Every Other Month: March 2016

SAVE THE DATE: Our Annual Art Auction is coming home!

HH31AAA-save-the-date-front-webversionJoin us on Friday, June 3, 2016 at 6PM as we celebrate a true community tradition at our newly renovated Community Arts Program (CAP) studio and gallery located at 1009 Market Street. The Annual Art Auction will be co-hosted by the illustrious Luggage Store Gallery located in the same building.

Experience an evening of delicious hors d’oeuvres, tasty drinks, and of course, a stunning collection of artwork by some of the most exciting local and regional artists, galleries and collectors. This year’s auction will feature artwork by Clare Rojas, Kirsten Stolle, Shannon Finley , Greg Chadwick, Johanna Baruch, and many more incredible artists. Galleries participating include: Andrea Schwartz Gallery, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Dolby Chadwick Gallery, Hang Art, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Luna Rienne, Sandra Lee Gallery, Searger Gray GallerySTUDIO Gallery, Winston Gallery and others.

More than an event, the Annual Art Auction raises crucial funding for Hospitality House’s community programs including our Community Arts Program, the only free-of-charge fine arts studio and gallery space in San Francisco dedicated to community artists who would not otherwise have access to materials and resources to create, develop, exhibit, and sell their artwork.

Art lovers contemplate placing bids during the silent auction portion. [photo by Mido Lee]

Art lovers contemplate placing bids during the silent auction portion. [photo by Mido Lee]

You can find more detailed information on our Annual Art Auction here including how to donate artwork, sponsorship opportunities, and previews of the artwork submitted. Purchasing your advance tickets here and save $10.00!

Live auction action at the 2013 Annual Art Auction – White Walls Gallery, San Francisco [photo by Mido Lee]


The Community Arts Program reopens on Market Street

Daniel Hlad, Sean Greene, and CAP Program Manager, Ivan Vera at the grand reopening of the Community Arts Program (photo by Leslie Rabine)

Daniel Hlad, Sean Greene, and CAP Program Manager, Ivan Vera at the grand reopening of the Community Arts Program [photo by Leslie Rabine]

After several months of construction delays, our newly-renovated Community Arts Program studio and gallery finally opened on February 12th much to the delight of our neighborhood artists and community supporters.

“I’m elated that we are finally opened and back home on Market Street.  Having a temporary space and then being closed for a few months was extremely challenging for our artists who count on CAP as their daily creative outlet,” said Ivan Vera, Program Manager. “We did our best to continue through the construction period by setting up temporary spaces to do art. We even set up tables out on the sidewalk when weather permitted. I have to thank my staff for all the hard work they put into keeping our program running.”

Artist Jaime Sanchez displays hearts during the reopening of CAP [photo by Leslie Rabine]

The reopening of CAP kicked off with a dual exhibit of two long-time CAP artists, Brian Bourassa and E. Lewis Basher. The exhibit, which runs through March 18th, is going well for both artists, each receiving 100% of their respective sales.

Brian, who sometimes goes by the moniker “Sketchie Bb,” began drawing as a way to express himself during recovery from his struggles with addiction. He derives inspiration from his environment and the situations he encounters. Whether he is sitting by the ocean, in the woods or just “living the streets” of our city, his sketches have a sense of anthropomorphic creatures from some primitive plateau or outlandish sketches for avant-garde fashion garments. He also draws inspiration from renowned artists such as Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and Lenore Carrington.

Sketchie Bb and E Lewis Basher Facebook

For Lewis, the creative process allows him to sit comfortably and actually channel the things that used to be overwhelming during his schizophrenic episodes. He has discovered that these episodes offer him wealth of inspiration for his colorful tableaux.

CAP Artist John Rhosed displays his latest piece.

CAP Artist John Rhosed displays his latest piece.

The artwork created at CAP meets professional standards and also expresses the realities of life for low income residents of San Francisco, allowing them to articulate their stories to the larger community. CAP adds to the vibrancy and community pride of the Tenderloin, Mid-Market, and South of Market neighborhoods and their specific artistic and cultural movements.



A welcoming sight! Art lovers gather at the gallery windows of the newly renovated CAP Studio

A welcoming sight! Art lovers gather at the gallery windows of the newly-renovated studio

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by our CAP during studio hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 1pm to 6pm; Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10am to 3pm.




Is there beauty on Sixth Street? Just ask Kenya Hatcher

Story by A.S.Manalo

Much has been said about the troubles of the Sixth Street Corridor. Its gritty reputation lingers even as San Francisco experiences unrelenting gentrification and mass development in the South-of-Market Area. Nonetheless, if you were to take a deeper look, you will find a thriving neighborhood of families, artists, non-profit organizations, and community workers who see things differently. Kenya Hatcher is one of those who recognizes the beauty of Sixth Street. “It’s in the people here.”

