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!
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.
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.
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 guests!
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.
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 heySAYPC@gmail.com.