, African Americans who give birth face a nearly 50% higher rate of preterm birth than white or Hispanic birthing parents; that’s in addition to other health concerns, including higher rates of cervical cancer and postpartum disorder.

These kind of disparities have been evident since officials started tracking reproductive health statistics nearly 100 years ago, and were exacerbated by the pandemic.

EBlendz da Barber offers free haircuts to people at the Pop-Up Village.
EBlendz da Barber offers free haircuts to people at the Pop-Up Village. (via The Pop-Up Village)

Meanwhile, the national numbers around reproductive health are mirrored in San Francisco.

“This month we’re focused on Black maternal health, and we have a bunch of vendors coming out,” says Crockett. The list includes the UCSF-supported SF Respect Initiative and Expecting Justice, as well as Birth Companions Community Center, the Homeless Prenatal Program and others.

The presence of organizations such as The Butterfly Movement indicates how reproductive health is about more than giving birth — it’s also about empowerment and economic justice. Led by Executive Director Haile Shaver, as well as CEO and National Director Brandi Mack (who also co-created the Pop-Up Village), the organization brings another layer to the issue: economic sustainability.

“This network is a generative economic tool,” says Crockett. “It allows us to be supported, and be in support of one another.”

With a background in counseling psychology and family & marriage therapy, Crockett has approached the work of community health from a few different angles. But she believes true healing, and even preventive measures, can come simply with being connected to the neighborhood you’re serving and bringing the resources to the peoples’ doorsteps.

She adds that the Pop-Up Village serves as a place to check in, have healthy conversations and even address some heavier topics in a way that’s uplifting and respectful.

She sees health not just as a matter of providing care — it’s also a matter of neighbors knowing each other, sharing resources and creating a system of cooperative economics with the neighborhood.

“I feel like that’s a better approach to having healthy and sustainable communities,” Crockett says.


The Pop-Up Village happens every second Saturday of the month (April 13th, May 11th, June 8th), from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Southeast Community Center (1550 Evans Ave., San Francisco). The events are free to all. More information and details here.

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