If you walk by 750 Ellis any weekday morning, you’ll be drawn into the City Hope Café! This is where we welcome the Tenderloin community to enjoy a free warm latte or cup of coffee, and where they can relax to catch up with friends and even community providers over a house-baked pastry or granola in our beautiful Community Living Room space. Sometimes organizations are holding workshops in the back, sometimes guests are helping with our garden or helping each other, sometimes staff are catching up with guests while practicing their latte art. Our safe and caring atmosphere draws people in day after day, and we are so proud to extend our hospitality to the community.
At every City Hope gathering, we are committed to personalized service and high-quality food. We serve over 200 guests a week in our new Café, so our baristas are busy and our coffee supply has to be big. And in San Francisco, coffee is a big deal. As a nonprofit coffeehouse, how can our baristas offer the very best coffee to our guests?
Business partners make it happen! Two very generous local coffee companies, Verve Coffee Roasters and Saint Frank Coffee, keep us supplied with enough beans to offer high quality coffee every day. Their partnerships with City Hope show what committed businesses can offer to the community - their coffee brings the Tenderloin together at our Café. We are so grateful for the ongoing donations from Verve and Saint Frank, and are proud that the City Hope Café can offer their industry-leading coffee.
Giving back to our communities is a crucial thread of Verve's brand ethos - whether it's at Farmlevel where we give back to our farming partners at origin, or in the communities and neighborhoods where we serve our customers here. It is with profound humility that we contribute to the important work of City Hope Café. Fostering community by way of moments shared over coffee - this might be the most important work of all that we can create together. Thank you, City Hope Café, for allowing us to be part of this incredible program.
Experience our donors’ coffee in person
City Hope House is a welcoming place of restoration for our residents in recovery.
City Hope’s annual May Month of Giving Campaign - You Belong Here! With your help, we hope to raise $400,000 to deepen our connections in the Tenderloin through the City Hope Center, House and our new Café
You Belong Here - if you are a volunteer, supporter, resident, or guest - together we have created City Hope, where everyone belongs.
City Hope’s annual May Month of Giving Campaign - You Belong Here! With your help, we hope to raise $400,000 to deepen our connections in the Tenderloin through the City Hope Center, House and our new Café.
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,
Back in June, I was overjoyed. The vaccine was being administered throughout San Francisco and City Hope was reopening! No more food line, no more to-go meals, no more double masking. Finally, we could welcome our guests inside, offer them a seat, a warm, plated meal, and give them a big hug!
But then...not so fast. As news of the variant spread, we at City Hope realized we needed to rethink our operations once more. It felt like a punch in the gut, but we needed to ask the question once again, “For the safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers, do we return to serving all of our meals outdoors?”
The answer soon became clear when the SFDPH and Mayor of SF, London Breed, issued the Safer Return Together Health Order for San Francisco. Vaccinated San Franciscans were still able to dine indoors, so we decided to offer the same opportunity to our guests. In August, we pivoted to a hybrid model--guests that can show proof of vaccination are welcomed to dine indoors, while those who cannot, are offered a to-go meal.
This hybrid model of serving free meals certainly comes with its challenges. For one, it has created more work for our program staff and volunteers. Chef Justin Gabbert once again increased the amount of delicious meals in to-go packaging while Program Manager, Jacey Massetto devised a new system of service. Our vaccinated guests would be prioritized first and would be seated and served one hour before we began delivering our to-go meals. When serving those who experience the trauma of homelessness, you never want to create a barrier to service, but we felt this was the best course of action.
One positive result of the hybrid model has been that it has created a “membership has its privileges” type of atmosphere. Now our guests who have vaccine cards quickly jump the line and proudly show us their vaccine cards. Of course, not every person is happy about or understanding of this new model, and we often have to remind them that this is part of a city-wide policy, that we will still serve them a great meal, and that they can get vaccinated.
In fact, they can get vaccinated at City Hope. City Hope will host a vaccination team from the San Francisco Department of Public Health to administer shots on September 29th and October 6th during our Movie Night Dinner. A free meal and a life saving vaccine--that’s an amazing combination!
