Interview With Shari Roeseler And Fr. John Hardin

Shari Roeseler is a respected leader in the nonprofit sector, having worked extensively with Mercy Housing California, a key provider of affordable low-income housing programs in California, over the last ten years. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Resource Development, and was responsible for all the California fundraising for the well known national non-profit.

“We are thrilled to have Shari Roeseler lead St. Anthony Foundation into the future,” noted Deputy Executive Director, Linda Pasquinucci. “As we ramp up to building an up-to-date Dining Room, Shari’s leadership, development expertise, and passion for serving the poor will enable St. Anthony’s to continue to meet the needs of San Francisco’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Last Week’s 36th Million Meal At St. Anthony Dining Room

Last week St. Anthony Dining Room served it’s 36th Million Meal. As the San Francisco unemployment rate soars to 12.5% and more people are in need of a hot meal, St. Anthony’s continues to offer sustainably managed, healthy and filling meals 365 days a year at an average food preparation cost of 44 cents per serving. This conscious recipe of food reclamation and resource management, recycling and composting is essential to St. Anthony’s everyday sustainability, and exemplifies sustainability.

A True Holiday Feast

If there one thing that St. Anthony’s serves up 365 days a year, it is the connection between food and community. In the St. Anthony Dining Room, people rely on the social connection almost as much as they do a hot, healthy, filling meal. Almost.

Today we celebrate a little known tradition at St. Anthony’s: The staff holiday meal. This year, as the last few years, the meal is being hosted and prepared by Tom Saber, our neighbor at Al Sabeel Masjid Noor al-Islam mosque.

Tom says it is not a thank you for loaning him our kitchen during Ramadan, when our Muslim brothers and sisters fast in order to be reminded of all of of our hungry neighbors, but a gift of thanks for the work that is done here 365 days a year serving the hungry in the neighborhood we share: The Tenderloin. All we can do is say thank you, and bless you Tom and our wonderful community.

Carving Turkeys In The Tenderloin

SAN FRANCISCO, CA The sound of revving engines will be a call to start carving turkeys on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 when the Hells Angels come to St. Anthony Dining Room to help out for one of St. Anthony’s biggest days of the year. And on Thanksgiving Thursday the historic nonprofit will serve more than 3,500 turkey dinners to the poor and homeless; even Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is stopping by to lend a hand.

“With the economy in the state it has been the last 2 years, we anticipate many more people will be spending Thanksgiving at St. Anthony’s,” noted St. Anthony’s Interim Executive Director Linda Pasquinucci. “We are very thankful that more volunteers and donors are coming through the doors as well, because we have never needed them more.”

In conjunction, St. Anthony’s 22nd annual curbside donation drive is kicking off on Saturday November 21st at 9am, where clean, cared-for warm clothing, canned or dried bulk foods, and monetary donations can be dropped off to St. Anthony’s “donation valets”. As more and more people turn to the 59-year old non-profit for basic necessities as a result of the current economic crisis, the support from everyday citizens is needed.

For 59 years St. Anthony Foundation has provided free, life sustaining support for the poor and homeless. St. Anthony Foundation’s programs help heal individuals and families by providing a gateway to solutions to poverty, including a Dining Room which serves 2,600 meals every day, an Employment Program/ Technology Lab, Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program, and a Free Medical Clinic. St. Anthony Foundation does not accept any federal, state, or local government money, and is entirely funded by private donations.

Homeless Veterans Turn To St. Anthony’s For Help on Veterans Day

VA Institutes 5 Year Plan to End Homelessness, but Homeless Veterans Still In Need Today

While some may be attending parades or taking a day off to honor veterans, many veterans themselves will be spending Veterans Day struggling to secure food and housing. From 10:30am-12:30pm, representatives from Swords to Plowshares, the Veterans Health Administration, and St. Anthony Foundation will be reaching out to homeless vets who are in need of support and assistance. In addition to information on programs and services that are available, veterans will also receive rain ponchos, beanies, Kleen Kanteen bottles, and hygiene kits.

One of every three homeless men in America has served in the armed forces and every night an estimated 131,000 veterans sleep out on the streets, according to the Veteran Administration. About 25% of those who turn to St. Anthony’s Dining Room are veterans who rely on free meals to sustain them. Swords to Plowshares currently serves approximately 1,500 veterans in the Bay Area regardless of length of service, branch, or military discharge status.

Last week the VA unveiled their 5-year plan for preventing homelessness among vets. Some of the highlights of the plan include connecting vets to local service providers, more access to permanent and transitional housing, and services to address mental health needs.  Next year the department plans to spend $3.2 billion on programs, up from last year’s budget of $2.8 billion.  But all three organizations acknowledge that strong partnerships between government, private, and non-profits will be needed to close the needs gap that veterans face.

“It is the hope of our three organizations that by working together we can be of service to the veterans that have sacrificed their physical and mental well-being to serve their country. We all see every day how great the need is,” noted St. Anthony Foundation Interim Executive Director Linda Pasquinucci.

The San Francisco VAMC Downtown Clinic is a comprehensive center for homeless veterans, offering on-site and immediate medical, mental, and social work assistance.

Swords to Plowshares’ mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans.

Since 1950 St. Anthony Foundation has addressed root causes of poverty with compassion. St. Anthony Foundation’s programs offer gateways to escaping poverty by addressing immediate and long term needs. St. Anthony Foundation does not accept any federal, state, or local government money, and is entirely funded by private donations.

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