Monday, June 21, 2010

Save Children's Village

This is my first post in awhile - getting busy in my day job (public affairs consultant - check me out at But I'm back with a rant about a pending catastrophe in San Francisco's child care community.

Children's Village Child Development Center, for 10 years an award-winning early childhood center in SOMA, serving infants to 5 year olds, is being shoved out by the property owner, the San Francisco Archdiocese, and the programming agency Catholic Charities, so that the facility can be sold to real estate speculators.

Over 100 families, 110 kids (babies! toddlers!) from every conceivable characteristic that reflects the city's diversity are losing their childcare slots, and neither the Archdiocese nor Catholic Charities has done one thing to help the families find alternative slots or support them in any way (they may have space for them next year - too late!). They're just OUT, in a city where waiting lists for child care are two years, for young kids even longer.

Then the plot thickens. The school folks start looking for alternative spaces to move the school, see a spot that looks promising, call the real estate agent on the sign, he shows them the property, peppers them with questions, and within days he BUYS THE CHILDREN'S VILLAGE PROPERTY FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE. Chris Harney of HC&M is his name. What ethics! What morals! What a guy! And he and his partner Tom Murphy of SFRents won't talk to the parents either, they send their flak Dan Dillon to deal with them, who first tells them no worries, the property needs a lot of work, you'll be able to stay for a long while, then, at the VERY NEXT MEETING tells them they have a new tenant so Children's Village must leave. 110 babies and toddlers with no place to go while their parents work.

And here's yet another rub - the City of San Francisco has invested two million dollars ($2,000,000) into Children's Village to make it a state-of-the-art child care facility, especially for young children. That's two million of your tax dollars down the toilet.

So what do we do to save Children's Village? We organize.

CALLS: Michaela Alioto-Pier and Chris Daly are the supervisors helping with this - call them, thank them, tell them you support their efforts.

Michaela Alioto-Pier: 554-7752
Chris Daly: 554-7970

Catholic Charities: Call them to say Children's Village needs to stay: 614-5500

WRITE: Letters to the Editor of the Chronicle and Examiner bemoaning the state of things in SF that this can happen and demand accountability (from the City and from Catholic Charities that gets great gobs of funds from the City). Write to the Archdiocese while you're at it and say, "SHAME ON YOU":;;

DO NOT USE: Chris Harney/HC&M or Tom Murphy/SFRents for your real estate transactions.

Go to the Save Children's Village website to learn more:

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