Safe and Strong Neighborhoods

FMCI envisions self-organized community members and families that know and trust each other, and trained leaders who proactively advocate for building community assets to create a thriving environment for youth and families. To this end, FMCI provides community resources and services that facilitate asset building in the form of fostering safe and productive relationships with members of the community and creating the physical space to foster this engagement.  

Key Programming

Santee Community Garden and Community Open Space
Thirty-two families have access to fresh food through the community garden. Teachers also use the garden as an authentic location for many educational projects, particularly in the area of science and math. Teachers use this outdoor learning lab at least once a week with their students. The nearby lighted outdoor recreation area at the adjacent middle school is a safe place for students and their families to gather and play in the evenings and weekends.

Pop-Up Parks
These parks located in underutilized spaces are an opportunity for families to engage in recreational and positive interactions with other community members over the summer. Each year, over 200 children and 60 parents engage in organized activities.

Join the fun this summer 2021, In-Person on Thursdays: July 8, July 15, July 22, August 19, August 26 & virtually: Thursday, August 12. 

SF Junior Giants
Each year, FMCI provides more than 200 children ages 4-12 living in the Santee neighborhood a character building, literacy sports curriculum, with supplies provided by the San Francisco Jr. Giants. Coordination and staff time is provided through a county grant. Children with little or no other access to extracurricular activities or structured exercise participate in an 8-week sports program over the summer, building positive bonds with their families and community.


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Second Harvest Food Bank – Santee & Dahl Sites Distribution 
With a vision for a hunger-free community, the Second Harvest Food Bank, in partnership with the Franklin McKinley School District and Santee Elementary, now provides free food to the Santee Neighborhood every Thursday from 3:00-5:30pm.

An additional partnership has been made with Captain Jason Dahl community. The food distribution occur on the1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 10:00am to 11:30am.

For more information on the Second Harvest Food Bank visit:

SJPD Meet and Greet
Every spring, FMCI and the San Jose Police Department partner to offer a community meet and greet. Santee residents, government agencies and community-based organizations come together to share resources, ask questions about services provided, voice concerns and develop relationships. The event is intended to cultivate more positive relationships between law enforcement and the community.

National Night Out
Join us on the first Tuesday of August 2019 (August 6th) from 6-8 pm!
FMCI partners with the Santee Neighborhood Association to host a safe and fun neighborhood event for everyone in the community.
To learn more visit:

Senior Group
Originally convened as a 10-month facilitated group in 2012 through funding from the Health Trust using the curriculum “A Matter of Balance” to promote healthy aging, today FMCI’s senior group continues to meet weekly to address the challenges of senior isolation. The topic is used as the entry point for broader discussions about issues of concern to community members. The group was instrumental in raising funds to hire a Mariachi group to perform at the grand opening ceremony for the new Santee Community Center.

The senior group, which takes place in Spanish, meets every Tuesday from 9-10:30am at FMCI.

Through additional investment in 2018, the program has expanded to include the Generation to Generation program through First 5 of Santa Clara Initiatives. This investment provides further insight into the three-generational approach.

RAD (Regeneration Against Destruction)
RAD is a youth-based collective operating in and around the Santee neighborhood that addresses issues relevant to today’s youth such as homelessness, poverty, school failure, and more. Participate in a number of community-based activities and programs run by youth, including:

  • Monthly Free Market for the homeless
  • Urban Gardening
  • Creek Clean Ups
  • Mural Development
  • Workshops for youth and adults
  • Community Skill Shares
  • Youth Knowledge Circles
  • Peoples Media Production
  • Take Back the Block Celebrations
  • Community Self-Defense Trainings

They also partner with such community groups as Veggielution, San Jose State University MEChA, and Silicon Valley Debug.

RAD regularly organizes events for members. These include education workshops, movie nights, and a biweekly support group (usually around issues of mental health or social issues relevant to youth). Many of these activities take place at the Santee Community Center. In the near future, members plan to provide more direct support to the Santee Community Center, and mentor neighborhood youth.