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RICHMOND, Calif. -- Chevron contributed $1 million to help establish the SparkPoint West Contra Costa Center, which opened today here. Created by United Way of the Bay Area, SparkPoint Centers are one-stop, financial-education centers that offer access to a full range of services that can help families and individuals achieve financial stability.
"Chevron is proud to support the new SparkPoint West Contra Costa Center, which will help families build futures. We view our support as an investment that can ultimately benefit our entire community," stated Mike Coyle, general manager of Chevron's Richmond refinery.
"Chevron is committed to strengthening the communities in which our employees live and work. We applaud the Richmond Community Foundation for its efforts to bring this vital program to Contra Costa County, and United Way of the Bay Area for its leadership in establishing SparkPoint Centers," he continued.
The Richmond Community Foundation is the lead agency for the SparkPoint West Contra Costa Center. The foundation and United Way are working with the center's other partner agencies, which collaborate to serve clients, including Anew America, Bay Area Legal Aid, Brighter Beginnings, City of Richmond -- LEAP, Community Housing Development Corporation, Contra Costa EHSD, Contra Costa Health Services, Neighborhood Housing Services of the East Bay, Rubicon Programs, Stride Center and Supervisor John Gioia's Office.
These agencies will work in conjunction to provide financial services, tax preparation, homeownership and foreclosure prevention, and jobs and economic development services including small business development.
With the opening of the Richmond location, the number of SparkPoint Centers serving the Bay Area has doubled this spring -- from four to eight -- with three centers opening last month. United Way of the Bay Area's SparkPoint program now spans six counties, with centers in American Canyon (Napa), Bay Point (Contra Costa), Fairfield (Solano), Oakland (Alameda), Richmond (Contra Costa), San Bruno (San Mateo), San Rafael (Marin) and Vallejo (Solano).
"With one in five Bay Area families struggling to make ends meet, Chevron's support for expanding SparkPoint into West Contra Costa could not come at a better time," said Anne Wilson, CEO of United Way of the Bay Area. "I want to extend a special thanks to Chevron for its efforts to engage business and community leaders in supporting SparkPoint, which is a key component of United Way's efforts to cut poverty in half in the Bay Area by 2020."
Chevron is a long-time supporter of United Way of the Bay Area, with some of its executives serving on the board of directors for several years, championing participation in United Way's annual Week of Caring, and providing $1 million to support the 211 helpline.