Featured on Sobrato Philanthropies: La Casa de Sobrato at the St. Francis Center will House 28 Families in Need


This article first appeared on the Sobrato Organization’s website (12/8/2019).

sister-christina-sobratosOn December 6th, the St. Francis Center officially opened its new residential center, La Casa de Sobrato.

The St. Francis Center currently owns 135 units in North Fair Oaks and Downtown Redwood City. La Casa de Sobrato, built with $22 million in support from the Sobrato Family Foundation and other local philanthropists and foundations, will provide 240 residents with newly renovated apartments and access to services offered by the St. Francis Center.

The St. Francis Center is a nonprofit community organization that provides a wide range of basic services for people living in Redwood City and East Menlo Park, with a particular focus on North Fair Oaks Neighborhood. For 32 years it has focused on providing education opportunities and basic needs such as food and clothing, but with the booming tech industry, the increasing cost of living, and the rising housing costs, it has added low and extremely low-income housing to its services.

“There is not a nonprofit, no matter their service focus, in the Bay Area who would not rate the rising rents, lack of housing, and lack of availability as the number one challenge on the Peninsula. John and Sue Sobrato, two of our amazing donors, have really stepped forward to help with the purchase of an apartment building directly across the street from the St. Francis Center,” shared Executive Director of the St. Francis Center, Sister Christina Heltsley. ”With their gift we are now able to safe-guard approximately 240 people with a clean, dignified, and affordable place to raise their family. We are so happy to honor all of the donors who made this building purchase a reality, but in particular want to honor Sue and John Sobrato’s compassionate hearts and generosity by naming this treasure for the community, ‘La Casa de Sobrato.’”

In addition to the contributions of the Sobrato family, this important new community asset was built with lead support from Bob and Connie Lurie, Christine Rammler, and Susan Orr and the Packard Foundation, among many others.