Serving Bay Area Communities

Serving Bay Area Communities

Team Up For Youth helps create after-school sports opportunities for girls and boys that build their confidence and skills, connect them to mentors, and improve their prospects in school and in life. Photo: Ingrid Weise


William and Flora Hewlett had a deep and abiding commitment to the community in which they lived. Today, their Foundation provides support to a range of vital nonprofit organizations that offer services to disadvantaged communities in the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Drawing from the expertise of its Education, Performing Arts, Environment, and Population programs, the Foundation makes grants directly and through intermediaries to address some of the region's most pressing social problems. Here's a sampling:

Recognizing that a good education is crucial to both economic well-being and the creation of well-rounded citizens, the Foundation supports reform in some of the region's most troubled schools. Working through the New Teacher Center at the University of California Santa Cruz, the Foundation's support has improved the quality of education in East Palo Alto and offered a model for use elsewhere. In addition to significantly raising student achievement scores, intense teacher mentoring has improved working conditions and more than tripled the rate of teacher retention to more than 85 percent.

The arts offer another opportunity to change young lives. At Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, staffers work to divert homeless and runaway youths from sex work, drugs, and crime. With Hewlett support, Larkin Street has developed a performing arts program that provides homeless youth with the opportunity to gain confidence in their creativity, exit street life, and make the transition to adult independence. In a very different setting, Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center in San Pablo, which emphasizes serving youth, provides education in a variety of Mexican art forms, sponsors cultural exchanges between the United States and Mexico, and develops community awareness of Mexican heritage through the arts. The Foundation supports Los Cenzontles with multiyear general operating funds.

Poor communities often have fewer neighborhood parks, a fact that the Foundation's Environment Program works to correct through grants to the Trust for Public Land. The Trust's Bay Area Parks for People Program works to refurbish urban parks throughout the Bay Area, typically engaging the surrounding community in the process.

The Foundation's Population Program makes grants in the San Francisco Bay Area and California's Central Valley to reduce teen pregnancy – particularly in disadvantaged communities. In San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, one Foundation grantee, the 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic, goes beyond pregnancy counseling to give local kids a full-service medical clinic as well as a safe place to just hang out. In California's Central Valley, a fast-growing region with the state's highest teen pregnancy rates, the Foundation supports the Fresno Regional Foundation in its work to expand services to prevent teen pregnancy.

In short, the Hewlett family's founding commitment to community continues to find fresh expression across the region as it helps to solve a host of social problems.

The Environment Program accepts unsolicited Letters of Inquiry for its Serving Bay Area Communities grantmaking. For more information, please click here.

All other Hewlett Foundation programs are not accepting unsolicited Letters of Inquiry for Serving Bay Area Communities grantmaking at this time.