St. Anthony Foundation, In Partnership with Providence Foundation of San Francisco and the City of San Francisco, Dedicated and Blessed the Kaplan Family Oasis Shelter
October 26, 2023
Father Alfred Boeddeker, Founder, St. Anthony’s once said, “In order to keep love, you have to give it away.”Yesterday, St. Anthony Foundation, Providence Foundation of San Francisco, the City of San Francisco, and the Kaplan family celebrated the power of love and collaboration with the joint grand re-opening of the Kaplan Family Oasis Shelter.
The celebration featured speakers including St. Anthony’s CEO Nils Behnke, Mayor London Breed, Providence Foundation Executive Director Patricia Doyle, and Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Executive Director Shireen McSpadden. St. Anthony’s Director of Mission, Carlo Fiatarone, served as the event’s emcee, and St. Boniface Church’s Father Sam Nasada and Interfaith Council Executive Director Michael Pappas provided a meaningful blessing to conclude the ceremony. Supervisor Dean Preston, a representative from Supervisor Catherine Stefani were also in attendance to mark the special occasion.
Additionally, attendees heard a moving testimonial from former Oasis guest and mom Ladaysha Atkins who has since found permanent housing for her family. “Without your work, I was not sure what would happen, where I’d go, and what the future would hold, after losing my son and becoming homeless. Now I have hope that I can do anything to support my family.”
“We’re here to celebrate what is right and good about our world and San Francisco,” said Behnke. “We’re also here today because we’re on a mission from God. This mission is not only to support those who are most vulnerable and in need of our help, but also to help them sustainably find a way out of the cycle of poverty, homelessness and abuse that too many people have experienced literally for generations.”
“Thanks to the work of activists and the generosity of the Kaplan family and St. Anthony Foundation, the Oasis has been acquired permanently for homeless women and families,” said Supervisor Dean Preston. “Words cannot describe the joy I feel with this announcement.”
The Oasis shelter, a 59-unit property and former motel in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, served as a temporary home for women, children, and homeless families. Previous owners of the Oasis expressed interest in selling the property, threatening to displace dozens of families and putting the property in danger of shuttering.
Through the generosity of the Kaplan Family Trust and the St. Anthony’s Board of Directors, St. Anthony Foundation agreed to purchase the Oasis shelter, and partnered with Providence Foundation to continue to operate the facility and provide case management services, with funding from the City of San Francisco, in a landmark deal for the next nine years. The deal marked a demonstration of non-profit organizations, the city and partners like the Kaplan family joining together to uplift families experiencing poverty and homelessness.
“How everyone came together to make this project possible was extraordinary,” said Mayor Breed. “I want to thank the Kaplans for their extraordinary generosity. We would not be here were it not for the Lord putting this project on their hearts through St. Anthony’s to make this possible. This is how God works; this is how we make magic happen for people and for families.”
View the Oasis event here.