4th Annual Tsanitary Tsunami Drive

  Take a moment—consider what your life would be like without hygiene products. Unimaginable! Believe it or not, many homeless and low-income women in our community do not have access to feminine hygiene products. These items are requested at food pantries and shelters, yet organizations often do not have enough in stock. All women deserve access to basic feminine hygiene items, period. You can help! GOAL We need 1,000 boxes/packages of pads/tampons by Wednesday, March 8th, International Women’s Day. GET IT Organize a drive in your office, school, organization, or with your family and friends to: Gather feminine hygiene products and drop them off or mail them to St. Anthony’s. Buy the products online with our Amazon Wish List and ship them directly to St. Anthony’s. Donate to this initiative and we’ll buy the products for you. BRING IT Drop off/mail donations to: Attn: Tsanitary Tsunami St. Anthony Foundation 150 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102   For any questions, contact...

A Closer Look at a Difficult Problem

When asked why people addicted to drugs use them in the street, St. Anthony’s guest Sandra looks incredulous. It’s the worst option, she says, but “if you don’t have any other place to do it, what can you do?” Sandra has been visiting the Dining Room for more than fifteen years. It has been a beacon of stability in a turbulent life on the streets. She is a likeable, approachable and intelligent person who is keenly aware of the toll that drug abuse has taken on her, her friends and her community. When passers-by see addicts use drugs, she says, they are “seeing someone at their lowest point.” “That’s the last of your dignity. To be out there in front of everybody…it’s bad enough living day-to-day, when people already frown on you, that just really puts the icing on the cake.” For some years St. Anthony’s has monitored contentious proposals to take drug use off the streets and into facilities where addicts can receive advice, access medical help, counseling and more. Dining Room manager, Lydia Bransten, is clear that, while we can never support drug use, those who use drugs must be supported. Her interest in harm reduction was piqued after a visit to a trial program in Vancouver where, officials say, so-called ‘safe injection sites’ have brought fewer deaths from overdoses and improved public safety. “I was also struck,” she said, “that, by offering users a place to go, it allows people at their lowest ebb to maintain their dignity.” Why do drug users want to come off the streets? “Because it’s safe,” says Sandra, “and it’s private – most people don’t...

A Journey to Sobriety and Stability

Meet Michael C—a man in recovery after a longtime addiction to drugs. His story: My first experience with St. Anthony’s was when I was homeless. I would come here and eat. I was like a ghost. I was embarrassed I was getting food given to me. I’ve been with the Fr. Alfred Center for 13 months. Living in the program gives you time out in your life where you can really focus on things you need to work on. My use of meth and my ability to lie to myself allowed me to break into offices to steal  whatever I could find to support my habit. I finally got caught and I was scared. I was given the opportunity to go through drug court. They take all of your charges and they’ll excuse them. The financial aspect of it, they’ll get rid of it for you. I went through the Father Alfred Program because I was homeless and I needed a place to live. They offered me a live/work environment. The first phase is about 60 days long. You are really getting used to sleeping again, eating regular meals and having a place to call your own. When you start going through that process, you start remembering things, and you start having to deal with the things you’ve done in your past. I worked through the detritus of my life, all of the people I’ve had in my life that I’d hurt, and all the bad things I’d done. I started working more closely with individuals, my peers as well as my counselors, and really listening to the message that...

Caring at Christmas

Christmas is a time of festivities and appreciation of family, friends, and life’s blessings. At St. Anthony’s, we try to make sure our guests feel connected and contented over the holidays too. Our Christmas celebration brings our tight-knit community together – here, everyone is welcome to join our table and eat a delicious meal in a warm, dignified environment. This year we teamed up with the Indiana Hoosiers football squad to pass out gifts, serve meals, and share stories with our guests. Christmas lunch this year included chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato pie, and hot chocolate. One of our guests, Leah, said, “At St. Anthony’s, Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s like your family doing something for you because they know you don’t have a lot of money.” Thank you to everyone who helped make this celebration possible for our...

Join St. Anthony’s Young Professionals Council

Living in San Francisco, poverty is something we see first-hand on a daily basis. At the cross-section of the city’s bustling financial (FiDi), commercial (Downtown), government (Civic Center), and tech (upper SOMA, mid-Market) neighborhoods is San Francisco’s poorest neighborhood, the Tenderloin. Witnessing our own neighbors unsure of where their next meal will come from, lacking access to clean bathrooms, or living in tents on the street is heartbreaking and eye-opening, and we invite you to take action with us. SAYPC is a group of creative and passionate 20- and 30-somethings from diverse backgrounds who volunteer their time and skill sets to extend the mission of St. Anthony’s by changing the conversation around poverty and engaging a new generation of Bay Area residents on how they can have a direct positive impact on homeless & low-income San Franciscans. In a little over a year, we’ve built from the ground-up a self-governing council that has produced initiatives like: -A series of social, educational and fundraising events -A robust content strategy that leverages the voice of a new generation -A deep connection with St. Anthony’s advocacy efforts -Creative volunteer programs -And more—we’re excited to hear your ideas.    We’re looking for people to help us propel these efforts to the San Francisco mainstream, making SAYPC a voice for homelessness and poverty and the de facto resource for Bay Area residents seeking information and opportunities to engage. Writers, designers, developers, tinkerers, public servants—everyone has a unique background and skill set that will add tremendous value to our group. If you’re passionate about your local community and are craving more involvement, join us: We’re tackling...

Back(pack) to the Future

Shoutout to our Young Professionals Council for bringing 25 volunteers together to help us prepare for our best #BackToSchool Day ever. The group helped transform our Community Room into a special shopping experience for nearly 200 low-income students who will join us tomorrow to pick out brand new backpacks, school supplies, books, tops, bottoms, coats, socks, shoes, underwear, and $50 Old Navy gift cards. We hope every child leaves here feeling like their future’s so bright, they’ve gotta wear shades. Check out photos from the event here. For info or to get involved with our YPC, email...