Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Faithful Fools Come on Board

SF CARES has a new collaborator!  We are delighted to announce that the Faithful Fools are now a formal collaborator with SF CARES.  They say of themselves:

The Faithful Fools Street Ministry was founded in 1998 when the ministries of the Rev. Kay Jorgensen and Sr. Carmen Barsody, OSF converged in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.

Today the Faithful Fools learn and educate through engaging in relationships with people everywhere on the economic spectrum, from those who are poor and/or living outside to those who are housed and wealthy.    

Walking and working together people of privilege and people who are impoverished help one another bridge gaps and shift perceptions that inhibit personal and social change. We work to build community by breaking through boundaries that separate us, such as economic power, religious beliefs, class, race, gender, ethnicity, and together we discover what connects us.

Our programs include Educational Street Retreats in the U.S. and Nicaragua for individuals and groups from schools, universities, civic and faith-based organizations; Daily accompaniment of individuals living on the streets, in residential hotels, and people struggling with mental illness,  depression, addictions and isolation from all walks of life; Meditation four mornings a week; Somatic Experiencing (SE) a practice that is aimed at relieving and resolving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems; Arts program which includes monthly poetry readings and film nights, a textile hat workshop, a gallery to exhibit people’s visual art, and sponsoring publications of poetry anthologies of the people in the Tenderloin and beyond; Advocacy through participating in the Community Advisory Board of Tom Waddell Clinic that serves the homeless population, helping coordinate the Tenderloin Health and Safety Fair and serving as the fiscal agent for that event, and serving on the Board of the Welcome Ministry, as well as advocating for services and just policies before the City Supervisors; Internship and Field Ed site for seminarians, social workers and community advocates.

Do you find yourself wanting to take a deep breath at the end of that last paragraph?  I did.  Yes, they really do do all that.  And do it well.  And with deep caring and good humor.  Stop by at 234 Hyde one day and see for yourself.  Come meditate, or for the Bible study Tuesday morning or the writing group Tuesday afternoon, or for a one day street retreat on the third Saturday of most months.   I guarantee you won't regret it.  The rest of we here at SF CARES are tremendously excited to welcome such an active, vibrant organization into our collaboration as we continue to expand our circle of care in San Francisco.