The umbrella organization for dozens of groups unifies their voices to enrich the neighborhood.
For over a decade, one organization has served as a platform for uniting the neighborhood’s community groups and nonprofit and faith-based organizations to secure more investment and build solidarity.
Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside Community Collaborative has 22 member organizations and hosts virtual meetings every Tuesday, according to OMICC Chair and Our Kids First Director Delia Fitzpatrick.
“It is a true collaboration at its finest,” Fitzpatrick said. “We all really have good intentions. We work together. We go to each other’s events. It’s more of a family feel.”
The OMICC, which has a sister organization in the Excelsior Community Collaborative, has provided assistance and support to community organizations, residents and businesses for over 13 years through grants, volunteer hours and events.
Members include Catholic Charities, OMI Neighbors In Action, Youth 1st, Stonestown YMCA, Guidry Day Care, Our Special Place, Mission YMCA, A Living Library, IT Bookman Community Center, among others.
“The OMI Community Collaborative is a great thing,” Youth 1st Executive Director Renard Monroe said. “We meet weekly and it’s a bunch of organizations in the OMI just really focusing on improving the community around safety, health, opportunities, employment, education so the collaborative just supports everyone’s initiatives.”
Funding Community Needs
The organization started after former District 11 Supervisor John Avalos held community meetings to discuss the needs and interests of the neighborhood.
Over the years, OMICC has been funded by the Office of the District 11 Supervisor and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. Its fiscal sponsor is the Mission YMCA. Funds go toward programs and projects such as block parties, backpack giveaways, the annual STEM Frenzy event and more.
The collaboratives split $150,000 to $156,000 annually.
“We make sure that we have community buy-in,” Fitzpatrick said. “We do this [Action Grant] application process and whoever applies can get up to $5,000 for whatever events or any kind of programs they want to start.”
The next round of action grants will open in a few months.
OMICC continually funds 13 annual events providing $1,000 to each.
“We do track the events,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have to provide a report, you know, pictures, flyers but we make sure that those events are solid…The rest [of the funds] we are able to apply to different and new events or programs.”
OMICC’s is partnering with Invest Black and Youth 1st on a comedy and award show fundraiser on Aug. 13 at the Palace Theater.
Taking The Initiative
Member organizations banded together at the outset of the pandemic to support the community.
“We were able to activate and we were able to maintain it and we all took jobs in a sense,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was like a big melting pot of all of us coming together. Everybody [was] up to their elbows in work.”
OMICC partnered with the city and Catholic Charities to obtain funding and the use of Catholic Charities parking lot to set up a public health station for the neighborhood.
They outgrew the parking lot and moved their operations to the I.T. Bookman Community Center.
The center, located on the 400 block of Randolph Street, now offers health services, senior services, a community kitchen and more. Those additions were a long-term goal for the center, according to Fitzpatrick.
“I want people to know that there is a network advocating for them,” Fitzpatrick said. “It's daunting to deal with the city for resources but if they need support, then any of the members can provide support.”
OMI Community Collaborative
Address: 5845 Mission St. #301
Phone: (415) 298-8367
Support independent community news
No media outlet covers our neighborhood like The Ingleside Light. Full stop.
Reader support sustains the expensive reporting our community needs and deserves. Will you join the hundreds of readers and become a member?