About

Our Mission

The Bayanihan Equity Center  provides culturally responsive services to address the needs and advance the rights of marginalized communities in pursuit of equity and justice.

Our History

Under the Immigration and Naturalization Reform Act of 1990, more than 100,000 Filipino Veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces, in the Far East from 1939 to 1946, became eligible for naturalization. A little over 60,000 of these veterans immigrated to the United States and became U. S. Citizens.

These veterans did not qualify for Veterans Benefits, and the majority of them became dependent on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), soup kitchens, and the support of volunteers.In 1998, service providers, individual members of the community and a number of Filipino World War II Veterans started the Veterans Equity Center Task Force.

The task force was comprised of individuals with years of experience in providing services to minority seniors and Filipino World War II Veterans. There was a high need for housing, case management, counseling, legal assistance, health services – just to mention a few. Rooted on community strength approach in service delivery, the task force developed the “one-stop-shop” system of care service delivery that stabilizes and bridges the gap between the existing services in the community and veteran population in need of services. We opened our doors to the public on December 1, 1999 as the Veterans Equity Center.

In recent years, growing numbers of low-income, immigrant older adults access our services. With high mortality rate among original consumers, our organization started providing services to veterans’ widows and family members; there is also a growing number of homeless, LGBTQ and, at times, formerly incarcerated. To address the growing needs of the community and demand for services, we expanded our services, and formally changed our name to the Bayanihan Equity Center. BEC is a service center for the older adults and adults with disabilities in San Francisco, and provides services such as, housing assistance, food pantry, community choir, arts and crafts, and etc.

Funders

The Bayanihan Equity Center is funded by the Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS),  South of Market Community Stabilization Fund, San Francisco Food Bank, and individual donors.

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