Blog | Keep up with the latest at St. Anthony’s

Toiletries for the Tenderloin

TGD GuestIt’s hard for many to imagine not having the little, everyday things like a toothbrush or soap, but many of the guests at St. Anthony’s go without such basic toiletries all too often. This can lead to low self-esteem and may increase the risk of health issues. Everyone deserves the basics to feel human, so we need your help.

By donating unused, travel-sized toiletries we can put together “emergency hygiene kits” or “birthday bags” for people in need. Get creative, host a “bubble bash” or make it a competition to see how many hygiene items your organization can raise. Think about going one week without brushing your teeth. Put a smile on someone’s face, donate today!  read more…

Full Circle Crew

Vicki B. 2Vicki B started volunteering at St. Anthony’s in September of 2008, but she knew well before that that she wanted to! Vicki, just like her father before her, carries a special devotion to St. Anthony. When Vicki retired from her teaching career, she put on her apron in the St. Anthony’s Dining Room. When she first started, the Dining Room was still in its original location at 45 Jones Street—the transformed underground garage where volunteers like Vicki helped to serve more than 38 million meals by the time we moved into our temporary location, 150 Golden Gate in Feb of 2012. Two and a half years later in the fall of 2014, Vicki moved with us again to serve our dear guests out of the new St. Anthony’s Dining Room at 121 Golden Gate.

Vicki’s one of the “full circle crew”—45 Jones, to 150 Golden Gate, and back right above the original— to 121 Golden Gate. Vicki was kind enough to give me a few moments of her time away from the serving line to share some of her thoughts about volunteering in the Dining Room.
“When I first started, my family was a little concerned about the neighborhood, but they’ve learned from me that the people are wonderful…’There but for the grace of God go I…’ I wanted to give back, to do a little something. And it makes us (volunteers) happy to help! I’ve done everything—bussing, bringing the trays…My favorite is to be on the serving line: seeing the people, their smiles…”

read more…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Anthony's Dining Room St. Patrick's DayHappy St. Patrick’s Day from St. Anthony’s Dining Room! To celebrate, we’re serving up a delicious stew of potatoes, carrots, onions and parsley, straight from the Emerald Isle.

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire!”—Irish blessing

Check out the rest of this month’s Dining Room menu.

Talkin’ Turkey

St. Anthony's Volunteer JayOur new volunteer Jay is talkin’ turkey in our prep kitchen.

The huge amount of freezer space in our new Dining Room allows us to accept more donations and keep them fresh longer, so all the extra holiday turkeys we received from our donors will serve hungry San Franciscans for many meals to come.

Turkey and mashed potatoes, turkey enchiladas, turkey pot pie, oh my! Check out this month’s delicious menu.

77 Years Young

St. Anthony's Dining Room Tweety 77th Birthday VolunteerTweety celebrated her 77th birthday serving meals to hungry San Franciscans in our Dining Room today. The icing on the cake was a surprise party thrown by her fellow volunteers.

How’s she feeling after nearly 25 years of service at St. Anthony’s? “Good! I love it here. Just trying to stay out of trouble.”

Cheers to you, Tweety. We hope all your birthday wishes come true.


A Place in My Heart & A Place in San Francisco

Though I am fairly new to St. Anthony’s, as well as to San Francisco, my eyes have been opened and my heart filled with the love and compassion the people in this city and organization have to offer. Every day that I come to work I see people in need, and every day I leave with the feeling that we here at St. Anthony’s are doing our very best to help. There are many people that come through our doors, each person with their own story to tell who may fall into a particular group or category. One particular demographic that strikes close to home for me are the Veterans we serve on a daily basis.

Men and women who have served our country, who have fought to protect our freedom – living on the streets, struggling with the demons they fight from their past –who are trying to overcome the ramifications of PTSD on their own because the help they need simply isn’t available. These Vets and their struggles resonate with me, not because I’m a Vet myself, but because my dad was. read more…

That’s Your Word

Regina, Social WorkerRegina, a St. Anthony’s Social Worker, was doing outreach in our Dining Room when an elderly client approached her:

“Do you know what ebullient means?” the client asked.

