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Nonprofit-Owned Homeless Services Hub Opens in San Francisco

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Compass Family Services' new hub on Grove Street in San Francisco. (Compass Family Services )

A new facility dedicated to serving the needs of homeless and at-risk families opened Thursday in San Francisco.

The 18,000-square-foot Compass Family Services hub, located on Grove Street near City Hall, will offer medical, housing and other services. The facility aims to serve more than 5,000 parents and children living in poverty in San Francisco. The climate of skyrocketing rents is making things tough not just for at-risk families, but also for the nonprofits that serve them.

Compass board chairman Chris Wagner says it was a coup for his organization to be able to purchase the new $8.5 million building.

"We can't survive if we don't have the ability to secure our real estate and the site to serve people," Wagner said in a phone interview. "There's an irony to finding a permanent home for a nonprofit to serve people who are homeless."

Compass was able to purchase the building with help from a real estate investor, a $1 million grant from the city's Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative and other sources.

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In an email, a spokeswoman for the mayor's Office of Economic & Workforce Development (OEWD) said it's rare for any organization deeply rooted in low-income and historically underserved communities to be able to access the resources necessary to acquire property. The spokeswoman added that the real estate market moves quickly, and foundations and boards of directors are often too slow to act in comparison with their competitors for space.

Wagner said Compass must now raise money to pay off loans taken out to make improvements to the building.

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