First job center opens in the 'forgotten district' in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- District 11 in San Francisco is often called the Border District, because of its proximity to Daly City. Its residents often refer to it as the "forgotten district."

The city has vowed to change that image, and on Friday inaugurated the first job center.

It's a step toward changing minds and attitudes.

If you think all communities in San Francisco are prosperous and have had equal opportunities, you've never been to the "OMI" neighborhoods comprised of Ocean View, Merced Heights and Ingleside.

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A fitting word is "underserved." For example, OMI is what you would call a food desert, meaning there is not a single major supermarket here, despite having so many families here.

Those corner stores are what people have grown accustomed to. A few months ago, the city finally approved a permit for H Mart --a supermarket which will eventually serve these neighborhoods.

This district also has the smallest public library in all of San Francisco.

"We know you want your library and Supervisor Ahsha Safai and I are working on resources to get it done for this community," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, promising members of the community. But Mayor Breed came to this district to talk about jobs.

"There are so many job opportunities in San Francisco. You can drive Muni, you can be a police officer, hell, you can run for Mayor, but after I'm done," joked Breed.

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OMI has one of the largest populations of unemployed African Americans.

"And it was a continuous state of violence and then you looked at the unemployment in the Black community that has historically been here, it was extremely high compared to the rest of the community," explained Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

"You ready. 5,4, 3, 2,1," the mayor said as she cut the ribbon, opening the new job center. Its purpose is to train people and connect them to jobs in San Francisco.

"The reality is people just need to be taught how to do something. You show them how to do it, they learn it and will be successful," said Supervisor Shamann Walton who represents District 10.

OMI residents say it's time to go from being an overlooked community to one that is economically self-sufficient.
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