“I do!” Regina replied. “I learned it studying for the GRE. It means cheerful and full of energy.”

“That’s your word.” the client told her. “If you ever feel down, remember that word.”

Here’s to our Social Work team, spreading positive energy and good cheer in the heart of the Tenderloin.

Update from Executive Director Barry Stenger

St. Anthony'os Executive Director Barry StengerOn October 4th, 2014 – the feast of St. Francis and exactly 64 years after St. Anthony’s Dining Room served its first meal – we opened the door to a brand new $22.5 million building.  We proudly proclaimed “We’re Opening the Door to So Much More.”

Now, 5 months after that historic day, the More has come to fruition.  More meals in our state-of-the-art Dining Room; more experience in planning and executing disaster management and resiliency (overnight shelter during our brief but intense winter rain); more clothes and counseling now that our Social Work Center and Clothing program are a mere one flight above the Dining Room; more room to greet the 12,000+ volunteers that provide the backbone of our daily operations, and a technology training program that has nearly doubled in capacity.

  • Dining Room: larger space allows us to serve more people, utilize more volunteers, and serve as an emergency shelter during both big and small disaster scenarios.
  • Expanded Prep Kitchen: new space allows for 200 recovering addicts to go through our Job Training Program each year.
  • Smart Classroom & Community Room: 1st Floor at 150 Golden Gate (was the temporary dining room) will be used to host 12,000 + volunteers for poverty education workshops and provides a space for groups in the neighborhood.
  • Tenderloin Technology Lab: has expanded by 33% to help more than 100 low-income guests on a daily basis, learn how to use a computer for job searches, housing, and social services.
  • Social Work Center (SWC) & Free Clothing Program (FCP):  Enhance cross program participation as part of the backbone of the Gateway model of social service delivery.  FCP has relocated from 8th and Mission to the 2nd floor of our new building to share a program space with SWC. The new gateway model has shown immediate outcomes in meeting basic needs of very low-income San Franciscans.

The points above list the features to our Gateway Campus Model for Social Service.  We welcome you to share this story with your networks. The story of how, in a city named for St. Francis, St. Anthony’s has stepped up to meet the challenges of the 21st century, brokering unprecedented generosity with the rising need of our poorest brothers and sisters.

Inspiring Success: From One Closet to Another

Women's Day 2Every day we’re besieged by media reports of suffering around the world, and even a short walk down a San Francisco street will bring pleas to support this or that cause. Here is a simple way to help women that makes a big impact.

Your women’s suits, jackets, skirts, pants, blouses, & accessories can give another woman the confidence to go out into the working world and land the job that could change her life. 

Imagine having the skills you need for a job, but not the outfit. Whether you are a single mother worried about a hungry child, a survivor of domestic violence, or just having trouble making rent, buying business-appropriate clothing isn’t a priority—it’s a luxury. And beyond just appearance, without education and a peer network of other successful professionals, some women have no way to learn about interview etiquette. read more…

St. Anthony’s Dining Room: Weaving a Community Together


When I first visited St. Anthony’s, I immediately felt that it was communal environment. During lunch, I ate with the guests at the hall. Laughing and talking with them, I heard stories about San Francisco in the 60’s, when peace signs and tie-dye shirts were the fad, and a wild road trip from Colorado to California. When I returned back to my school to continue with the retreat, I knew I would never forget my St. Anthony’s experience.

Having a passion for filmmaking, I stumbled upon the White House Student Film Competition. I saw that the topic was about the Impact of Giving Back and I knew that St. Anthony’s would be the perfect topic. I headed down to the Dining Hall with my camera and was inspired by the different people I met, guests, staff, and volunteers.

I made this film not only for the competition, but to showcase all the different stories that make St. Anthony’s the special place that it is. I wanted to be able to document what I saw, a community and a family.

St. Ignatius student, Elizabeth Leong, shares her experience of volunteering in our Dining Room through a beautifully constructed video she created for a competition at the White House. Good luck, Elizabeth, and thank you for sharing! 





St. Anthony Foundation | 150 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 |