The Bayview Hunters Point Foundation: 45 Years Serving Southeast San Francisco
The Bayview Hunters Point Foundation for Community Improvement, Inc. (The Foundation) serves the Bayview Hunters Point district in southeastern San Francisco. It borders Highway 101 and the San Francisco Bay, near the storied, one-time ball field, Candlestick Park.
Bayview Hunters Point made its name as a shipbuilding community, and from the late 1800s through the 1950s, was known for its bustling shipyards. During this time period, many African Americans moved to the area for work.
By the 1960s, the neighborhood was predominantly home to African Americans and other minorities, and became isolated from San Francisco. In 1963, the writer James Baldwin called it “the San Francisco America pretends does not exist.”
De-industrialization in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s decreased economic opportunity in Bayview Hunters Point, and many residents fell into unemployment and poverty (as well as crime and drug use, which can accompany poverty). These conditions have impacted the community ever since. The community has also been affected by pollution, including contamination due to shipyard and Naval activities.
Over time, redevelopment and building projects have worked to revitalize the district. However, while housing prices have increased, promised benefits to residents (many of whom cannot afford to buy homes) have not materialized. These changes have even driven many long-time residents from the community.
Bayview Hunters Point is still changing today. San Francisco is experiencing the intense pressures of gentrification and income inequality, making it less affordable than ever for residents. With the move of the 49ers to Santa Clara, Candlestick Park demolition started in 2014 and is still underway. Developers are planning to complete an “urban outlet” center with retail and housing on Candlestick Point.
In the meantime, 39% of Bayview Hunters Point residents are low income, living below 200% of the poverty line (the San Francisco Indicator Project).
Despite challenges, the vibrant and resilient community of Bayview Hunters Point continues to fight for its social and economic place in our thriving city. For nearly 45 years, The Foundation has helped to lead this fight.
As the community undergoes yet another period of change, the vibrant and resilient members of the community continue to work to make this part of San Francisco a haven for justice and peace, growth and collaboration.