Casa Familiar’s holistic approach to serving the community is directly tied to our mission of serving the south bay communities of San Diego County. Our programs and services are designed and implemented to directly align with our mission and the needs of the community members we’re dedicated to serving.

Casa Familiar’s holistic approach to serving the community is directly tied to our mission of serving the South Bay communities of San Diego County. Our programs and services are designed and implemented to directly align with our mission and the needs of the community members we’re dedicated to serving.



Click the program or service button below to jump down/read more.



San Ysidro Rec Center: 268 W Park Ave, San Ysidro, CA 92173

“Bilingual and Culturally-Relevant Services”

Social Services provides a broad range of programs that aim to improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities, while maintaining an affordable pricing model for our community members. Our programs include:

Social Services at our Andrea Skorepa Social Services Office:

  • Income tax assistance
  • Housing referrals and services
  • Passport applications
  • Sentri/ and Global Entry application assistance
  • Public benefits enrollment assistance
  • Translation services and emergency services
  • Basic immigration benefit applications assistance by our DOJ certified team.

Senior Services: “Taking Care of Our Elders”
Casa Familiar is dedicated to serving older adults by providing wraparound services at senior residential centers throughout the community. We provide onsite social services,  personal development classes and workshops, assistance with social benefit program applications and advocacy, and physical and recreational activities to nurture a happier and healthier senior community.

Senior Social Services

  • Medicare & Medi-Cal Application and Advocacy Assistance
  • Technology Use and Literacy Workshops
  • Translation and assistance with correspondence, bill-pay and utility pricing assistance, and budgeting
  • Resources for a variety of State and Federal Programs for Seniors and Low Income Individuals

Senior Social/Emotional Support Activities*

  • Dance Exercise & Fitness Classes
  • Bingo and Lotería
  • Book Clubs
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Food delivery programs and partnerships
  • Social Interaction Activities



161 W San Ysidro Blvd, San Ysidro, CA 92173

Financial Opportunity Center:
The Financial Opportunity Center provides community members with bilingual financial coaching, employment and career counseling,  and connects participants to other resources like public benefits and inclusive banking products. In a one-on-one or group setting, we aim to give the tools that will ultimately lead to self-sufficiency and a healthier relationship with one’s finances. 



San Ysidro Rec Center: 268 W Park Ave, San Ysidro, CA 92173

“Lifelong Learning”

Casa Familiar’s education programs serve as lifelong learning opportunities ranging from naturalization classes to self-care including creative workshops and seasonal classes for youth, adults and seniors. Casa recognizes the need for continued virtual and in person educational programming to best suit the needs of the community. We continue to address the digital divide in much of our direct services while integrating technology education in various aspects of our work, especially with our most vulnerable populations. Access to Internet, devices, and the ability to manage connectivity enhances communication with supportive networks as well as services or informative updates offered by both County and City of San Diego.

Youth Services

We champion each child’s unique potential by offering a chance for advocacy, cultural enrichment and artistic exploration through these diverse avenues.  We aim to cultivate confidence, creativity, leadership skills, and a sense of community. As we connect youth with community resources, we integrate key community partners to provide comprehensive youth programs.  

Youth Programs include:  

  • Juvenile Diversion: Provides comprehensive case plans and assessments for youths aged 6-18 and their caregivers, ensuring they receive necessary resources to steer clear of the juvenile justice system. 
  • Higher Education: We offer guidance and resources to support youth’s pursuit of post-secondary education, and career exploration ensuring they are well-equipped and empowered to take their next steps toward higher learning and future success.  
  • Community Service: Opportunities for youth to enhance their community using aquired  leadership and advocacy skills.  
  • S.T.E.A.M. Projects: Foster imagination in science while considering a cultural lens and the support of key community partners.  
  • Youth Summer Camp: Outdoor adventures and enriching activities which build long lasting memories. Explore creativity, confidence and friendship in a supportive environment.   

Domestic Violence Prevention

The Domestic Violence (DV) Prevention Program at Casa Familiar, in collaboration with local community partners, works to end the cycle of violence and build awareness around DV. We provide access to resources and space to begin the process of healing.

One of our projects, is the intentional discussion guide connected to Etapas de Valor, a play curated within the San Ysidro Domestic Violence Prevention Collaborative, that spreads awareness, breaks traumatic cycles, pushes for accountability, inspires, affirms, and motivates victims and survivors of DV. The guide offers a prevention course of action, and serves as a mental, emotional, physical support system.



161 San Ysidro Blvd, San Ysidro, CA 92173

Claiming Our Right to a Safe & Sustainable Environment

Environmental Justice is critical to address the impacts of climate change in the most vulnerable communities. Casa Familiar leverages community engagement, data and resources to focus on the environmental challenges specific to our border region.

Our goal is to foster a healthy and sustainable quality of life through advocacy, transportation justice, equitable climate policies and green workforce development programs.

Air Quality

Air pollution is one of the biggest concerns for San Ysidro. The community is dissected by three highways and situated at the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere. As a result, San Ysidro has the highest traffic count in California with over 60,000 cars crossing the border daily, leaving the community with a disproportionate amount of negative health impacts. Since 2008, Casa Familiar has conducted air quality studies to access resources and implement strategies that will reduce air pollution.

