What we do
New solutions for challenging times
Nearly a third of the people of San Mateo’s South Coast depend on Puente’s wide array of community programs. Puente’s bilingual and bicultural staff allow the organization to work with and connect many members of the region.
Transformation: Programs that support education, jobs, and leadership development transform lives and empower advocates.
- English classes for Spanish speakers
- Literacy programs for English and Spanish learners
- Homework clubs for children and their parents
- Tutoring, SAT, and GED preparation
- Youth employment and enrichment
- Summer camps and after-school activities
- Zumba dance exercise class
- Citizenship preparation
- Project SUCCESS, an ambitious substance-abuse prevention program
Community: In all its programs, Puente cultivates important aspects of community itself through its commitment to the values of self-determination, self-sufficiency, social justice, and the richness of our natural environment, collective history, and heritage.
- Spanish classes for English speakers promote bilingual communication and can make friends of neighbors.
- Sleeping bags and “welcome bags” with toiletries for recently arrived field and nursery workers help them settle into a new home that is remote from esay shopping for such basics. Puente can provide them bicycles for independent transportation in an area that lacks bus service. La Sala, a twice-weekly “living room” and hot meal, gives them social time and a chance for networking, balancing the isolation of their homes and worksites.
- The Madres Project combats depression among Latina mothers by engaging them in familiar holidays and events as celebrated in their own culture.
- Backpacks filled with school supplies for children get kids off to a good start in the fall with a full set of tools.
- Providing the fiscal umbrella for the development of affordable housing and the restoration of Native Sons Hall, Puente helps address a severe shortage on the coastside of both up-to-standard living space and community gathering space.
Advocacy: These programs provide safety-net services and aim to secure support in the areas of education, housing, medical care, transportation, and food security on par with the rest of San Mateo County.
- Monthly food distribution in collaboration with Second Harvest
- Clothing, diaper, rental, and utility assistance
- Office services and referrals, including paralegal, notary public, and tax preparation services
- Health screening, immunization, and educational outreach
- Enrollment in health insurance and food security programs
- Transportation coordination with SamCoast for medical and dental appointments
- Mental health counseling and peer support
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