Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In the News: SF Bay Times

Opera Superstar Frederica Von Stade to Sing Street Requiem in Support of Homeless Choir 

reposted from:  http://sfbaytimes.com/opera-superstar-frederica-von-stade-to-sing-street-requiem-in-support-of-homeless-choir/

operaladyFamed mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade will join with a mass chorus of singers and chamber orchestra in two California premiere performances of Street Requiem by Australian composers Dr. Kathleen McGuire, Andy Payne, and Dr. Jonathon Welch AM. Other vocal soloists include Blake Quin, Ilyas Iliya and Mark Jackson.
This week, it was also announced that Street Requiem has been selected as a semi-finalist in the professional choral composition division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. (For more information, see http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com.au/2015/08/composer-semi-finalists-2015-choral.html)
McGuire, who is well known to Bay Area audiences having led the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and others from 2000 to 2013, will return from Melbourne, Australia, to conduct Street Requiem on Saturday, August 29, at 7:00pm at Old First Presbyterian Church at 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, and on Sunday, August 30, at 2:00pm at the Congregational Church of San Mateo, 225 Tilton
Avenue in San Mateo.
The concert is a benefit for Singers of the Street (SOS), which McGuire founded in 2010. Now led by Ashley Moore and a project of Welcome, SOS is a choir of San Franciscans who have experienced, or are at risk of, homelessness. Its mission is to raise their voices for justice, healing and joy. SOS will open the concert and will also sing with the mass choir in Street Requiem.
opera2Street Requiem provides a musical opportunity for us to mourn not only the homeless who have passed away, but also our own frustration that there are still so many homeless individuals living in streets and shelters,” said the Rev. Megan Rohrer, Executive Director of Welcome. “Beyond a one of a kind concert experience, audience members can also celebrate that the price of admission enables homeless individuals to heal and express themselves for years to come.”
Composed in 2014, Street Requiem has already received international acclaim. Music critic Wayne Lee Gay (Dallas Magazine) said: “A remarkable, unique and beautiful work…an unfailingly engaging cantata. The religious texts were constantly questioned, but with an effect that produces transformation rather than blasphemy. The audience is never let off the hook: in the final movement, the chorus intones, as if to remind those who observe suffering are as much in need of divine intervention and guidance as those who suffer directly: ‘Given them peace. Give us peace.’”
Street Requiem is a 40-minute multi-movement cantata scored for choirs, soloists, and chamber orchestras. It aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance, and hope to communities struggling with homelessness, poverty, war, hate-crime and street violence. The work is neither secular nor religious, but is intended to be spiritual and includes English and African lyrics, as well as traditional Latin texts. While at times deeply moving, the work is optimistic and uplifting, and employs Gospel, Celtic, neo-Romantic, neo-Baroque, and contemporary compositional styles and instrumentation to reflect the multicultural and multi-faith traditions of modern city living.
opera
McGuire said, “Street Requiem provides an opportunity to mourn those we’ve lost—often ‘nameless’ on our streets—and to protest the tragic injustices we witness every day. These are global issues, but we can each make a difference, one by one. Ms. von Stade’s generous participation is a testament to the importance of this project and the wider cause.”
Ms. von Stade will be joined on stage by a mass choir including singers from The Choral Project (San Jose), the Chancel Choir of the Congregational Church of San Mateo, singers from CREDO (Dallas, Texas, who performed the U.S. premiere in January), and Singers of the Street (San Francisco). Accompaniment will be provided by members of the Community Women’s Orchestra, and Carl Pantle will play piano.

Rehearsals led by Stephanie Lynne Smith, Grace Renaud, Daniel Hughes, Dana Sadava, Dr. Jonathan Palant and Carl Pantle are currently underway in San Francisco and San Mateo; singers wishing to participate should visit: trybooking.com/IEJK
Tickets for Street Requiem range from $15–$50 and are available online at http://streetrequiem.blogspot.com/p/tickets.html or by calling (415) 731-1305. All proceeds benefit Singers of the Street.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Press Release:





Holiday Event Provides Glasses for Homeless San Franciscans

SF CARES and Project Homeless Connect (PHC) are hosting an event on December 19th from 12-4pm at Old First Presbyterian Church (1751 Sacramento St near Van Ness) to provide prescription eye glasses and other health opportunities for low income and homeless individuals.   Additional monthly Health and Vision Events will be hosted at Lutheran congregations throughout San Francisco with the goal of giving away 1,200 pairs of prescription glasses by December of 2014. 

