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City Hope: Vision Becoming Reality

News for 04.15.15
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It started with a dream. Or, to be more accurate, a calling. The City Hope team had long felt the desire for a space in the Tenderloin before last fall, when we signed the lease on a space at 746 Ellis Street, between Polk and Larkin. In large part the culmination of phase one of our planning process, getting into these new headquarters has been the result of hard work, prayer, time, and the generosity of so many of you. We are deeply grateful, and wanted to share with you a glimpse of what has happened, what is being worked on now, and what lies ahead.

As we have stepped out on faith to find and relocate to our new headquarters, we have received many different resources to support our mission. A number of members of our community have given out of their time and expertise to support us in creating a strategic plan, evaluating our potential impact, assessing the needs of our community, creating a database, and building furniture for our office space. The building we’re in used to be an auto body shop and a wetsuit factory--not at the same time--so it’s taken some time to get everything in order, but we’ve got desks and offices now.

Construction Construction is currently underway on our main assembly space, which will be a gathering place for members of the community and residents of the Tenderloin. We are adding a bathroom with shower facility, a wheelchair lift, a kitchen, and a medical advisory clinic that will attend to local residents with medical needs. The assembly space will have a number of uses, including as a place for training volunteers who serve at nearby SROs (Single Room Occupancy hotels), a place for mentoring, recovery meetings, meals, workshops, worship, and community events like game and movie nights. We’ve been able to design a flexible room that can host all of these things, which will be a great resource for us and the community we are a part of.

As time goes on, we are also reaching out to local SROs in order to understand what their biggest needs are. We will be listening to them and trying to ascertain how we might be able to help support them in their mission to care for a vulnerable population in San Francisco. Caseworkers and social workers are the unsung heroes of the Tenderloin, so we look to their work to give good, holistic care to to TL residents. We’ll continue to work with them more and more as we get established in the neighborhood.

We are also excited that we will be hosting fellows from UC Berkeley’s Master of Public Health program. Four fellows, all MPH students, will spend a year helping us with research and analysis as we seek to better understand the needs of our community and how City Hope’s resources can best address them.

Our deepest joy right now is that we are able to be in a place that will have so many uses to benefit our community, and we are so grateful for your support. If you have questions or would like to talk, don’t hesitate to contact us (Paul Trudeau or Sally Steele) to set up a time to meet. We’ve already seen so much of our vision become reality, and with your continued help we look forward to working together to see our vision continue to flourish.