We envision a vibrant Mayfair community of engaged families who influence and co-create opportunities for thriving lives.
Amigos de Guadalupe creates a vibrant, self-sustaining Mayfair community by ensuring that the basic needs of our community and families are met, delivering high-quality educational programs, and activating and mobilizing for advocacy.
Connecting Resources to People
Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Empowerment (“Amigos”) was born out of a vision to break the cycle of poverty in the neighborhood comprising Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. The Parish has been a strong and stable presence in the Mayfair community since 1952 when it was first established as a mission. Reflecting its mission roots, the Parish has consistently responded to the needs of the community—initiating a job training program, establishing a credit union, running a food pantry, starting a health clinic, and organizing local residents to self-advocate. That spirit of mission continues today.
Reflecting enormous trust in the Parish, a steady stream of people continue to visit the Parish daily seeking help with a variety of urgent needs including food,rental assistance, mental health support, immigration-related legal issues, and challenges navigating the public education system. In response to this overwhelming and unrelenting need, the concept of Amigos was conceived.Based on-site at the Parish, Amigos was originally envisioned by clergy and lay leadership to increase the availability, coordination, utilization, and effectiveness of social service programs delivered to local residents. This original vision was anchored in a commitment to leverage partnerships with Mayfair’s many community-based organizations in order to provide a “one-stop, full service” experience for local families.
The poverty experienced by the families served by Amigos is daunting. San Jose’s Mayfair community is one of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in Santa Clara County. Most Mayfair residents work in low-wage jobs and are unable to access government aid due to their immigration status. The majority of households have inadequate food and poor overall nutrition. Additionally, due to the extreme lack of affordable housing,it is not uncommon for entire families to live in a single bedroom or garage. Only 14% of children are kinder-ready and 70% of third graders read below grade-level, while only 2% of graduating seniors will continue on with university studies – a staggering statistic.
In this increasingly polarized economic environment, it is clear that charity and direct services alone cannot break the cycle of poverty. The founders of Amigos believe that social services must be augmented with education programs for all ages and complemented by opportunities for self-advocacy and leadership empowerment. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish is deeply rooted in the work of Cesar Chavez, Fr. Don McDonnell, and Fred Ross. Leadership development through organizing has been at the root of the local community—with Faith and Action inseparably bound together.
Building upon the powerful community roots and original vision of the Amigos de Guadalupe founders, the strategic blueprint outlined below prescribes a pathway for long-term programmatic and operational success—advancinga vibrant Mayfair community of engaged, thriving families with full access to opportunity.