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St. Anthony Foundation to Co-Host Sunday Streets in the Tenderloin on June 4


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

Partnering with Livable City, the family-friendly event shows the benefits of car-free, safe community spaces like the Golden Gate Greenway project

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (May 24, 2023) – St. Anthony Foundation, committed to providing pathways to stability for thousands of San Franciscans annually, will be collaborating with Liveable City to host Sunday Streets on the Golden Gate Greenway for the Tenderloin neighborhood on Sunday, June 4 from 12 pm – 5 pm. The free event will be held along Golden Gate Avenue from Hyde to Jones Streets.

An initiative of the non-profit Livable City, Sunday Streets SF are festive events that empower local communities to transform miles of streets into pedestrian-only spaces for children to play, seniors to stroll and neighbors to connect. Celebrating its 15th year, Sunday Streets begins at the end of May and spans until mid-October in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Sunday Streets offers free recreational activities, health resources, local vendors, music, dance, and more.

For its milestone year, residents of all ages are invited to celebrate together on the Golden Gate Greenway by enjoying an array of fun activities including:

  • Dunk tank
  • Climbing wall
  • Mobile dental clinic by UCSF
  • San Francisco Fire Department fire truck
  • Food trucks
  • Live music from multiple local bands on an elevated stage
  • Interactive fun for children – face painting, chalk for street art, bubbles, youth lounge, and more
  • Circus performers from Circus Center, stilt walkers
  • Photo booth
  • Sports – basketball, cornhole, soccer
  • Mobile bike repair
  • Plant-potting and greening of the block
  • Community information booths from nonprofits, including details about the Golden Gate Greenway project and a social justice fair.
  • Contests, giveaways (including San Francisco Public Library book giveaway), and prizes

While St. Anthony’s is co-hosting the event with Livable City, several organizations are also participating in the Sunday Streets event, including the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC), the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), Glide Memorial Church, Circus Center, Tenderloin Community Benefit District (TCBD), San Francisco Public Library, Tenderloin Museum, Street Soccer USA, De Marillac Academy, Wu Yee Children’s Services, 826 Valencia, Code Tenderloin, Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT), Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC), San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, Friends of the Urban Forest, and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

“The Tenderloin is one of the most diverse and densely populated neighborhoods in San Francisco and includes more than 3,000 children. Open spaces like Sunday Streets on the Golden Gate Greenway promote positive community engagement and safety for residents,” said Nils Behnke, CEO of St. Anthony Foundation. “Sunday Streets proves exactly why the Golden Gate Greenway is needed and so vital for the well-being of the Tenderloin. One uplifting project can create a domino effect leading to long-term positive change.”

“The Tenderloin faces tough challenges right now, but this is the kind of bold community leadership we need to turn things around. The Golden Gate Greenway is vitally important to bring events like Sunday Streets and other joyful community events to a neighborhood that deserves it,” said Scott Wiener, State Senator (D-San Francisco).

Led by St. Anthony’s, the Golden Gate Greenway would permanently close the 100 block of Golden Gate Avenue as a Slow Street, between Leavenworth and Jones Streets in the Tenderloin district to provide a safe open green space for the Tenderloin community. The initiative is overseen by a coalition of 20 non-profit organizations, including eight that operate on the same block – 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 like the Tenderloin Community Benefit District and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

“Sunday Streets and the Golden Gate Greenway provide a safe, community-oriented space for the families and children of the Tenderloin. De Marillac Academy sees great benefit to expanding access to green spaces in the neighborhood, and we appreciate the efforts of many people and organizations who make this possible,” said Theresa Flynn Houghton, President, De Marillac Academy.

“It’s so hard to create safe, welcoming community spaces in the Tenderloin.  We are thrilled that the Golden Gate Greenway is going to creatively meet that need,” said Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California.

In February, St. Anthony’s announced the foundation received $200k in funding toward the construction of Phase 1 of the Golden Gate Greenway project. This past December, the project received 360 votes 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.

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. Construction of the three parklets of Phase 1 is expected to begin later this year.

“We are thrilled to be a part of a community in the Tenderloin dedicated to creating safe, accessible spaces for youth. We look forward to connecting with our neighbors, students, and families on the Golden Gate Greenway,” said Bita Nazarian, Executive Director, 826 Valencia.

“I’m proud to support car-free spaces across our City, particularly in neighborhoods most lacking parks and open space. Sunday Streets is a fantastic program that transforms our streets into thriving, pedestrian-friendly spaces for exercise, recreation, and community-building. This kind of re-imagining of public space – whether for a day, a weekend, or longer-term – is needed now more than ever,” said Supervisor Dean Preston.

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.

About Sunday Streets

Sunday Streets is a program of the nonprofit Livable City, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the Shape Up SF Coalition. Additional City support comes from San Francisco Public Works, Department Recreation & Parks, Police Department, SF County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and her offices, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

About Livable City

Livable City is dedicated to increasing affordable housing, improving transportation, land use, open space, environmental policies, and supporting grassroots initiatives to make San Francisco a safer, healthier, and more accessible city. For more information on Livable City, visit LivableCity.org.


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