It has been an exciting and busy start to the new year for City Hope. I am happy to say that our new two-year transitional sober living house is now fully occupied with 26 residents. The residents are amazing and inspiring people who are now leading and expanding our programming at the community center. The City Hope House and City Hope Community Center are working hand in glove to serve our most vulnerable homeless neighbors and build a stronger healthier community in the Tenderloin.
I recently had an experience with a guest at the community center that filled my heart with gratitude. It was during a Saturday morning community breakfast where a small group of volunteers had cooked a delicious meal. The room was humming with activity when I noticed one man sitting against the wall with tears in his eyes. I stopped and asked what the problem was, thinking he was upset.
He pointed to one of the volunteers and said, “You see that lady. She’s talking to that homeless guy and that guy doesn’t talk to anyone. You see that guy (pointing to another man) that guy is a drug dealer, and he’s sitting there talking to that lady. Everyone here is just eating and everyone is happy, everyone is at peace. Everyone is just at peace right now and I’m just happy to see this. Thank you for doing this. We need this. This is special.”
I was blown away. What I thought were tears of anger or frustration turned out to be tears of gratitude and joy. It was a beautiful moment; one of many that I’ve shared with our neighbors. As director, I often get to receive these moments of gratitude from our neighbors and my response is to say to them, “Thank you, thank you for being a part of what we’re building. We can’t do it without you.”
And now I say the same to each of you. The community that we’ve developed at City Hope is so very special. It’s not easy, but it is beautiful. It takes a lot of faith and vision, and it doesn’t happen without respecting and trusting in our neighbors.
It also takes a lot of support. Thank you for supporting the work God is doing in and through City Hope. We can’t do it without you!
City Hope Community Center:
45 Olive Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
PO Box 641049
San Francisco CA 94164