Every Other Month: July 2016

Wild night at the 31st Annual Art Auction

Crowd gathers in front of the Community Arts Program

Crowd gathers in front of the Community Arts Program

Under a crimson canopy erected in front of the entrance to Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program (CAP), the buzz of anticipation and curiosity whirled among the crowd of people lined up on the Market Street sidewalk. “What’s all this?” asked a passer-by clutching his street-scuffed skateboard. “Art auction,” someone answered, “It’s going to be a crazy night!” He lowered his skateboard and nodded twice gazing at the vibrant collection of artwork exhibited in the CAP’s gallery windows.

For the first time in the 31 years of the event, Hospitality House’s Annual Art Auction took place inside the CAP’s studio. The early June event was wildly successful raising over $90,000 for Hospitality House’s community programs. “Despite the logistical challenges of a new location, we more than surpassed our fundraising goals, ” says Allan S. Manalo, Hospitality House’s Development Director, “And we got to celebrate here at CAP, at home. I am thankful to so many people who helped put this evening together.”

A lively live auction as bidders show their numbers.

A lively live auction as bidders show their numbers.

Founded in 1969, the Community Arts Program is the only free-of-charge fine arts studio that offers neighborhood artists an outlet for creative self-expression and cultural connectivity that would otherwise be unattainable due to economic inequities and social barriers.

Auctioneer Patrick Walsh takes bids on a piece by artists Chad Hasegawa

Auctioneer Patrick Walsh takes bids on a piece by artists Chad Hasegawa

The live auction portion of the evening took place inside the CAP studio, featuring twenty-two striking pieces of artwork created by such celebrated local artists as Clare Rojas, Chad Hasegawa, Jeff Roysdon, and Jennifer Starkweather. The bidding was brisk between an enthusiastic crowd of collectors, community workers, tech employees and art lovers. “I need to raise my bid number quicker. Timing is crucial,” laughed a determined bidder, “Tick tock!”


Silent auction in full swing

Silent auction in full swing

The Luggage Store Gallery, which co-hosted the event, provided its third floor space for the silent auction.  More than 200 people browsed artwork donated by over 100 local and neighborhood artists, many of whom regularly use the resources available at the CAP.  The bidding in the silent auction was just as lively as the session downstairs.  “This piece is popular, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed,” said a hopeful bidder as she kept an eagle’s eye on the numbers filling up the accompanying bid sheet. Just then, she was outbid. Like the quick draw of a gunslinger of the Wild Wild West, she placed her number on top again. “I will always have my pencil ready!”


Honorary Host, Bevan Dufty speaks about art and Hospitality House

Honorary Host, Bevan Dufty speaks about art and Hospitality House

Ava & Jasmine Sullivan volunteer as silent auction monitors

Ava & Jasmine Sullivan volunteer as silent auction monitors

Special thanks to all of our volunteers, our gracious sponsors including Zendesk, our media sponsorHoodline, our wonderful Art Auction Planning Committee, our Honorary Host Committee, the participating galleries, our beverage sponsors (thank you Future Bars), our framing partners, and of course, all the talented artists who donated artwork to make this year unforgettable. Most of all, thank YOU for an amazing evening! Check out photos of the event on our facebook page here and don’t forget to tag yourself.



Meet Abigail Headrick

[photo by Leslie Rabine]

Meet the newest member of Hospitality House’s Leadership Team: Abigail Headrick, Employment Program Manager.

Abigail worked at the Hamilton Family Center in San Francisco as a Residential Counselor as well as a case manager for supportive housing in the Mission District. She spent a couple of years in Guatemala working with communities in advancing their own goals of self-determination. She then spent two years in Spain pursuing a Masters in Social Policy where her thesis examined the importance of financial independence specifically for immigrant women and women of color as a mechanism to remain safe from violence.

She is passionate about financial and economic empowerment by giving people the tools and knowledge to create their own pathway to self-sufficiency and believing in her role to assist them. “What people need to know about me is that I am ready to go over and beyond in supporting folks in achieving their goals – no judgments, no pressures, and no agendas other than your own.”

After returning to the Bay Area about a year and a half ago, she was hired to lead Hospitality House’s newest program. She was drawn to the organization’s guiding principles and approach to building community; first and foremost, Hospitality House’s peer-based model. “The greatest way to impact change is when someone has a lived experience. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve studied, what degree you have, I think a lived experience is the most valuable perspective.” she affirmed.

She also values how Hospitality House really prioritizes building strong relationships within the organization and the community and how these relationships are embodied on every level. She is impressed by the comprehensive approach of all six programs. Although each program has a very different objective, “they complement each other in a way that really does empower the community.”

One other thing she feels is unique about Hospitality House is its work in community organizing and advocacy. “We offer both direct services, which is essential for the community; life saving and empowering services. The other side is advocacy, systems change; not just impacting change every day with one individual, but impacting change on a large scale through policy.”