In all of these efforts, City Hope takes another step forward. Diligently working toward and patiently awaiting the day in which ALL of our guests are welcomed back inside and offered a place at our table. We certainly could not do this without your commitment to volunteer, your financial support, or your encouragement. Thank you for moving forward with us!
Pastor Paul Trudeau
Co-Director, City Hope SF
, Dear Friends,
This time of year usually marks a season of transition, yet transition seems to be all we’ve known for the past year and a half. Every time we settle into a new way of being, things shift and we are called to adapt and get comfortable with - or at least try to survive - the unknown.
What does back-to-school look like? Back to the office? What if we’re mourning the loss of loved ones, homes, jobs?
At City Hope we’ve all wrestled, as individuals and as an organization, with many of these questions and the confusion they bring. Yet even as we adjust to the quickly changing mandates and regulations, as we worry about the health of our guests, as we name and mourn our losses of the past year and half, at City Hope we are choosing to lean into this season of transition for all the hope that it holds.
The hope that comes from having a meal with a City Hope guest; the hope that comes from connecting with our team, even if it’s over video call; the hope that comes from knowing we’ve faced a lot together and have made it through.
As we look forward into this season, City Hope is exploring new partnerships and is excited to launch the City Hope Café in the early Fall. We’re also focusing on staff health, understanding more than ever the importance of social-emotional health. We’re improving our operations and administration (like a good AC unit, it’s the work no one sees or feels unless it stops working!) All of this is going to set City Hope up for sustainable growth and enable us to walk alongside our community in deeper ways for years to come - through joyful times and in tough times. This past year has shown us we can do this.
This season will also be a time of transition for me personally. My husband and I are expecting our fourth child in September, so I’ll be on maternity leave through the fall. We’re a small organization and therefore really feel it when someone needs to step away but we have an amazing team and board, and I’m excited to see all they’ll do in this season.
How about you? What does this season of transition look like for you? What do you need to name and mourn? What can you hold onto in hope? What does it look like for you to share that hope with others?
As always, we’re grateful that you’re part of the City Hope community and that we get to enter this new season together.
Peace and grace,
Pastor Sally Steele, Co-director at City Hope
"Come on in..."
Those were the words that greeted our guests on June 16th, as we reopened the City Hope Center. It was a joyful event. We were finally able to offer our guests a seat at a table that was adorned with flowers and candles. Our volunteers offered our guests a menu and presented a delicious meal on a plate! Reopening the City Hope Center has been terrific. Since that evening, I’ve been reflecting on what we’ve learned about our organization and our community:
Though this work can be overwhelming at times, there isn’t a day that I am not extremely grateful for reopening City Hope. Thank you for being a part of what we do. And if you are willing to join us in volunteering, “Come on in” to volunteer…or give.
Co-Director Rev. Paul Trudeau
With the recent (belated) society-wide recognition of Juneteenth, we are being collectively presented with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of - and actions towards - liberation and belonging. Now is a time for us to assess the ways we are helping to liberate and the ways we are hindering that liberation, consciously or not. We do this in part by understanding the history of Juneteenth but we must not stop there. The Crunk Feminist Collective recently wrote that liberation is episodic. That is, it hasn’t happened in one fell swoop and in fact it is still in process. Black America (and therefore all of us) is still not fully free. The question becomes, then, how do we - as individuals, as a community, and as an organization, City Hope - help further this process of liberation?
City Hope has always been an organization that seeks to center people and stories in their fullness. As I think of how City Hope can honor Juneteenth as a celebration of liberation, I start to dream of ways we can more boldly articulate both the particular manifestations of injustice in our community as well as the hope that comes from continuously creating a genuine space of belonging with our most marginalized neighbors. In seeking the liberation of others there’s a place for our City Hope values of making sure everyone is welcome, respected, and celebrated.
