Community Unites for Health

By Evelyn Soto - TOLA Fall 2013

Making healthcare more accessible to people of South Hayward, by building a Fire Station Health Center (FSHC) was a project unlike any other. Our mission was to inform and get input from the community about the FSHC by visiting over 11,000 households. We ultimately surpassed our goal.

During our door-to-door efforts, we found that residents were eager to get involved. We recruited hundreds of volunteers who wrote letters of support, and joined us for Saturday mobilizations. Arély, a Junior at Tennyson High, was one of our super star volunteers. In just a few weeks, we saw her become a young leader filled with motivation and energy. Myesha was another phenomenal volunteer. As busy as she was, she always found time to dedicate a few hours to canvas . It was a great feeling seeing these Hayward residents so determined to bring change to their community.

The project culminated in a City Council meeting where it received unanimous approval. Two years later the clinic was built and open to the public. I will always remember and cherish this experience.

* In July 2017, this innovative community project was featured in a PBS News Hour special.