"Glasses make it possible for individuals to fill out job and health forms, read for pleasure and tangibly improve their lives," Pastor Megan Rohrer, of SF CARES, remarked, "We hope our event will help people build with a relationship PHC’s Every Day Connect Resource Specialists, who will follow up with participants after the event to help them continue to improve their quality of life."

“Collaborating with like minded partners in caring those who are vulnerable is the common sense means of being effective.  As for us, loving the neighbor in the best way possible is our goal,” said Pastor Daniel Solberg, of SF CARES.  “We are excited to partner with the city, local businesses and other San Franciscans to do our part to help those who are homeless and in need.”

Services expected to be provided include: eye exams and prescription glasses, portraits, free lunch, books and toiletries, flu shots for individuals with Medicare (provided by Walgreen’s), nurses for asking questions and other health related services.

"We hope this project will inspire others to do what they can to help people experiencing homelessness and hunger  in San Francisco," said Emily Cohen, Director of Programs and Project Homeless Connect.

SF CARES is a collaboration of St. Paulus Lutheran Church, The Night Ministry, Welcome and the Faithful Fools Street Ministry; all faithful organization who are working together in order to increase our ability to help the underserved in San Francisco.  We are particularly passionate about providing opportunities, resources and support for individual who are poor, homeless, formerly homeless and experiencing mental health or brain disorder issues.  

Project Homeless Connect’s mission is to connect homeless San Franciscans 
with the care they need to move forward. PHC
’s Every Day Connect  works directly with those seeking services, seven days week, 365 days a year. The purpose is to connect those in need with the appropriate providers and hard-to-access resources they need to move forward toward their goals.

Contact Information:
Pastor Daniel Solberg, 415-673-8088, Solberg@saintpaulus.org
Pastor Megan Rohrer, 415-827-2587,
megan@welcomeministry.org
Emily Cohen,  855-588-7968, Emily.Cohen@sfdph.org
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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Press Release: SF CARES Thanks the City of San Francisco for Hosting LGBTQ Connect


SF CARES thanks the City of San Francisco, Bevan Dufty's Housing, Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE) Office and Project Homeless Connect (PHC) for hosting the LGBTQ Connect on October 7, 2013 at the LGBT Center.  LGBTQ Connect will both help LGBTQ individuals continue connecting to services that can help them find more stable housing and provide an opportunities for the organizations who serve the LGBTQ community to work with the Department of Public Health's programs and help expand the continuum of care.

"Many LGBTQ individuals come to San Francisco believing it will be safer and more welcoming than their hometown or families" said Pastor Daniel Solberg, of SF CARES. "Projects like LGBTQ Connect will help to stabilize individuals who underestimate the cost of housing or the costs of their health care and medications, and how long it will take to find a job."

Pastor Megan Rohrer, a transgender member of SF CARES, remarked, "The LGBTQ homeless are undercounted and underserved in San Francisco and we are delighted that this particularly vulnerable population is getting some much needed care and attention."  

Services expected to be provided at LGBTQ Connect include: vision, dental, legal, DMV reduced fee vouchers, STI testing, housing services, employment, youth services, senior services.

"With all the negativity about the homelessness in San Francisco, we want to make sure that people pay attention when something inspiring and hopeful is happening," said Solberg.

SF CARES is a collaboration of St. Paulus Lutheran Church, The Night Ministry, Welcome and the Faithful Fools Street Ministry; all faithful organization who are working together in order to increase our ability to help the underserved in San Francisco.  We are particularly passionate about providing opportunities, resources and support for individual who are poor, homeless, formerly homeless and experiencing mental health or brain disorder issues.  
Related News Links:
Contact Information:
Pastor Daniel Solberg, 415-673-8088, Solberg@saintpaulus.org
Pastor Megan Rohrer, 415-827-2587, megan@welcomeministry.org

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Homeless Vision Project Needs Your Support




Support The Project Here

Moved by biblical stories that restore sight and the ways the vision can improve the quality of life, work prospects and health of homeless and low income individuals, the Homeless Vision Project will create vision events in 10 cities across the United States and enable at least 400 individuals to obtain prescription glasses by the end of 2014.

This project not only helps fix a tangible barrier between many individuals and employment, it enables homeless folk to hear "yes" and have a good experience with local service agencies. Often times this helps individuals who have been chronically homeless for a decade to learn about the ways that support systems have approved and accept the help they may have previously rejected.