Abigail’s goals for the Employment Program is to continue building and strengthening relationships with other agencies as to not duplicate services and work closer together. She would like to make more connections with employers in order to bridge gaps in understanding the dynamics of the Tenderloin populations, and to create more programming on a regular basis beyond hiring events.

“I would love in the future to have ongoing computer assistance, mock interview assistance, creative writing for interview and cover letter assistance. I want to ensure that the Employment Resource Center continues to be an open space where folks receive individualized support. Being a job seeker can be daunting – I want you to know that your personal experiences speak incredible depths – we are here for you.”


Abigail discuss strategy with Employment Case Managers, Miguel Oaks and Tiffany Jackson [photo by Leslie Rabine]


A New Mural in Clarion Alley

Over the past three months, Community Arts Program (CAP) staff and neighborhood artists have collaborated with the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) to speak directly to a rapidly gentrifying San Francisco.

Envisioning the potential for a mural began last March when CAP participants, staff, and community artists decided together that the mural must be reflective of a diverse San Francisco and Hospitality House’s core values of Community Power, Resilience, Dignity, Mutual Respect, and Self-Determination.

CAP staff Robert Chambers designed the mural and led participating artists into the five-day painting project in mid-June.  The result is Clarion Alley’s newest mural proudly declaring that “We all deserve a healthy and safe community.”


Stages of creating a community mural [Photos by Emma Fenton-Miller]

Come join us as we celebrate the CAP’s new mural along with the unveiling of a new mural by the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP) on Friday, July 22nd at Clarion Alley off Valencia Street in the Mission District. Festivities will begin at 6:30PM with live music, spoken word performances, dancing, organizing and having a blast!


A Journey of Discarded Yesterdays…

[A version of this story will be appear in the San Francisco Chronicle on July 20th.]


Thirty-four years ago I was homeless, broke and nearly broken on the streets of San Francisco. A lifetime ago, but never that far away. Thankfully, I think, I’ve never known the struggles of drug addiction. But I have known loneliness. I’ve known heartache.  I’ve known what it means to cry myself to sleep at night. And I’ve known the desolate emptiness from not having a place, any place, to call home.

A couple of wrong turns, a misplaced compass, and one day you realize that your boulevard became a cul de sac. So many nights – and even some days – I wasn’t sure if closing my eyes would ward off my invisible demons, or unleash them. There is a stark, unshakeable truth to being homeless: having ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE to welcome stillness, not knowing – often trying to forget – the comfort and reassurance that four walls can bring. An overwhelming emptiness consuming the core of what it means to simply belong somewhere. Belonging is what it means to be human. Being. That stark reality may be difficult to fully grasp by someone who has not experienced it.

I remember one day walking so much I was afraid if I stopped, I wouldn’t be able to move my legs again. I remember interminable nights sitting for hours in the old Jack In The Box at 7th and Market Streets, meticulously nursing a single cup of coffee, avoiding eye contact with the security guard. I remember early mornings climbing into a truck with 10-12 other wandering souls, delivering advertising circulars all over the Bay Area, towns like Sebastopol – seemingly with one house every ten miles. Some days I was lucky if I made 5 dollars for a 12-hour day’s work, enough for cigarettes, a dollar pair of gloves, and that cup of coffee. Mercifully the day would end, dreadfully the demons returned. Fear. Anger. Tears. Thankfully – often regrettably – the morning finally came.  Alone. In. A. Crowd.

What would my mother say if she could have seen me sleeping on the street? Her only son wandering, lost, the light barely flickering in my eyes? Could I bear the look in her eyes? More demons. More pain. More tears.

My journey of discarded yesterdays somehow brought me to this place, Hospitality House. Not quite broken but dangerously close to it. I’m not sure I could ever point to THE thing that happened for me, the subtle but unmistakable turning point. It happened gradually, the long road back. I remember with total clarity that indescribable yearning for a human touch, for eye contact without pity, but also without judgment. Yet fearful of the wounds opened by that same touch, by searching eyes.

Hospitality House gave me a second chance simply to belong. Touch and eye contact. Without judgment. Without pity. Along the way, my soul has been touched, and nourished, and replenished by many gentle souls, and some simply soulful. Leroy & Kathy Looper. Bob Prentice. Robert Tobin. Bill Sorro. Walter Johnson. Huli Milanese. Marykate Connor. Michael Blecker. The unforgettable Arnett Watson. Lydia Ely. Stephen Bingham. Becca Vilkomerson. Mauricio Vela. Joan Pierson. Margaret Brodkin. Pam Tau Lee. Jackie Jenks. Tess Davis.

And for more than thirty years, my friend and brother from another mother, Paul Boden.

