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Nurturing Hope and Stability: Germaine Bond’s Vision for Women’s Services at St. Anthony’s

May 30, 2024

We are thrilled to spotlight Germaine Bond, the Women’s Services Manager at St. Anthony Foundation, whose dedication and passion has transformed countless lives. Germaine’s journey into social services began early, driven by her experiences and her passion to make a difference.

Germaine’s path began at 19 when she worked with Operation Contact, a youth family center in the Western Addition. As a teenage mom, Germaine was determined not to become a statistic. She put her education on hold to immerse herself in the professional world, ensuring her children saw their mother as a resilient and hardworking individual. “I wanted more for my kids and refused to be part of the statistics of a black single mom raising two kids,” she shared.

Over the years, Germaine held various positions in social services, each contributing to her growth and leadership. From working in foster homes and group homes to leading the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA branches, her career trajectory was marked by a commitment to helping those in need. “In every position, folks saw me as a natural leader,” Germaine recalled, a testament to her innate ability to inspire and guide others.

One of Germaine’s most significant achievements was opening a YMCA branch in Bayview-Hunters Point, her childhood neighborhood. This initiative provided essential resources to a community in desperate need and reflected her deep-rooted commitment to giving back. “We didn’t have those resources growing up in Hunters Point. It was a proud moment to help open a branch there,” she said.

Her journey continued with roles at organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, where she rebuilt trust within communities and turned around underperforming clubs in San Francisco. “My success was knowing the stakeholders of the community and showing up every day with consistency and commitment,” she explained.

At St. Anthony’s, Germaine leads the Women’s Services Program, focusing on advocacy and comprehensive support for women and families. Her role here is different from past roles in that she gets to build a program from scratch that meets the unique needs of women facing homelessness and domestic violence. “This position allows me to put my fingerprints on a ‘startup’ program for St. Anthony’s, which is already well known for many things,” she noted.

Germaine’s passion for her work shines through in her interactions with clients. She emphasized the importance of making genuine connections and providing stability without judgment. “My role is to listen, embrace, and help individuals get to where they need to be, based on their terms, not mine,” she explained. This approach fosters trust and encourages clients to return, knowing they will be met with respect and support.

One story that stands out to Germaine is that of Anika, a young mother fleeing domestic violence. St. Anthony’s provided her with essential services, helped her move from a shelter to permanent supportive housing, and supported her through workforce development. Anika’s success is a testament to the impact of the foundation’s comprehensive and compassionate approach. “We walked her through some really tight moments and provided the mental and emotional support she needed,” Germaine recalled.

Despite the excellent services St. Anthony’s provides, the biggest challenge remains securing shelter for women and children. “We offer essential services like meals, showers, and clothing, but the immediate need is always shelter,” Germaine emphasized. To address this, she envisions developing a program at St. Anthony’s that would extend temporary shelter stays from the 14 days that the city currently provides, to 28 days as a referral from St. Anthony’s. This would provide a stable environment to allow clients the space to navigate a complicated system towards more permanent solutions.

Looking to the future, Germaine’s vision for Women’s Services at St. Anthony’s is ambitious. She hopes to create a space that offers on-site programs tailored to women’s needs, such as yoga classes, drop-in childcare, and regular group therapy sessions to help women gain the confidence to move forward, providing a safe and supportive environment for mothers and their children. “We want to be known for providing women with excellent services towards stability,” she said.

As she reflected on her journey, Germaine saw her role as part of a larger purpose. “Every day, I reminded myself it’s not about my preference but God’s purpose. I’m here to do this work for a greater reason,” she shared.

Germaine’s story underscores the critical need for community support. “Women carry the load for everything. By supporting programs like Women’s Services at St. Anthony’s, you are investing in the stability and future of entire families,” she asserted. Her message to potential donors is clear: investing in women’s services has a far-reaching impact, helping women overcome challenges and contribute positively to society. Women typically reinvest up to 90% of their income into their families, compared to 30-40% for men, which leads to improved health, education, and well-being for children.

Germaine Bond’s dedication and vision for Women’s Services at St. Anthony Foundation highlight the transformative power of compassion, stability, and genuine support. “Germaine Bond is an invaluable asset to St. Anthony’s. Her leadership and unwavering commitment to empowering women and families have profoundly impacted our organization. We are incredibly fortunate to have her guiding our Women’s Services Program, and her vision and dedication continue to inspire us all,” said Juliana Terheyden, Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer at St. Anthony Foundation.

Consider helping St. Anthony’s continue this vital work and support women in their journey towards a brighter future by giving today.

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