Census Shows Tyrrell Neighborhood Poorest in Hayward

Hayward residents volunteered their time to pick up
trash along Tyrrell Ave.

Jose Barales pushes a food cart filled with candy around the neighborhood accompanied by competitors pushing food carts from other neighborhoods, selling sweets to kids and their families as they get out of class in the afternoon.

Barales moved to the Tyrrell neighborhood, located off of Tennyson Road in south Hayward, from Mexico. Many residents of the community share his story, he says. He speaks very little English, and can only have conversations in Spanish.

“This neighborhood is the most poor, but it’s a good neighborhood, as well as the people,” says Barales in Spanish.

His only complaint with the city is that they are unable to keep the neighborhood clean; he recognizes the Clean and Green volunteers pick up trash in the neighborhood, but he says it is not enough.

“There is a lot of trash, and the city spends a lot of money picking up the garbage, and it’s very clean. But tomorrow there’s more trash,” says Barales. Many people throw trash in the streets, he said, and often leave beds and couches on the side of the road.

Jose Barales complains there is too much trash in the
community, despite the city’s efforts.

The Tyrrell and Schafer neighborhood, located off of W. Tennyson Rd, is the poorest community in Hayward, the U.S. Census Bureau reports, with a median annual household income of $36,392.

To put that number into perspective, the city of Hayward has a median annual income of $62,115 as of 2011, the census states.

In June 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law to dissolve the redevelopment agencies of all cities throughout the state, which used revenue generated from property taxes for restoration projects throughout the city. Mayor Michael Sweeney complained that, almost two years later, the city is still struggling with the lack of funds from the state.

The Hayward Clean and Green project is one of many initiatives aimed at rejuvenating communities around Hayward. But with the lack of funding, it has been difficult, he says.

“With the state ending redevelopment [funding], I think it makes it harder on folks to develop new initiatives,” says Sweeney, as he walked with three young high school students picking up trash on this month’s Hayward Clean and Green Clean-Up Event.

The Hayward Clean and Green project is one of many
initiatives aimed at rejuvenating communities around

The Clean and Green Task Force works on cleaning up litter and graffiti throughout the city of Hayward; this month the organization is picking up trash along Tyrrell Road.

Sweeney mentioned several ideas that have been planned to rejuvenate the South Hayward community including the South Hayward BART project, which will redevelop Tennyson Road and Dixon Street in an attempt to bring new housing and economic activity to the area.

He also mentioned the county’s efforts to expand health care in the area, through the creation of a “health care portal” at the fire station on Huntwood Ave to support underserved communities. The Eden Youth Center might also see reconstruction as there have been ongoing discussions as to the sustainability of its infrastructure, he said.

“But the key question is, as you might imagine for all these things, is funding,” said Sweeney, adding that with inadequate funding the success of these projects is at risk.

The major landmark of the community is Tyrrell Elementary. The school, with the Tyrrell Dragons as their mascot, was recently rebuilt in 2012 with Measure I funds allocated for the renovation of school facilities. The newly redesigned school houses 681 students, and covers kindergarten through seventh grade.

In the school’s latest annual School Accountability Report Card presented to the school district, Principal Marvelyn Maldonado noted that many of the students were not native to the city.

“Many of our families are recent immigrants, and approximately 80 percent of our students speak a language other than English,” said Maldonado.

The same report from 2010 shows that out of the 455 students who took the California Standards Test in 2010, 62 percent of the students were English learners. Only 23 percent of these students received scores that demonstrated proficiency in the English part of the test.

Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle is working with the Glad Tidings Church and the city to rejuvenate South Hayward through his project the Tennyson Corridor Initiative. The initiative would provide affordable healthcare clinics to the community, as well as youth mentoring services and employment opportunities. He said the language barrier has been a difficult issue to overcome, but he has been working to fix it.

“Education is the key to a better future for these kids. We are doing everything we can to bring people together with a common goal of providing more resource for future generations,” said Valle. “It’s going to be a generation change and it’s going to take time but my office is working very hard to drive the process.”