Kenya Hatcher, Program Manager of the Sixth Street Self Help Center

Kenya Hatcher, Program Manager of the Sixth Street Self-Help Center

Kenya is the Program Manager of Hospitality House’s Sixth Street Self-Help Center, one of the agency’s six community programs that foster self-determination and cultural enrichment within the neighborhood’s residents struggling with socioeconomic barriers. She believes her experiences with people here are part of her life’s journey.

“We all have a path here on this planet that we follow or try to follow, and we learn what is our purpose,” she reflects. “I learned a long time ago that my purpose was to help, to give, to empower people and to remind them to be their authentic selves. So everything I have done in life has been based around helping in some form or fashion, and that’s what empowers me.”

Kenya first started with Hospitality House in 2004 as the Program Manager for the Shelter Program.  “I found out about Hospitality House after I was ill for three months. In recovery, I saw this ad on Craigslist. I actually saw another job that offered significantly more pay. However, during the interview process, which was a panel process, my intuition told me that this was the organization for me. I knew right then and there after meeting with the team of interviewers. I had a good feeling. I did try to negotiate more pay though!” Kenya laughs.

In 2008, Hospitality House was asked by the City to open a drop-in center on Sixth Street; it was to be modeled after the reputable Tenderloin Self-Help Center that Hospitality House has operated since 1985. Kenya was part of the planning that went into building the Sixth Street Self-Help Center. Her primary responsibility was the hiring of her crew.  “I worked with staff to build trust, continuity, and accountability.” The new Self-Help Center flourished on Sixth Street, helping approximately 4,500 individuals in just the first eight months of opening with over 15,000 visits.

Kenya assists Sixth Street team member and Spanish instructor, Jennifer Gordon, during Spanish 101.

Due to life-changing events in 2010, Kenya made the hard choice to move away and leave Hospitality House. She returned to the Bay Area in 2014 and found a job working for another organization in the Tenderloin. While walking about, she ran into Hospitality House Program Director Jenny Collins who mentioned that she was about to post a job notice for Kenya’s old position. Kenya ran to her computer and immediately emailed her resume.

“It was great to come back. Bittersweet because I was back at Hospitality House, but I was sad that the Sixth Street program had cut backs since I left. What was wonderful was that the participants and community members recognized me immediately — telling me ‘We’re glad you’re back!’”

Kenya’s mission is to put the Sixth Street Self-Help center back “on the map.” With the help of an energized staff, she has implemented workshops within the program that include basic computer skills, typing tutorials, and even a Spanish 101 class. She constantly praises her crew.

Bilingual Case Manager, Sayida Sandoval provides counseling for Ebony [photo by C.Castaing]

“I have an amazing team. We work so cohesively together.  The case managers help our clients to buy back into their lives, meet them exactly where they are at and identify their needs and desires. Helping them become more productive in their community and in society by finding them housing, taking care of their medical needs, or just being a voice or ear to hear.  My staff goes beyond their call of duty, daily! They’re so cool.”


Employment Peer Advocate, Patricia Geeter (right) looks on as community members utilize services of the Employment Resource Center inside the Sixth Street Self-Help Center.

In addition to promoting special events like the recently successful “Black History Month Talent Showcase,” Kenya has also been contributing ideas and focusing on opportunities to help fundraise. Her immediate goal is to increase staff to better help the people in need of services on Sixth Street. She would also like to reopen the Employment Resource Center office next to the Self-Help Center, which closed after severe funding cuts in 2010.

“I have been doing this kind of work for twenty-five plus years working with a diverse group of people. Whether I do this work or something different, it’s going to always be in the form of helping empower within a community,” Kenya imparts as she continues on her life’s journey.

Go HERE to learn more about the Sixth Street Self-Help Center.


Prison bars can’t hold back hope

Story by Christian Castaing

Hoping to dispel the social stigma that often comes with incarceration, a group of women formed the Long Termer’s Organization (LTO), a non-profit group within the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California.  Made up of inmates serving a minimum of 10-year sentences, LTO coordinates a wide range of activities to give back to communities in need and support victims of crime. Over the past 15 years, LTO has donated close to $150,000 to charitable organizations. They recently completed a walk-a-thon that drew over 600 inmates raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer foundations. Last Fall, LTO donated $400 to Hospitality House from one of their many fundraising events.

Community Organizing Peer Advocate, Windy Click [photo by Leslie Rabine]

Community Organizing Peer Advocate, Windy Click of Hospitality House’s Community Building Program [photo by Leslie Rabine]

Windy Click, a Peer Advocate with Hospitality House’s Community Building Program and a former chair of the Long Termer’s Organization, speaks about how the organization as well as its advocates build community and give hope from behind bars.

