How a Vacant Warehouse Became a Hub of Community Collaboration How a Vacant Warehouse Became a Hub of Community Collaboration
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How a Vacant Warehouse Became a Hub of Community Collaboration

by Hunter Franks

June 17, 2013

Homelessness. Poverty. Blight. Crime. Drugs.

Like many urban areas, San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood is filled with these challenges. But, with these challenges come an enormous potential for change.

In recognition of the National Day of Civic Hacking, a group of civic innovators set out to create a temporary space that would create lasting community solutions. Utilizing established partnerships, we acquired a vacant 14,000 square foot warehouse in San Francisco's Mid-Market neighborhood for the rent of $1 for the month of June.

This is [ freespace ], and it has transformed a vacant building in a blighted neighborhood into a thriving hub of collaboration and creativity.

[ freespace ] fosters creativity, community, and civic innovation through the gift of free space. [ freespace ] gives people a place to launch their passion, create art, hone a skill, find support for projects, and build community—with each step making San Francisco a better place to live.

[ freespace ] has also been a catalyst for solutions that will have an impact outside of our four walls. A free bikeshare program has been established. A neighborhood storytelling project has launched. Plans are underway for a learning shelter that will provide homeless individuals with the skills to be makers and artists. What was a gravel lot is now a volunteer-run, educational community garden.    

These projects are all off to great starts, but they need one more month to utilize the [ freespace ] resources and collaborative spirit to realize the community impact they hope to achieve. Support [ freespace ] and help this experiment in civic hacking and community-building live on for another month!

This project is part of GOOD's Saturday series Push for Good—our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.

 

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How a Vacant Warehouse Became a Hub of Community Collaboration