Lastly my wife Cherie, who has loved me simply and deeply and without end, in big ways and little ways, through laughter and heartache, for more than twenty-five years.

A lifetime. No more discarded yesterdays.

My mother has lived long enough to see the light again in her son’s eyes. A good thing.

Epilogue…Some time ago, a group of folks gathered for a meeting, to launch what they considered to be a noble experiment. In their words, “To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person…and to live together…with one another as good neighbors…”

Last month was the Seventy-First Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. In San Francisco. The City of St. Francis.

This November, remember…

Joe Wilson is the Program Manager of Hospitality House’s Community Building Program.

Joe Wilson honored at San Francisco City Hall (February 2014)

Joe Wilson honored at San Francisco City Hall (February 2014)


Lover of Leather?

Help Raise Crucial Funds for Hospitality House at the Folsom Street Fair

Ivan Vera Wants You... to volunteer for Folsom Street Fair!

Ivan Wants You… to volunteer for Folsom Street Fair!

Hospitality House is a proud beneficiary of the Folsom Street Fair on Sunday, September 25th. In order to receive a portion of the fair proceeds, we need your help as a volunteer!   

A variety of shifts are available throughout the day and can accommodate groups of friends working together. Even if you aren’t a leather/fetish enthusiast, there is a shift to meet every comfort level. Please join the Hospitality House staff in making a true San Franciscan tradition possible.

 Visit our volunteer page for more info.

There are GREAT PERKS for volunteers at the fair!

  •         Free breakfast, BBQ lunch and dinner, and snacks as well as beverages. Volunteers are welcome to enjoy one meal per shift, and have unlimited snacks.
  •         Private restrooms with no lines
  •         Free coat/bag check
  •         An entire lounge area to rest and socialize with other volunteers

Have fun and raise money for Hospitality House’s community programs!




Hospitality House takes action on issues that impact our community! Find out how you can, too, by keeping your ear to the ground.

SF Media Blitz on Homelessness featuring Hospitality House


On Wednesday, June 29th over 70 Bay Area media outlets set a precedent in a first-ever SF Homeless Project,  a day devoted to broadcasting the voices of people experiencing homelessness as well as an in-depth analysis into the economic history and political legacies that currently shape issues of homelessness and extreme poverty in the Bay Area.

As Hospitality House has been a community leader since 1967, we are proud to have our staff, participants, and community partners featured in the media pieces below:   

Share the stories above with your networks and consider becoming a sustainable donor today!  

Together, we can tell the inspiring stories of human beings and share real solutions to ending homelessness here in San Francisco.


A FIGHT TO DO THE RIGHT THING: One of many to come

Hospitality House is a proud and active leader in Market Street for the Masses Coalition (MSMC), a collective voice of community organizations and neighborhood residents in the Mid-Market, Tenderloin, and South of Market neighborhoods which formed in 2012. MSMC works to build partnerships across levels and groups, to inform and educate our members and constituencies, and to call for policies and programs that ensure development without displacement.

1066 Market Street Project [Source: Shorenstein/Arquitectonica]

Over the past year, MSMC has been engaged in discussions with market rate developers in line with its Minimum Expectations for New Market Rate Developments in the Mid-Market Area, a document describing six areas in which developers may be responsive to community needs when building in the Mid-Market and surrounding neighborhoods. One of these areas is the higher level of inclusionary housing expected by our communities in developments built inside areas as extremely low-income and diverse as the Tenderloin.When the 1066 Market project, developed by Shorenstein Residential, first came before the Planning Commission in March, MSMC opposed it on the grounds that it included only the minimum level of inclusionary housing required by law (12%). This was unacceptable to the coalition, as it did not come close to addressing the needs of residents of the Tenderloin. Not only was the percentage of units too low, the level of affordability was as well. The 36 units of on-site below market rate housing would have been affordable only to households with incomes much higher than those of many Tenderloin residents. Upon approval of the project by the Planning Commission, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation filed an appeal on behalf of the community.

source: Costa Brown Architecture

101 Hyde Street Project [Source: Costa Brown Architecture]

After continued community process, MSMC reached an agreement with Shorenstein Residential. The new deal called for Shorenstein to purchase the parcel of land at 101 Hyde Street, dedicate the land to the City, and contribute $6.5M to the development of 85 units of more deeply affordable housing at the site, a project that is much more responsive to the needs of the Tenderloin and its residents.“This victory is the result of residents and community organizations boldly standing up for the Tenderloin,” said Jackie Jenks, Hospitality House’s Executive Director and MSMC Co-Chair. “We applaud the Shorenstein group for coming to the table and working with us on a solution. But we would have never made it to this point had there not been a mandate from neighborhood residents to do right by them and insist on more than the bare minimum during this unprecedented affordability crisis.”