One of our events will take place on the Big Island of Hawaii where native Hawaiians are 4x's a likely to have diabetes. Our vision care will not only help 40 individuals obtain free prescription glasses, but also screen for ocular diseases and degeneration.

Locations will be chosen based on the need in the area, the ability to partner with congregations and non-profits who will follow up with the individuals after the event, alignment with other programs led by Welcome and the locations of donors (any city or region with donations of $2,000 or more will become a site of a vision event).

Click Here to Support the Project

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vision Event a Success

Reposted from the Project Homeless Connect Blog:

EDC Vision Event


Photo by Jamey Thomas, 2013
One of the things we’ve been excited about lately is the expansion of services within our Every Day Connect program. With this new program and its growing capacity, we’ve been able to focus our efforts on helping people locate important resources, not only through daily, one-on-one assistance, but through small-scale events. This year, one of the focuses for these small events is vision. At the end of February we were thrilled to collaborate with UCSF, LensCrafters’ OneSight program, and St. Paulus Lutheran Church to provide prescription glasses for 18  participants.
While vision might not be the first thing you think of when you’re imagining critical services for the homeless, it only takes a moment’s reflection to realize just how crucial sight is to so many aspects of our lives. Whether you need to read a lease or government forms, help your children with their homework or perform basic job duties—being able to see is at the forefront of pretty much everything we do.
As Sandra, one of the participants at the Vision Event put it, “I was embarrassed before I got glasses. I always needed help reading things in stores and filling out paperwork. I felt frustrated and misunderstood, like people thought I was stupid.”
With her new pair of glasses, though, Sandra immediately felt more capable and motivated.
I never thought about getting a job [before getting glasses]. But now that I can actually see, I want to do something more with my life. I feel like I can do anything now.

–Sandra, EDC participant
Sandra went on to explain that she plans to take some computer classes to sharpen up her skills and then begin her job search.
This is already the second Vision Event since EDC began in October 2012, and we’re not lacking in ambition for 2013. We know that a pair of glasses truly can change a person’s life, and we’re grateful for all your support as we continue to help people improve their lives.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Volunteers Needed at the Hospitality Hour Program at St. Francis Lutheran Church

 
A partnership of St. Francis Lutheran Church and Welcome in San Francisco, The Hospitality Hour Program serves breakfast every Sunday at 7:30am to the homeless and hungry living in the Casto/Duboce Triangle Neighborhood.  

Why this Meal is Important? 56% of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco do not have enough food to regularly take their medications.  For many HIV+ individuals, their food insecurity are due to limitations on income that are a part of local and state health care requirements.  The Hospitality Hour provides breakfast and hospitality to some of the most vulnerable residents of San Francisco.


How Can You Help? Individual and group volunteers are needed every Saturday from 9:30am-1pm to sort food donations and prep food and every Sunday from 7:30-9:30am to serve food, eat with guests and help us clean up.  You can help once, annually, monthly or weekly.  Let us know your coming or simply join us at St. Francis Lutheran Church (152 Church St.) Volunteers need to push the button marked "parish hall" on the front gate to enter the building.  

Ready to start volunteering?  Email sfcares@welcomeministry.org and let us know you're interested in volunteering at the Hospitality Hour on Saturdays and/or Sundays.

Want to learn more about this and other opportunities to volunteer at SF CARES programs?  Fill our our Volunteer Information Form and will help match you to available opportunities.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hosts Needed at the Friendship Banquet


A program of St. Paulus Lutheran Church in San Francisco, The Friendship Banquet serves a restaurant quality three-course-meal every Tuesday at 4:30pm to individuals living with HIV/AIDS who make a reservation each week.  

Why this Meal is Important? 56% of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco do not have enough food to regularly take their medications.  For many HIV+ individuals, their food insecurity are due to limitations on income that are a part of local and state health care requirements.  The Friendship Banquet provides restaurant quality meals and hospitality for some of the most vulnerable residents of San Francisco.

How Can You Help? Hosts are needed to prepare a three course meal for about 45 guests.  You can sign up to help once, once a year or once a month.  Groups bring the ingredients and cook or heat prepared food at St. Mark's Lutheran Church (where the meal is served).  If you're interested in hosting a meal, but costs are a barrier, the SF CARES volunteer coordinator can work with you to get many of the ingredients for the meal donated.  

Ready to host a meal and want to set up a date?  Email sfcares@welcomeministry.org and let us know you're interested in hosting a Friendship Banquet.

Want to learn more about this and other opportunities to volunteer at SF CARES programs?  Fill our our Volunteer Information Form and will help match you to available opportunities.