This is an honoring of Juneteenth in a microcosm. There are bigger societal and legislative moves that must happen for true liberation to take hold and to become the norm. I strongly encourage all of us to look at those pieces, to consider the history of Juneteenth (then, through today and beyond) and the ways that political will, socio-economic power, and beliefs in superiority intersect to keep people in bondage. Yet looking at our microcosms is also important, and so I encourage us to interrogate our particular spaces and see how we can seek liberation there as well. How do we make space for others to be fully free - to be their full and true selves, to have equity in access and opportunity, to have an equal say in the crafting of the space itself? What needs to be removed? What needs to be added? In what ways do we ourselves need to change?
These are all complicated and multifaceted questions. And yet we can’t claim to honor Juneteenth without asking them. We can’t whitewash this holiday and truly celebrate it. Hard questions must continue to be asked. And this demands that we hold onto the hope that real change can be made, that liberation is possible and coming.
We’re making our own steps towards liberation here at City Hope and, as always, we are grateful to be on that journey with all of you.
Peace and grace,
We are kicking off our annual May Month of Giving!
This year our ambitious goal of $350,000 will help us better care for our neighbors and finish out this second difficult year, strong!
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, City Hope has been highlighting the work of the wonderful women who make up our team. While I look forward to a day when there’s no longer a need for Women’s History Month, a day when not only our contributions to the world but our very presence is valued, embraced, and recognized year round, for now the month of March provides space to look ahead and not only envision it, but plan for that future.
Reflecting on my own leadership journey, one lesson that stands out to me is how liberating it’s been to find and use my voice. This has been difficult given that our society (i.e. our schools, faith communities, and workplaces) routinely assesses leadership ability by its proximity to male characteristics. Often as women, and especially as women of color, we’ve been instructed to shape-shift, to make our voices smaller and take up less space. And yet this makes belonging - and genuine leadership - impossible.
It is for this reason that my favorite City Hope value is ‘Listening Well’. Listening cultivates belonging. It says, “I am committed to seeing you, to hearing you and believing you, to learning from you. I will make room so you can be who you are.”
When I think of Women’s History Month I think less of the past and more about how we can get to that place of belonging for all women, in all spaces. The most rewarding part of my current role as Co-Director of City Hope is being in a position to create that space of belonging, especially for those whose voices have historically been minimized. For me this looks like investing in their professional development, providing opportunities to cultivate their voice and leadership, and intentionally creating more equitable work policies and structures.
What can you do in your spaces - big or small - to create belonging for women, for women of color, for queer and trans women? And if those words describe you, what do you need in order to feel like you belong? What does it look like to unapologetically voice those needs?
If COVID has reinforced anything for me, it’s that life is incredibly precious. Not just in a general sense but in the specifics. Your everyday life matters; you deserve to live it in a space of belonging. Now is the time to find your voice and your space. Now is our time as a society to make space for women to truly belong, everywhere. This Women’s History Month let’s look ahead together. Today is the day we can start shaping a future of belonging.
Peace and grace,
Co-Director, City Hope
It has been a week since we witnessed the violent insurrection on Capitol Hall. In that time we have learned more about the coordination and calculation of the terrorist attack. We learned of the lives lost and damage done.
When we look beyond the star spangled facade we find the truth. Our democracy is under attack by fascist racists fueled by white supremacy. And sadly this is nothing new. This is America and we need to do something about it. We know we need justice. We know we need system-wide change. On a day like last Wednesday it was hard to know what I personally could do to enact any kind of change. Then, I headed to City Hope.
That night, I gathered with a team of volunteers to serve a hot meal to our friends on the street. On such a disturbing day I was especially grateful for the opportunity to do good. As we gathered, we prayed and gave thanks for having more than enough food to serve, for our physical ability to serve, and we asked that God’s love be expressed through our words and actions.
City Hope is a place where we come together to prioritize the needs of the marginalized. It is a community of compassion that welcomes all of our neighbors, no matter what they are going through. It is a community where people who have often been left behind by our society know their voices will be heard and their presence will be celebrated.
One of my favorite roles at City Hope is to walk the line and serve our neighbors a rich cup of coffee or a hot cup of tea. In those moments, I see the hope and joy in their eyes and I am reminded that we are called to a greater purpose. We are called to love and serve our neighbor. This is our act of resistance. Together we can do so much good. Thank you for joining us in this goodness and thank you for supporting City Hope.
Co-Director of City Hope