Two local nonprofits — San Francisco Impact Partners and Sacred Space — will be joining forces to distribute personal care packages to homeless individuals at Harvey Milk Plaza on Christmas Eve, the organizations announced this week.
San Francisco Impact Partners seeks to close the gaps between supportive services in San Francisco and homeless persons in need, and Sacred Space aims to meet the spiritual needs of San Francisco's LGBTQ community through monthly gatherings and outreach. The nonprofits are working in collaboration with Castro Cares, a program of Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District.
During the Christmas Eve event, Impact will also host a donation drive across the street at Jane Warner Plaza to collect items, like luggage, backpacks and blankets.
And on Friday, December 21, the nonprofit will be partnering with Bayview homeless center Mother Brown's to collect donated goods and distribute care packages at its annual holiday supper.
"Mother Brown's is one of few shelters in the District 10 area," said SF Impact Partners executive director Shaun Haines told Hoodline via email, speaking to its importance in the community.
Operated by United Council of Human Services, Mother Brown's serves more than 100,000 people annually, according to Haines. And for him, serving the city's houseless residents is personal. Haines was homeless from age 19, and says he knows firsthand how challenging it can be to transition out of homelessness.
While there is need citywide, Haines believes the Bayview is particularly underserved, "with limited shelter capacity and a lack of beds to address the needs of the homeless population of this community."
He notes that while the Bayview has a significant African American population, "the demographics are diverse ... and also includes seniors, veterans and families" who also experience homelessness.
Haines, who is openly gay, also emphasizes the need to support LGBTQ homeless folks, and says there's a clear need to offer assistance to those less fortunate in the Castro, which remains a mecca for the LGBTQ community. That's one of the reasons for hosting the care package giveaway in the neighborhood on Christmas Eve.
SF Impact Partners is hoping to receive donated items to help the community through the winter season, such as blankets. As is the case year-round, personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and tampons are also in high demand.
Want to contribute? Haines has worked with local businesses and organizations in the Bayview, Castro and Mission to serve as donation drop-off locations.
Bayview drop-off locations include Word Cafe, Yvonne's Southern Sweets, Gratta Wines and Naughty Boy Retail. Castro drop-off locations can be found at 440, The Lookout, Strut and Blush Wine Bar. Mission District donations will be accepted at Muddy Waters Cafe, Dancing Yak, Manny's and Fix Studios.
More information about how to get involved can be found on the nonprofit's website.