Casa Verde Initiative

Casa Verde is a workforce development program designed to give extensive training on Environmental Justice principles, community organizing, and climate change impacts at the border region. Through this program, interns undertake service-learning projects that empower them with hands-on experience to address and advocate for environmental concerns. This program serves as an entry point to the environmental justice movement and connection to green jobs and opportunities.

We want to help connect you with trainings and entry level opportunities within the environment science field. To learn more visit: Casa Familiar Environmental Resource Hub »

Additional Resources

OEHHA Report »
Border 2020 Air Monitoring Report »
Air Quality Website »



Casa’s Community Development encompasses everything from affordable housing to community improvement and green initiatives.

Casa is experienced in a range of development projects ranging from small to mid-sized acquisition rehab, and mid-sized new construction.  Casa is a General Managing Partner in 7 Low Income Tax Credit properties, and is currently sole-owner and developer of a New Markets Tax Credit project. Casa also undertakes collaborative community infrastructure projects like small parks and green spaces, and rehab projects like our mixed use Community Gallery, The Front.

Avanzando San Ysidro Community Land Trust:

Permanent Affordability

Avanzando Community Land Trust Housing Development

Casa Familiar’s Avanzando San Ysidro community land trust or “CLT” will create stable housing options and contribute to building generational wealth for our community. The CLT allows for community ownership of land and serves as an anti-displacement strategy.

Casa Familiar will build 100 units of affordable housing to be converted into ownership after 15 years. Building on existing community engagement programs Casa Familiar provides, we have begun to engage residents on building credit, and workshops on access to housing and anti-displacement strategies for renters. The goal is to ensure permanent affordability and create long-lasting community control of the land.

Cultural Corridor:

Vibrant Connections through Collaboration

The Cultural Corridor is a programmatic place-making strategy for the quarter mile of Cypress Drive in the historic center of San Ysidro, a highly trafficked alleyway connecting the Beyer trolley station to the business district of San Ysidro Blvd. It is an ongoing project of Casa to develop creative interventions to transform this alleyway with poor infrastructure, into a vibrant corridor connecting existing community assets while improving social and environmental equity, safety, and quality through public art, safe pathways for pedestrians, appropriate illumination, and speed control for vehicles. 

As a result of these community focused efforts, beautification projects continue to advance along the Corridor with support from the community and additional funding secured for the installation of 6 new murals and greening projects. The Mayor’s office has committed $800,000 to the project and MTS has applied for additional funding. In February 2023, the Cultural Corridor was assigned a Capital Improvement Project number and designations, which opens the potential for additional funding and is a mechanism to ensure proper planning and design.  



Economic Development initiatives and programs focus on providing opportunities for individuals to participate in workforce development programs that benefit individuals by providing skill-building opportunities, practical application of knowledge, and trainings that provide tangible opportunities to develop skills transferable to the workplace and which will help participants reach a living wage.

Workforce Development: “Elevating Local Talent, Generating Opportunities”
Promotora’s Workforce Development Program involves community leaders who dedicate their time, skills, and knowledge to improve their community’s quality of life by addressing health and education. Promotora’s continually advance their professional development with certifications and training. Casa Familiar provides scholarships to help support their professional development, and new skills that enhance their career options and opportunities



Affordable Housing: “Building Community”

Casa Familiar understands that building community is more than building “units.” Casa believes that access to amenities like arts and culture spaces, access to social and financial services, creating connections and relationships with neighbors, building in climate resiliency, connecting to the surrounding neighborhood, and striving towards true affordability is what creates community and enhances quality of life.

Casa Familiar is general managing partner (GMP) of over 1,200 affordable housing units in San Ysidro. Our portfolio includes sole owned properties in National City, Chula Vista, and San Ysidro including residential and mixed use commercial properties. Casa is experienced in mid-sized development projects using the New Markets Tax Credit finance structure as well as GMP in several Low-Income Tax Credit projects.

Casa’s current focus and advocacy efforts include the development of a Community Land Trust and permanent affordable housing solutions. We independently own 12 properties in the South Bay region of San Diego.

Inquire about our waiting list for affordable housing opportunties:
Email Our Property Manager »



Casa invites you to engage in advocacy for policies and initiatives that support historically disinvested communities like San Ysidro to gain priority in access to infrastructure investments, employment opportunities, environmental resiliency, and permanent affordable housing solutions.

Current Programs and Initiatives:
• Environmental Justice − Air Quality & Green Infrastructure
• Tenant Rights
• Immigrant & Human Rights
• Supporting historically disinvested communities



“Border Culture as Artistic Laboratory”
Our Art & Culture programming promotes the development of artistic and cultural expressions that are unique to our border community, preserve traditions, and make space for diverse and innovative ideas.

Our programs create opportunities for cultural and artistic engagement between our community, local youth and artists, from the region and beyond. We do this by putting money in the hands of artists and local youth who create and produce events, concerts, workshops, and new public art, all made available to the public for free. Our Youth Art Apprenticeship program has employed more than 75 local youth ages 14 – 24.

El Salon:
El Salon is a restoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, built in 1927, and is now a multi-media theatre performing space.

The Front Arte Cultura:
Bi-national gallery space where local artists on both sides of the border can have space to display their art while enriching the community.
147 W San Ysidro Blvd, San Ysidro CA 92173
Website»  |  Map »

“It’s about challenging development without displacement in San Ysidro – a border community. It’s about a new expectation of understanding the needs of a border community and connecting to its strength as a civically engaged neighborhood.”

~Lisa Cuestas, CEO of Casa Familiar