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.

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

PROGRAMS & SERVICES

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

Social Services
Financial Opportunities
Youth Programs, Education & Community Outreach
Environmental Justice
Community & Economic Development
Affordable Housing
Advocacy
Arts & Culture

SOCIAL SERVICES

SOCIAL SERVICES

119 W Hall 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
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FINANCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

FINANCIAL OPPORTUNITIES

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. 

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YOUTH PROGRAMS, EDUCATION
& COMMUNITY OUTREACH

YOUTH PROGRAMS, EDUCATION & COMMUNITY OUTREACH

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 Program: “Safe & Brave Environment”
Casa Familiar provides a variety of programs for children ages 6 to 12, and youth, 13- 24. Casa provides a safe and brave environment for youth and access to homework assistance, summer camp, community service hours, workshops on pursuing higher education, job readiness and leadership development.

San Diego Promise Neighborhood

Promise Neighborhood is a community of opportunity that allows children to learn, grow, and succeed. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the initiative builds on successful efforts already underway and brings together schools, community organizations, local businesses, and other community members in a local neighborhood. Inspired by the model of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Promise Neighborhoods wrap children in high-quality, coordinated health, social, community, and educational support. Casa Familiar’s area of focus is parent engagement and support. There are Promotoras located in six schools within the San Ysidro and San Diego Unified School Districts where they connect parents to the resources of need. Promotoras also serve the residents of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and San Ysidro. Services include educative workshops, leadership training, community events, and connecting families to resources.

  • Resident Leadership Academy: 
    San Diego Promise Neighborhood Promotora’s provide the Resident Leadership Academy (RLAs) which are multi-week training programs for San Diego County residents who want to learn how to improve their local communities. Training sessions focus on topics such as community leadership, crime prevention and safety, land use and active transportation, and healthy food systems. Residents learn skills and best practices to address the issues that most affect their communities, and they work alongside their neighbors to help improve quality of life where they live. Upon graduation, attendees have new knowledge and access to a support network to help them lead community improvement projects.

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.

Eviction Prevention Program

Led by City Heights CDC and a joint effort with Casa Familiar and significant tenant facing organizations, including the Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD) and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). We are aware that there is a national eviction crisis and in San Diego, low-income tenants are often one rent payment away from being evicted. Casa Familiar connects community members to educational workshops and resources on tenant rights with the goal of preventing avoidable evictions.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

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 »

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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.

Community Land Trust (CLT):

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

Cypress Drive is the main connector from the heart of San Ysidro’s historic village at San Ysidro Blvd, to the Beyer Blvd Trolley Station. Through a community led design process, community advocates and Casa Familiar are working with the City of San Diego & community members to transform Cypress Drive into a Cultural Corridor using public art installations, pedestrian safety measures, traffic calming for vehicles, appropriate lighting and greening of fences along its length.

These improvements, and others recommended by local stakeholders, will make the Cultural Corridor a safe and beautiful community asset that enhances quality of life in San Ysidro. Once complete the Cultural Corridor will be a local and national example for creative interventions in public space and successful collaborations between the community, non-profits and local government. With community leadership, Casa has persuaded local officials on developing public infrastructure to match community efforts on beautification, greening, and safety. After community appeal to elected officials, the Cultural Corridor now has Community Improvement Project (CIP) status as a project priority for the City of San Diego.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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

El K-FE: “Youth Operated Social Enterprise”

El K-FÉ (pronounced café) began in 2016 as a three-month barista training program for youth. Barista training is centered in specialty coffee with a hospitality lens. Training includes percolation and immersion coffee-brewing methods, palette and flavor profile identification, and retail salesmanship while creating meaningful guest relationships.

In October 2018, El K-FÉ evolved into a social enterprise with the opening of a permanent coffee cart in partnership with and located within one of the San Ysidro Health locations. El K-FÉ social enterprise engages youth in an array of industry areas including food and worker safety, cash handling, inventory and purchasing fundamentals, cost and pricing, quality control, marketing, menu design, and leadership. El K-FÉ has partnered with Café Moto and Tweed Coffee Roasters to gain insight into the coffee industry and learn best practices.

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

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 »

ADVOCACY

ADVOCACY

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

ARTS & CULTURE

ARTS & CULTURE

“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

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