The first day of school is fast approaching and for many families this means a shopping trip to get a new backpack, school supplies and a fresh new set of clothing. However for many families in San Francisco, especially those that visit St. Anthony’s Free Clothing Program, these shopping trips are simply not a financial reality. 81 percent of the families that utilize the services at our Free Clothing Program live at or below the federal poverty line, and the average monthly income for families that utilize these services is $1,441.20. When a family has to pay for rent, medical costs, food, and other bills, it doesn’t leave much behind in the budget to spend on getting the essentials for school. Therefore, we see a lot of families using our Free Clothing Program during this time of year. read more…
On January 29, 2015, San Francisco conducted its biennial point-in-time homeless count, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of all localities receiving federal funding for homelessness services.
There are three components to San Francisco’s homeless count:
- The general street count, conducted between 8pm – midnight on January 29.
- The youth street count (of youth under age 25), conducted between 5pm – 9pm on the same night, by homeless youth themselves.
- The shelter count (homeless people in emergency shelters, transitional housing, hospital, jail, etc.) for the night of the street count.
For the street count, groups of volunteers either walk or drive around an area of the City and count the number of people who appear to be homeless. Obviously, this methodology is prone to human error and the results should not be regarded as a “true” measure of street homelessness since people who may be homeless and on the streets but not in plain sight will be missed by volunteers. People who are couch surfing, doubled up, living in their vehicles, or living on private property that isn’t fit for habitation are also unlikely to be included in the count.
Sister Mary Rogers officially retired on June 30, 2015 after a distinguished 15 year career as a drug and alcohol counselor at Fr. Alfred Center. For thousands of people, she was the first face they saw when making the life-changing decision to seek treatment for their addiction. For many more, she was a critical link in their journey to remain clean and sober.
“If you told me 25 years ago I’d be doing THIS, I’d say you were crazy,” she chuckled. ‘THIS’ describes the experience of being an 80 year old nun and the only female counselor in a drug and alcohol recovery program for 60 homeless and low-income men.
Nearly 39 years ago, Sr. Mary took her last sip of alcohol and never looked back. At the time, she and her husband Jack checked into a recovery program for alcoholics in Santa Barbara, determined to find their own sobriety. Two years later, in 1978, Jack died, leaving Sr. Mary widowed, newly sober, and searching for a way forward in life.
You’re invited to join St. Anthony’s brand-new Young Professionals Council at Fogust, a celebration and exploration of all the feelings that unite us as San Franciscans.
Test your knowledge of San Francisco social justice issues in a pub quiz, grab a drink, take pictures in our photo booth, and write a first-day-of-school note to a child who will receive a backpack and school supplies at St. Anthony’s Back to School event — all while soaking in the amazing Mission Rock view.
The event is pay what you like! Any ticket option will get you in and includes one beer and tote bag.
Come out and meet others interested in the ways their community is changing, while getting to know an organization passionate about making San Francisco a place where all people can flourish.
Thank you to our generous hosts at Mission Rock Resort who will be offering our guests an optional $20 brunch buffet. See you there!
Karen is a bright, disabled senior client of mine who I have been seeing for supportive counseling at St. Anthony’s Social Work Center for over a decade. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome along with facing many other issues around affordable housing, low income, food, clothing , dental hygiene, and interpersonal relationships. Each activity Karen does requires her to use every ounce of her energy. This means she spends limited time out of bed daily and only leaves her room a few times a week for appointments she feels are most crucial to maintaining her well being. She has never missed her scheduled weekly appointment at the Social Work Center in over 10 years unless she was ill.
Since I began working with Karen, income and food have been two major hurdles for her. Although she is eligible for SSI, she refuses to apply because she doesn’t have the strength to commit to the long, laborious application process. Instead she choses to live on a pittance amount of savings she managed to put away when she was able to work as a peer counselor. When she turned 62, she finally applied for Social Security retirement, but only receives $300 per month from this benefit.
This year’s Penny Pitch raised nearly $80,000 to support San Franciscans living in poverty. Emceed by KNBR‘s dynamic duo “Murph & Mac,” the contest featured 36 teams vying for the coveted Penny Pitch trophy. Congratulations to veteran players Media Allstars for taking home the gold!
It was early on a Wednesday morning when I received a call from Mary about her mother, Teresa, one of our long-time volunteers in the Dining Room. Mary is usually available to take Teresa to her volunteer shifts, but couldn’t do so this day. She explained that Teresa, who is in her 80’s, values her weekly volunteer shift so much that she refused to miss it, even if her ride wasn’t available. “Mom feels a strong obligation to the people she serves at St. Anthony’s,” Mary explained. “She loves serving the guests in the Dining Room because she knows they need her, and being there to serve them is a big part of what keeps her going.” read more…
About 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, 7 million of whom are children. According to the American Lung Association, Asthma is a chronic and life-threatening disease for which there is no cure. In 2010, asthma attacks resulted in 2.1 million emergency room visits. Attacks like these take the lives of several thousand Americans each year. This is especially tragic when it comes to a manageable condition like asthma.
Clinics can serve to prevent many asthma-related emergency department visits through health maintenance and patient education. Our Clinic hosted Asthma Day 2015 to provide critical asthma medication updates and to empower patients through interactive education tailored to their condition. read more…
Adnan & Sarfraz, both in the US less than a year, both living in SF as pre-novices in the local Augustinian Community, and both serving as volunteers in St. Anthony’s Dining Room two days a week are united in their view that St. Anthony’s is a loving place.
Sarfraz left his native Pakistan about 6 months before Adnan to pursue his vocation into the priesthood of the Augustinian Community. “My mother once told me that I was ‘born to serve’.” Adnan, also feeling called to the priesthood was encouraged by Sarfraz to join the Augustinians. “I thought I was coming to give” Adnan exclaimed, “but it was I who received!” Only three days after his arrival in San Francisco, Sarfraz brought Adnan with him to volunteer in the Dining Room. Sarfraz confirmed his friend’s admission that he used to be a very shy and quiet person. (What?!?) How does this transformation occur? Sarfraz and Adnan agree that the guests feel truly loved and respected here: “They’re not coming just for the food! They know they are respected.” When asked what he received, Adnan responded: “Love; respect; friends!” read more…
Every day (365 days a year), we serve approximately 2,700 hot, nutritious meals to people in need in our bright and spacious Dining Room. But these aren’t your average mass-produced cafeteria meals. These meals are carefully planned ahead of time to utilize the food donations we receive along with the inventory we order to cook a quality menu for our guests. This menu is planned a month in advance, which works well not only for internal planning purposes, but also allows for our guests to see what’s being served ahead of time.