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Arriba Juntos mission is to promote economic self-sufficiency for San Franciscans and their families through training, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
With a strong commitment of equity and economic justice, Arriba Juntos was created by three social justice activists James McAlister, Herman Gallegos, and Leandro Soto. When the organization was born on May 13, 1965, the staff comprised of these three men. They formed a strong base for successes to follow, and their creation of a new type of service to the community they worked in.
Its original name was The Organization for Business, Education and Community Advancement (O.B.E.C.A). In 1967, the name changed to Arriba Juntos, Spanish for "Upward together."
The original mission of Arriba Juntos was to meet the basic service needs of the Latino immigrants moving into the Mission District in the 1960's. Those needs were housing, education, employment, childcare, and health care. During the sixties such programs were supported by President Johnson's War on Poverty.
In the early seventies the Models Cities Program came to San Francisco and many new agencies began to serve the Latino population of the Mission District. Throughout the seventies and the eighties Arriba Juntos grew and added many new programs and services with its strong suit being employment and training.
From the mid nineties to the present Arriba Juntos has expanded its vision and now provides educational and employment programs on a citywide basis serving many neighborhoods and many different ethnic groups and cultures. The clarion call of the agency is still the same: "Upward Together - Arriba Juntos."Our staff continues to be committed to the mission and work that began with only three men, and to continue to make our organization and our community successful.
As was the case in 1965, our clients are still among those most at risk for prolonged poverty, including:
- Homeless heads of household lacking marketable job skills
- Chronically underemployed and unemployed individuals
- Long-term welfare recipients
- High school dropouts
- Domestic violence victims
- Individuals with limited English-speaking skills
- Children who are two or more grades behind in school
- Youth involved in the foster, and juvenile justice systems and
- At-risk and high-risk youth.
Arriba Juntos provides wrap-around occupational training programs and employment services that help underserved individuals improve the quality of their lives and contribute to the local economy. All of our training programs integrate intensive customized case management, job placement activities, job retention services and a life skills/work readiness component meant to provide our participants with a comprehensive array of skills and tools to help them transition to sustain economic independence.
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