“I feel this Community Care event shows that the city has empathy for people’s plights and tribulations. People in the community love this.”
On a balmy day in late September, 50-year-old Tenderloin resident Giovanni Hoyt went walking with his girlfriend’s dog on his normal route through the Tenderloin, where he has resided since 2014. As he passed by the 300 block of Ellis St, he was drawn in by rows of canopies lining the road and lively music spilling out of a DJ booth. There were stalls offering free haircuts, housing resources, food, and massages, but Hoyt found himself gravitating toward the free Glide library booth, or Glibrary, where he picked up a copy of author Anthony Doerr’s Nobel prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See. “It’s for my son,” said Giovanni. “I frequent GLIDE quite a bit and love it. But this is my first time here at Community Care.”
This past September, GLIDE concluded a summer series pilot program, called Community Care, a prototype of GLIDE’s Integrated Mobile Service Initiative that will connect neighborhoods with direct access to essential services through sustainable and scalable pop-up resource hubs.
The strategic initiative comes at a time when homelessness numbers have reached alarming levels – The City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing estimates that while 7,754 homeless individuals were observed on the night of the 2022 PIT (Point-in-Time) Count, as many as 20,000 individuals may experience homelessness in San Francisco over the course of a full year. Recognizing the growing need, GLIDE’s new generation of mobile services will extend its reach and impact across the city to under-resourced communities, including South of Market (SOMA), Potrero Hill, and Bayview Hunters Point.
“The turnout for the Community Care event was terrific,” said GLIDE’s Impact & Strategy Project Manager, Saba Teklu. “Thanks to our community partners, we were able to offer a multitude of amenities including haircuts, legal aid, self-defense workshops and so much more. We served approximately 200 of our most marginalized neighbors while embodying GLIDE’s values of being radically inclusive, loving, and hopeful, and for the people.”
The Community Care pop-up at 330 Ellis Street saw a beehive of activity over the summer months, with visitors able to play games, enjoy a delicious lunch thanks to GLIDE’s Free Daily Meals, all the while accessing a wide range of important resources from participating community partners. In the span of one block, attendees could gain instant access to low-barrier legal counsel with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR), self-defense workshops with Healing Well, free haircuts from Youth With A Mission (YWAM), employment resources from Code Tenderloin, and much more. GLIDE programs also offered their assistance, including the Glibrary with free books, Walk-in-Center with resource linkage, and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) by GLIDE’s Harm Reduction (HRx) team.
As the summer pilot series concludes, it has charted a course for GLIDE’s scalable mobile pursuits, fortified by the building blocks of Love, Hope, and Radical Inclusion. “I feel this Community Care event shows that the city has empathy for people’s plights and tribulations. People in the community love this,” Giovanni reflected as he made his way to the end of the tents. “Whether you’re poor, rich, doesn’t matter. There will always be people struggling who need help. I’m very grateful for GLIDE.”