Germaine Bond, Manager of Women’s Services, Powers a Key to Unlocking the Full Potential of the Women in New Program
June 20, 2023
Within her first couple of weeks in her new position at St. Anthony Foundation, Germaine Bond is already going to-and-from meetings. Her calendar is routinely filled. Building out a new program brings a lot of excitement, but takes a lot of work.
As our new Manager of Women’s Services at St. Anthony Foundation, Germaine Bond will conceptualize and build out the new program from the ground up.
Currently, St. Anthony’s offers our guests one of the most complete portfolios of direct social services in San Francisco: Dining Room, Free Clothing Program, Resource Center for social services, Medical Clinic, Tenderloin Technology Lab, Transitional Employment/Workforce Development program, Hygiene Hub, Community Safety Services (CSS), St. Clare’s Care, and the Father Alfred Center addiction recovery program.
Our Father Alfred Center program, in particular, is a free, year-long residential addiction recovery program specifically for men. The program has been well-established for years and has proven results, with several graduates who are currently employees, some in managerial roles within the foundation.
During recent years, a long-term vision of St. Anthony’s was to establish and develop a program for women, one offering services tailored to women that leads to similar success stories. It wasn’t until last fall when the vision for a women’s program became a clear possibility. A highly skilled professional was needed to lead the new Women’s Services program, and Germaine came on board in May.
“I want to get to know the women we are currently serving. I also want to extend our reach to serve women we have not touched. This will include having conversations with more women in our community to understand their needs. I understand there are a variety of obstacles that are real for the women we support and wish to help. As a result, I need to be tactful in my approach to reaching them, which includes serving in the many programs we hold every day in order to reach them. This will require me to listen to their stories and build trusting relationships. Women Services is committed to providing women who have been neglected for ages with the help and support they need. I want to inspire and empower them to take control of their lives and make transformative change that lives inside of them,” said Bond.
Bond emphasizes a key analogy, a sign that is displayed outside of her office – “The Power of a Key: Housing is a human right. The Power of a Key influences wholeness, dignity, belonging, safety and enhances the quality of life for the most vulnerable. The Power of a Key unlocks stability. A Key to a home gives Hope. I, Germaine believe in the power of a Key.”
“The power of a key unlocks and transforms the life of a woman, a mother, but also her children. This is especially true for women in marginalized communities, as access to resources, education, and economic opportunities often depends on having a secure home. With a key, these women and their families can unlock unprecedented possibilities and create a better future for themselves.
“We will offer a space where women feel welcome, their children feel welcome, and a space that is trusted. A space without shame and blame. Our environment will be a place without judgment, but with dignity, love, and hope. A safe, supportive space where women can discover and rediscover their strength, purpose, and gain the confidence they need to achieve their life-changing goals. A place to be their most authentic selves.”
Homelessness in San Francisco traces back decades and impacts every demographic, including gender. According to a recent survey from our Dining Room, 77 percent of guests were men. While most of our programs serve everyone (and people in need of a meal is universal), women experience homelessness very differently, even more severely if they have children. Our Free Clothing Program as one example allocates time slots specifically for family service from 1pm-4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
The new Women’s Services program will further address the un-met needs of women and their families. Services will include primary and specialty medical care, mental health treatment, workforce development, life management skills, support and navigation for benefits, access to childcare through partnerships, and resources toward permanent supportive housing among others, in an effort to provide full integrated care.
“The larger vision for Women’s Services is for them to thrive in a robust, consistent, committed, place of dignity,” said Bond. “You’re welcome here. You’re seen here. We’re celebrating you, and celebrating with you your key to whatever door that you’re going for.”
As Bond and the St. Anthony’s team remain hard at work to establish the roots for Women’s Services, plans are already in motion with exciting announcements to come in the near future.