Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dreaming Big

The partners that collaborated to form SF CARE have over 200 years experience between them working indoors and out, day and night, providing nourishment for body and soul for San Franciscans. We’ve worked to help the most vulnerable residents of San Francisco, especially those with mental health issues, to improve their quality of life.

Between our three comprising bodies, we currently:

· -feed many people in a respectful environment each week at several different times and locations

· -provide middle of the night non-judgmental pastoral care and crisis intervention

· -hold a variety of worship services (four of them outside) each week

· -grow a bounty of fresh produce to give away

· -distribute socks, blankets and other necessities

· -provide service referrals.

Sounds like a lot, huh? But we were doing all that before SF CARE came to be and we’re dreaming big about what we can do together that none of us can do on our own. A piece we’ve been mostly lacking individually is advocacy to change the conditions that leave people in need of our services in the first place.

Ok, in the near term it’s small things. We’ll be launching a GED preparation class this fall. We’ve got a training coming soon to train volunteers to accompany people living outside and in SRO’s to their many appointments. We’re hoping to launch a theater of the oppressed in the spring.

Down the line we’ll be advocating for some real policy changes to make substantial improvements in the lives of many in the City. Things like more family shelters, having TB vaccinations and trauma care available in shelters, access to services that promote healthy living for those living on low incomes, a raft of changes in how SRO’s are managed, and more public seating and restrooms to name a few on our list.

And we are dreaming big. How about a universal Pre to Three program? Or universal head start? How about truly affordable housing? Policies that improve the employment rate for trans folks?

See something in the list that’s near and dear to your heart? Something that you’d like to make happen? Do you have experience teaching, sitting patiently with people, changing the world? Give us a call at 415-673-3572 or drop us a line at sfcare@saintpaulus.org to find out how you can be a part of the dream.

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