“One thing you can guarantee about the Long Termer’s organization is that we are a rehabilitation group centered upon self-help; we are a network of peers. I was their chair for four years, and in many ways I am still connected to them. I am most proud of my advocacy work; we established a domestic violence awareness day in October and worked within our subcommittees to maintain a sense of hope among teenagers who were charged as adults. There are people serving life without the possibility of parole advocating for togetherness in the organization – we have given money to victims of crime and raised $5,000 for breast cancer foundations. We are challenging the idea that, just because we have made mistakes and are currently serving time in prison, that doesn’t mean we are on a path of bad decisions.”

Hospitality House is honored to be recognized as a beneficiary of a generous donation from the Long Termer’s Organization, and we are thankful for their work to change the negative perceptions of those who find themselves caught up in the system.


TL Talent on the Rise at 146 Leavenworth

Story and photos by Christian Castaing
Martina Roland (in white) watches on as Tenderloin residents perform.

Martina Roland (dressed in white) watches on as Tenderloin residents perform.

In the course of her day-to-day work as a Tenderloin Self-Help Center Peer Advocate, Martina Roland began to notice residents like Charles Jackson carving figures out of soap, and Philip making cacti and realistic plants from paper, cardboard and other discarded objects. She considered the immense and often unseen creative talent at work in the Tenderloin. Although the neighborhood is often disregarded by non-residents who are unfamiliar with the population, she saw opportunity for community members to acknowledge themselves and celebrate each other as talented artists.

Bearing witness to the creativity of Tenderloin’s residents, Martina has organized an open mic every third week of the month at the Tenderloin Self-Help Center. With an open invitation for residents to showcase their talents, her hope is to connect residents to their innate creativity and encourage them to share it with each other through celebration.

Herlinda Aguirre, who helps to facilitate the TL Open Mic, contextualizes the role of creativity in the resilience of community members.

Community member performs a contemporary guitar solo during the TL Talent Show.

Community member, Alan Del Rosario performs a blues guitar solo during the TL Talent Show.

“The Tenderloin, and the men and women who frequent 146 Leavenworth are people with talent!” says Herlinda. “While folks don’t generally see the Tenderloin as a hub of creativity, it’s the residents who need to see it within themselves.”

Community members shared their various talents including spoken word poetry, Broadway and contemporary R&B songs in acappella, guitar solos, dance pieces, and live theater monologues.

Herlinda believes that establishing a venue for performance is essential. “The TL Open Mic displays how creativity is integral to survival because it gives residents a chance to engage in their integral humanity that they are often denied due to their housing status.” she says.

The TL Open Mic is scheduled to happen every third week of the month.




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

Hospitality House speaks out!

On March 2nd, Hospitality House staff and program participants, along with our concerned community partners, provided public comment at the Board of Supervisor’s Budget and Finance Committee, urging members to expand housing and resources for all homeless people.

Much has been said about the acclaimed Navigation Center model for addressing homelessness, even going so far as to call it an “innovative national model.” Those in the know, however, understand that the success of the Navigation Center is largely due to the tremendous resources and housing access exclusively afforded to Navigation Center residents. These resources and the accompanying housing slots are not available to the rest of the shelter system, thus keeping people in shelters long term.

Executive Director, Jackie Jenks speaks at the Budget & Finance Committee hearing.

Currently, 1,200 homeless adults are languishing in San Francisco’s single adult shelter system with little hope of a housing exit. Upwards of 700 adults are on the waiting list to get into a 90-day shelter bed.

Hospitality House and our community partners have called on City Hall to expand the success of the Navigation Center citywide. By expanding resources and exits to housing across the shelter system, all homeless people would have the opportunity to see the success that is only currently offered to those hand-picked for placement into the Navigation Center.

Stay tuned for future opportunities to advocate for equity in our shelter system.

Jose Bernal, Bilingual Shelter Program Manager

Windy Click, Community Organizing Peer Advocate [click picture to view Windy’s speech]

Kelly Cutler, Hospitality House Board Member

Theresa Dela Cruz, Shelter Program Peer Advocate

Julia Gallyot, Community Organizing Peer Advocate [click picture to view Julia’s speech]


Jenny Friedenbach, Executive Director of Coalition on Homeless (community partner)



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

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
5:30PM to 7:00PM
at Kelly Cullen Community Auditorium, 220 Golden Gate Ave. San Francisco

Pam Tau Lee Pam 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 represented 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



Hospitality House would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our most recent supporters for their contributions to our community programs.



Our friends at Zendesk have been major supporters of Hospitality House. During our “Second Chances” online campaign, they provided a matching grant of $5,000 to help us reach our goal!


Twitter-BirdIn January, Twitter for Good and our friends of the NeighborNest awarded Hospitality House’s Employment Resource Center $10,000 towards workforce development.


SF Federal Credit Union Logo

Each Thanksgiving week, the San Francisco Federal Credit Union provides volunteers for our annual Thanksgiving Community Lunch. This year, they also awarded Hospitality House $2,500 for the meals feeding over 200 people.