Centrally located along a major transit corridor in the lower San Antonio neighborhood in Oakland, YEP’s 26,000 square-foot solar-powered workforce training facility is easily accessible by one bus ride from all across the city. Our building is a major point of pride for the organization, first and foremost because of the role our trainees have played in bringing it to life. We acquired the funding for the facility in 2001 and immediately began planning and construction with our trainees, using the site as a “living classroom.” Our trainees have worked on every aspect of our building, from designing each quadrant, to trenching the bathrooms (which upon move-in had only one working toilet), to laying the deconstructed lumber of our floors, to arranging the tiles on the façade, and to painting the murals and interior designs throughout the hallways, lobby, community event space, computer lab, and five classrooms. Our building reflects the dynamic nature of our programs and the innovative minds of the youth and young adults we serve.
Operating on 41,000 square feet of spacious, contiguous lots, YEP’s property also hosts a fully-equipped construction workshop, a 1,190 square foot industrial kitchen, a 5,000 square foot training warehouse, and an emergency housing tiny home community. These vast amenities are put to use preparing Oakland youth and young adults for a brighter future. Our construction program operates out of our in-house workshop, loaded with an array of tools and equipment. Our commercial kitchen hosts the culinary program where trainees get a taste of real restaurant work, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to nearby homeless communities and YEP trainees. And our on-site warehouse is home to a forklift and industrial shelving, giving trainees the ability to reproduce the maneuvers they’ll need as certified warehouse operators.
The newest editions to our property, the tiny home community and workforce training dormitory, will not only provide much-needed housing stability but also foster a success-oriented culture for young adults seeking advanced education and upward career mobility. The 12 single-unit tiny home community, with open-air kitchen, laundry, and elegant bathrooms and showers, offers interim stability for those transitioning to longer-term housing. And our 30-unit, three-story dormitory, currently undergoing modernizing gut renovations by trainees in YEP’s construction program (due for completion in the winter of 2022), will go even further to provide critical housing support for homeless and housing insecure young adults, alongside comprehensive case management, job training, educational services and paid work experience.
Like the pursuit of our mission, the YEP building is ever-expanding.