"To assist the elderly in obtaining the economic and social support they need so they can function independently and live with dignity.”
Centro Latino began as a nutrition project called Los Mayores de Centro Latino (1972-1984). Inspired by a strong commitment to more responsibly address the critical needs of the elderly in underserved areas of the city, Ernest “Chuck” Ayala and Gloria Bonilla formed an official non-profit charitable organization: Centro Latino de San Francisco, Inc.
In pursuit of their dream to acquire a home for this new corporation, Centro Latino formed a partnership that consisted of public and private sector resources, to secure the funding necessary to purchase a facility for its operations in the heart of the Mission District. In 1986 Centro Latino’s dream became a reality.
From the very beginning of the acquisition of our new home, there were major financial challenges that we needed to overcome to keep the organization moving forward. It was only possible to succeed in meeting these challenges through the generous contributions made to the organization in its formative years by Ernest "Chuck" and Bernice Ayala, and Lloyd and LaVerne Paff. Years later, these families continued to demonstrate their unwavering support for the organization, and were instrumental in providing the resources needed to retire the debt on the facility to allow us to invest additional revenues in the growth of our programs and services. Centro Latino will forever be indebted to the Ayala and Paff families and their contributions will never be forgotten.
While our primary focus during these past 30 years has been the provision of nutritious, meals for seniors, we have grown into a full-service community center providing a wide range of life sustaining and enrichment services for over 2,000 low-income, multi-ethnic elderly, adults with disabilities, families and immigrants.