Fall, 2010
E-News, Issue: 1

Quarterly E-News:
Most Vulnerable Population in San Mateo County

Dear Friends of Puente,


What's next for the rural South Coast and how does Puente fit in?How do you fit in?


Agricultural related jobs, affordable housing and access to healthcare are the solutions to keeping this vital agricultural gem alive and healthy for the benefit of us all.


Your donations have helped to create literacy and education programs, youth mentorship and college readiness support, mental health counseling, and care for those who are facing hard times.


Now it's time to tackle the underlying problems, the long term solutions that will create a healthy, sustainable South Coast.


We are eager to hear from you. Please take 1 minute to answer 3 questions and let us know how you would like us to communicate with you. We want to know what you think - your voice really does matter.


Thank you,
Kerry Lobel, Executive Director

for the Puente Team

What's next for the families in unsafe red-tagged labor camps? 
Our area has the most vulnerable population in the most invisible part of the County. What is happening in Pescadero would be unacceptable anywhere else.


Physical and emotional consequences of substandard housing for farmers and their families alarming


In May, the San Mateo County Department of Health redtagged housing units at Marchi Central Farms and Upper Campinotti, because water testing revealed that nitrates in the drinking water were more than six times the federal safety standards putting babies at grave risk for death or permanent injury. Read whole story

Tackling the underlying causes of rising economic insecurity


There has been a 164% increase in total individuals needing food or housing since July 2007.
Health and economic security continues at the forefront of Puente's work.

A 164% increase in individuals needing food or housing since 2007 was revealed in a recent report by the County of San Mateo.


Puente's work on increasing economic security takes on many forms:

  • Homelessness prevention through rental and utility assistance.
  • Health insurance enrollment for children and families, and transportation to access medical care.
  • Tax preparation for low and mid-income individuals and families, many filing for the first time.
  • Youth employment opportunities.
  • South Coast Counts, an effort to increase participation in the Census, with the goal of bringing dollars and services to our community.
  • Partnerships with farms and nurseries to build a sustainable agricultural economy.

As the County's eighth core service provider, we work to shape policies throughout the County and have helped form a cohesive group of San Mateo food providers that can create an increasingly healthy and more vibrant local food economy.


As a visionary organization, Puente continues its work partnering across sectors to tackle the underlying causes of pervasive financial hardship and economic inequality. Access to healthcare and affordable housing are the highest priorities for the South Coast and essential to creating economic security and a healthy community.

Closing the achievement gap for children and youth

"Helping students and their families prepare for college or pursue a vocational career takes time, care and financial resources"


Educational inequity limits life choices, professional options, and weakens families and communities


Studies indicate that under-resourced American students are not learning the academic and soft skills needed to succeed in the current competitive workplace.


The only hope for the shrinking agricultural economy on the South Coast and the state of California is the next generation of young people. They must be innovative, educated and confident contributing members of society.

This is why Puente invests so heavily in youth programming and leadership development. The needs of youth are many: English language fluency, extra support systems for children from birth through high school; healthcare; and economic security.  


The quality of foundational skills gained in high school and the affordability of college and vocational training afterwards are the determining factors of successful adult life.


We believe our youth are the change-makers. They can transform life for the next generation on the South Coast. Walking through the process of preparing students and their families for their college or a vocational career takes time, care and the ongoing support from you, our donors and volunteers.


Read more about the racial achievement gap
In This Issue
What's next for families in unsafe red-tagged labor camps?
Tackling the underlying causes of rising economic insecurity
Closing the achievement gap for children and youth

The Sobrato Family Foundation has announced that it will match all new and increased gifts to Puente.


Follow us on Twitter

Find us on Facebook

Forward this issue




Puente de la Costa Sur
PO Box 554, Pescadero CA 94060