Facebook to open 'community hub' in Menlo Park for local nonprofits | September 5, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - September 5, 2018

Facebook to open 'community hub' in Menlo Park for local nonprofits

by Kate Bradshaw

Facebook announced on Aug. 28 that it plans to open a Menlo Park "community hub" in early 2019 that will provide a place for four local nonprofits working on coding, workforce training, tech and community development to host trainings, classes and some offices.

The space, which will be a converted 12,000-square-foot warehouse at 1010 O'Brien Drive, will have four "anchor" tenants: Year Up, Streetcode Academy, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and One East Palo Alto.

Juan Salazar, public policy manager at Facebook, said that he and other company officials heard from local nonprofits that having dedicated space for running programs is hard to come by. The company in 2017 started offering some campus space for nonprofits that focus on skills training and job readiness, and it plans to extend that program through the community hub with a five-year lease of the warehouse.

The space will also be available to reserve for community events.

Year Up provides yearlong internships, job training and mentorship programs for low-income young adults throughout the Bay Area.

Streetcode Academy provides coding, entrepreneurship and design classes to people in East Palo Alto.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center supports small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area, providing business training and incubator programs.

One East Palo Alto promotes community engagement, empowerment and quality of life in East Palo Alto.

Tim Russell, program director at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, told The Almanac that his organization is more than 30 years old, and has been working in East Palo Alto for 10 years.

"Our mission is to transform lives through helping individuals understand and get the tools needed to turn passion into profit," he said.

His organization works with under-resourced small businesses in the community to support them and make them financially sustainable; it also walks business owners through the regulations with which they must comply, he said.

At the new hub, he said, his organization plans to provide classes for small business owners that will offer education and support at various phases of their businesses, and to connect entrepreneurs to resources, such as individual business consulting.

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