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 the San Francisco community, especially those that visit St. Anthony’s Free Clothing Program, these shopping trips are simply not a financial reality. According to data from 2014, 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.
Say you have a job interview, but no clothing that is suitable. What can you do? You might visit St. Anthony’s Free Clothing Program. There you would find shirts, pants, suits, jackets and all the things you need to look sharp for that big interview.
All donations at St. Anthony’s are carefully quality-checked to ensure that the garments you receive will make you look and feel your best. But what if your only dress shirt had a spot on the arm and you had no choice but to wear it? You might try to cover the spot up with a jacket, or hold an arm in front of it and hope the interviewer wouldn’t notice. Would you feel somehow less confident, less on par with the other applicants? Would thinking about hiding that spot prevent you from selling yourself—from being self-confident?
Twice a month, new employees from Salesforce come to volunteer at our clothing program and they are asked this very question. Having just gone through the interview process, they all agree that having clothing that it is somehow “less than” other candidates would hamper their ability to interview successfully.
Salesforce volunteers work tirelessly in our Free Clothing Program sorting and organizing donations. We depend on their hard work and team spirit to provide quality clothing to our guests. We were delighted to receive 5 large boxes of nearly 500 crisp new dress shirts, along with stylish work bags. A huge thank you to Salesforce volunteers who understand the power a new white shirt has to change lives.
Our Young Professionals Council brings together their passion, skills, and networks to elevate the essential support St. Anthony’s provides every day.
Last weekend, their first-ever volunteer event brought 50 young San Franciscans together for a crash course in all things St. Anthony’s: our history, our values, our services, and most importantly, our guests.
The group kicked off the day with a justice education orientation, learning about the Tenderloin neighborhood and the population we serve. They then headed out to volunteer in our Dining Room and Free Clothing Programs, followed by tours of the rest of our Golden Gate campus, including our Medical Clinic, Technology Lab, Social Work Center and prep kitchen.
Thank you all for sharing your time and talent with us! Check out photos from our YPC’s day of service here.
St. Anthony’s works every day with people who can’t vote because they’re not registered.
Why? The registration process itself can be intimidating and confusing – and many homeless guests worry that their lack of a permanent place to live means they can’t vote.
This election season we want to sign-up the entire St. Anthony’s community. We need your help.
Our volunteers will staff voter registration tables in the dining room: answering questions and signing people up to vote using online and paper applications. All volunteers benefit from a short, informative voter registration training that outlines the basics needed to get started.
The registration drive will run each Wednesday and Saturday during our peak hours of 10.30am to 12.30pm. The process is strictly non-partisan – we’re excited to register anyone and everyone who is eligible to vote!
If you’d like to get involved please sign up for our one-time training session by contacting Josh Messick at jmessick@StAnthonySF.org or registering at the link below.
Volunteers will attend a training and voter registration shifts will be scheduled afterwards.
Sign-Up for Voter Registration Training
Priya, a dedicated volunteer in our Dining Room, is also a professional economist. When she arrived in the US in the spring of 2014 she was shocked by the poverty and inequity she witnessed in San Francisco: “You can’t NOT see it!” Within two months of her arrival, Priya began volunteering at St. Anthony’s. In addition to the Dining Room, she’s also volunteered in our Free Clothing Program, at our annual Curbside Donation Drives, and most recently—in our Emergency Winter Shelter.
Indeed, how can anyone not see how people are struggling to survive? Nevertheless, a painfully obvious poverty is too often ignored or viewed as an eyesore to be swept away. Priya has a website dedicated to revealing “the Hidden America”, but “there’s only so much one can do by reading and writing. You need to get out and meet people.” And therein lies the hope. read more…