City Hope has always held firm to the belief that no one belongs on the streets - a vision as true now as when we began. For the past 8 years, it has been an honor to pursue this vision alongside Sally Steele, our Co-Director. Thank you, Sally, for your dedication to City Hope, your investment in our vulnerable Tenderloin neighbors, and your commitment to help steer the ship through a pandemic and more. I know you will do amazing things in your next endeavor- you will be missed!
City Hope’s journey continues, and this year we celebrate City Hope: You Belong Here. Our Tenderloin neighbors belong here, as they seek relationship and connection at our meals and in our café. Our volunteers belong here, connecting with our guests and learning compassionate service. Our City Hope House residents belong here, as they pursue recovery and restored lives. Our generous supporters belong here, as they invest in our relational approach in the face of the grim reality of marginalized housing. We all belong here.
In this season of change and growth, I will resume the role of Executive Director. I am excited by the depth and commitment of our Board and staff, and I am thrilled by our growing programs and community partnerships. Most of all, I am thankful for our community, for your continued support and encouragement. We are all eager to see what is next, and I am grateful to have you on the journey with us.
After almost 8 years with City Hope I have decided to explore other opportunities. I am so grateful to all of you for the ways you’ve supported me and City Hope over the years, and I’m proud to have overseen so much of City Hope’s growth. This has been an exciting journey - I'm proud of the impact we've made, the relationships we've built, and the incredible City Hope team that makes it all work.
I often talk about that first visit to what would become the Community Center because it is so imprinted on my mind, that shell of a building with the potential to be a space of belonging for the community, this space that now holds so many of my memories. I remember (not so fondly) all the construction and (much more fondly) the community listening sessions as we planned out City Hope’s programs. I remember our staff first moving into the office space and the joy of our vision becoming reality. I remember those first meals served as we welcomed in the community and figured out how to make it all work without a full commercial kitchen.
And I rejoice at all the good that has happened since those early days: the opening of the City Hope House and the Café, the ways we’ve intentionally grown and invested in our team, and our resilience while wrestling with a global pandemic, questions of justice and equity, and the realities of becoming our own organization (all at the same time, because why not?). City Hope is now so much stronger than we were and I know that there is more to come.
City Hope is an amazing organization with engaged volunteers and supporters, wonderful staff, and a dedicated board. I'm excited to witness and cheer on the next stage in City Hope's growth, knowing that under Paul’s continued leadership, City Hope will remain a place of trusted community and joy, of welcoming faces and amazing meals - a place where everyone belongs. Truly, a vision of the beautiful community.
Peace and grace,