Community Members Call for a Budget for Humanity, Not Brutality, Dignified Housing, Food Security, Childcare and Fair Wages for San Franciscans 

Budget-Justice-Coalition [original photo by Sara Ferree]
Last month, community members and leaders called on the Board of Supervisors to prioritize housing, childcare, immigrant and workers rights, and fair wages over a massive increase to police department and related criminalization expenditures.  

The Budget Justice Coalition, a collaboration of over 30 labor and community based organizations serving impoverished people working towards a City budget that prioritizes poor communities, authored a  $54 million proposal that would achieve greater justice for San Francisco.  The proposal called for the removal of additional police academy classes, halting the criminalization of homelessness people, removal of funding from the reserve, and making reductions to office supplies citywide as a way to pay for this.

“In order to Stay SF, ” said Danielle West of the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGI Justice), “we have to halt the brutal level of criminalization poor people face in this city and instead respond to very real issue of poverty with investments in housing, food security, fair wages and childcare.”

The budget in San Francisco has received increased revenue through real estate transfer taxes, sales tax, and business taxes, and is now just over $9.6 billion.

“In the midst of so much opulence in San Francisco, a city with overflowing coffers, we must prioritize the people who are suffering the most – children and youth, people with disabilities, seniors, the underpaid, the unemployed, and the underemployed” said Jodi Schwartz of Lyric, who co-chairs the Budget Justice Coalition.

As a member of the Budget Justice Coalition, the Homeless Emergency Service Providers Association (HESPA), which is co-led by Hospitality House, believes that the City’s budget should increase resources to house homeless residents and prevent further displacement of low income San Franciscans.

To that end, the 26 member organizations of HESPA called for an investment of $38 million over the next two years into San Francisco’s housing and homeless systems. After much advocacy and collaboration with the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, HESPA was able to secure $23 million of this request, which will fund much-needed rental subsidies, eviction defense, homeless employment services, and shelter services enhancements over the next two years.

“If we really want to make progress on ending homelessness,” said Jackie Jenks, Hospitality House’s Executive Director and HESPA Co-Chair, “we must make targeted investments in real solutions. Housing, employment, healthcare, and dignified emergency services are all essential to this goal. We appreciate that this budget – perhaps the City’s most important policy document – reflects these priorities.”




TrueBlue Job Interview Workshop
Wed. July 20th from 10:30AM to 12:30PM
Employment Resource Center
146 Leavenworth St. (Lower Level)

TL Poetry & Music SLAM!
Friday, July 22nd from 3PM to 5PM
290 Turk St.

Clarion Mural Celebrations
Friday, July 22nd from 6:30PM to 8PM
Clarion Alley between Valencia St. & Mission St.

Community Arts Program
Collaboration Group Show
July 29th through September 2nd
CAP Studio and Gallery
1009 Market Street
Reception: Friday, August 12th 5PM to 7PM

Up Your Alley Street Fair
Sunday, July 31st from 11AM to 6PM
Folsom Street (between 7th St. and 12th St.)
Interested in volunteering for this event?  Contact: ccastaing@hospitalityhouse.org


Movement Warriors: A conversation with Pam Tau Lee and Stephen Bingham

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
5:30PM to 7:00PM
at Kelly Cullen Community Auditorium, 220 Golden Gate Ave. San Francisco

Join us for an evening of reflection and celebration of struggles waged, victories won, and what lay ahead in 2016 and beyond. We’ll embrace the future of movement possibilities with a new generation of movement builders.

Moderated by Steve Williams, Co-Founder of LeftRoots

Pam Tau LeePam Tau Lee, Movement Warrior, native San Franciscanis the Founder and Board chair of the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) in San Francisco, co-founder of the Just Transition Coalition, and the founder of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). She is founding member of Caring Across Generations, a member of Asians 4 Black Lives, a dedicated environmental justice activist and a member of the It Takes Roots delegation who participated in the December 2015 UN Conference of the Parties climate talks in Paris, France. Last March, Pam was inducted into the Hall of Resistance, Ancient Africa Enslavement – Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama, created in tribute to those who work against oppression in all parts of the Diaspora.


Stephen BinghamStephen Bingham, Movement Warrior, public interest attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid for 23 years (retired), former Chapter President of the National Lawyers Guild, and long-time civil rights activist. Steve participated in Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, registering African-Americans to vote. As a young attorney, Steve befriended San Quentin prison activist and Black Panther Party member George Jackson, who was later killed in a prison uprising that left several prisoners and prison guards dead. In the aftermath, Steve spent more than 13 years in hiding, returning in 1984 to stand trial. Acquitted of all charges in 1986, Steve has devoted the past 30 years to continued public service. He and his wife Francoise started the Sylvia Bingham Fund in the memory of their daughter killed tragically by a truck driver in 2009.

To RSVP, call Community Building Program Manager, Joe Wilson at 415-749-2111