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St. Anthony’s Golden Gate Greenway Project Awarded $200K in City Funding


Press Contact:
Sally Haims | Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
SHaims@stanthonysf.org | (415) 254-5884

Funding goes towards Phase 1 of the project, parklets for public space improvements in the Tenderloin

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (February 23, 2023) – St. Anthony Foundation, committed to providing pathways to stability for thousands of San Franciscans in need annually, announced city funding in the amount of $200K for Phase 1 of the Golden Gate Greenway project.

The Golden Gate Greenway project aims to permanently close the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue, between Leavenworth and Jones Streets in the Tenderloin district for the purpose of a permanent neighborhood green space. In December, the project was included as part of the Tenderloin Community Action Plan (TCAP), a voting process for neighborhood residents and workers to fund specific initiatives to improve the quality of life for Tenderloin residents and the community. The Golden Gate Greenway received 360 votes for the approval of the $200K in funding.

The voting results and this subsequent funding shows the community supports and knows the value of this project. Phase 1 is the start of the process that is going to bring positive change to the Tenderloin where the block will become a  welcoming hub for events, neighborhood gatherings, and outdoor activities for families, children, and individuals,” said Nils Behnke, CEO of St. Anthony Foundation.

“Open spaces like the Golden Gate Greenway are already occurring in other neighborhoods throughout the city, so this project in the Tenderloin is drastically needed. Along with the coalition, we continue to work closely with city departments, including Shared Spaces, to make each phase of this project into a reality and look forward to the green light for the full project.”

Spearheaded by St. Anthony’s, the Golden Gate Greenway project also brings together a coalition of 20 non-profit organizations, including eight other partners that operate on the same block along Golden Gate Avenue – Lutheran Social Services, De Marillac Academy, St. Boniface Catholic Church, Wu Yee Children’s Services, Mercy Housing, Boys & Girls Club, Larkin Street Youth Services, and 826 Valencia, as well as several others not located on the block including the Tenderloin Community Benefit District and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Phase 1 of the project incorporates three parklets along the north end of the block, closing off the street to regular vehicle traffic, but keeping the block safely open to pedestrians, bikes, deliveries to businesses along the block, and occasional activities and events.

The Golden Gate Greenway is a long overdue step to bring cleaner air, more community space, and all the other benefits of green space to the Tenderloin. I commend St. Anthony’s Foundation, Mayor Breed, and the entire coalition for their work bringing this project to fruition.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)

The $200K in funding is from Mayor London Breed’s $3.5M investment set aside in the city’s budget specifically for the Tenderloin neighborhood. As illustrated by the Golden Gate Greenway project, the funding goes toward promoting a safer, cleaner and more engaged neighborhood.

“We are proud to work in coalition with our longtime partner, St. Anthony Foundation, to create vibrant community spaces that will support the health, safety, and connectedness of Mercy Housing residents and our neighbors in the Tenderloin,” said Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California.

One of the most densely populated and diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Tenderloin is home to approximately 30,000 residents and an estimated 3,500 children. The neighborhood spans Geary Street to the north, Market Street to the south, and Van Ness Avenue and Mason Street to the west and east respectively.

There should be no more delays on the Golden Gate Greenway, a project that has overwhelming support from the community. Kids in the Tenderloin deserve safe, open, green spaces to play just as much as kids anywhere else in the city. We will continue to advocate to move this project forward by extending the street closure times and insisting on full implementation without further delay.

San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston

The block first closed to regular vehicle traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and social services shifted outside for many organizations that operate on the block. During that period, the street closure allowed the organizations to host Covid-19 testing, outdoor voter registration, and Play Streets tailored to the children in the neighborhood. Currently, the block remains closed to regular vehicle traffic between 6 am – 3 pm, however, moveable barriers are in place if vehicles need to get through for emergencies, donations, and drop-off and pick-up deliveries.

Construction of the three parklets of Phase 1 is expected to begin later this year. As the project evolves, additional phases will be incorporated over time, with the hope that the project will be fully complete by the end of 2024.

“Phase 1 is only the beginning of something truly special,” said Behnke. “It may be a long and lengthy process, but the Golden Gate Greenway will transform the Tenderloin neighborhood. The space has the potential to be a green oasis that will benefit the community physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Our Vision for the Golden Gate Greenway

Home to 30,000 residents, including an estimated 3,500 children, the Tenderloin is one of the most diverse, culturally rich neighborhoods in San Francisco. It is also one of the densest, with heavy traffic congestion and little in the way of green, open space. We want to change that.

The pandemic forced social service organizations like St. Anthony’s to move operations out onto the street. We were able to do so with a temporary block closure on Golden Gate Avenue, between Leavenworth and Jones. Turning crisis into opportunity, we’ve used the space to serve the community even more effectively than before, hosting neighborhood events such as outdoor voter registration, Covid-19 pop-up testing, and Play Streets for children.

Our time outside has also allowed us to imagine what the block could be with a permanent street closure: a green oasis in the heart of the Tenderloin that would benefit the community physically, mentally, and spiritually. Send a letter of support for the Golden Gate Greenway to the Mayor here.

About St. Anthony Foundation

In the Tenderloin’s struggle with poverty, addiction, and mental illness, St. Anthony Foundation has been a beacon of consistency, companionship, and caring for more than 70 years. We provide our guests with a range of services—from a place to rest or take a shower, clothing, and addiction recovery, to meals, medical care, and workforce development. At St. Anthony’s, we take a different approach, one that delivers meaningful results — Hope. Stability. Renewal.

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