Welcome Message to our Mid-Market Neighbors!
To our new neighbors…
We welcome you to Mid-Market! For 50 years GLIDE has stood in the Tenderloin (TL) and served those in our city facing poverty and marginalization. Our services provide basic needs, a sense of community and give hope to the poor in a City where the divide between rich & poor grows wider every day. We invite you to look beyond the TL’s reputation as a run-down place full of mental illness, drug addiction and chronic homelessness; a place that just needs stricter law enforcement and new development. We hope you see the neighborhood is a community and home to thousands of people— where new immigrants arrive, families with children share a studio apartment, seniors subsist on a fixed income, artists utilize live/work space, and increasingly, more people move in who cannot afford to live elsewhere in SF. Most residents, including those struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, are here because they cannot afford to be anywhere else. A third of the households here subsist on an income less than $15k/year and nearly 50% cannot meet their basic housing and health needs.
Success of Mid-Market will be determined by the level of cooperation and mutual respect shown to existing residents. We invite you to support the local businesses in the TL. There are amazing restaurants, theater, and small stores here. Hire TL residents IN YOUR businesses. Volunteer to help in our non-profit organizations. Join GLIDE in Celebration on a Sunday morning. We encourage you to greet everyone you meet with acceptance and an open mind and to understand that each resident here is an important part of the fabric of our City. Together, we can all be part of the solution to make this community GREAT for everyone.
In closing, please enjoy this mural created by Mona Caron at the corner of Jones and Golden Gate. The mural is a representation of the corner showing run-down buildings, empty lots, and lingering residents, with a ‘One-Way’ sign in the scene. An adjoining mural shows the same location with green space, BBQs with neighbors, and the same residents now enjoying a happy time. The ‘One-Way’ street sign is replaced with ‘Another-Way’ sign in the panorama. For us, this mural evokes hope for the diverse community who lives here, and the possibility of retaining diversity in the midst of change. Each of us must consciously work, each day, to preserve the neighborhood’s character and make sure there is space in its diversity to thrive. Celebration of differences is one of the values that makes San Francisco great, but it is a challenge to truly live with unconditional acceptance. What can you do to contribute toward finding ‘Another way?’
Kristen Growney Yamamoto is a Co-Executive Director at GLIDE. Under the Co-Executive Director leadership model, Kristen and Rita Shimmin oversee all areas of programmatic, evaluation, and administrative operations at GLIDE. With a particular focus on integration and wellness, GLIDE successfully operates a variety of programs from daily free meals and a community health clinic to family, youth and childcare services. As Co-Executive Directors, they uphold the vision of supporting and uplifting the disenfranchised through unconditional love, acceptance and respect. Kristen holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and has 20 years of experience as both a not-for-profit and for-profit professional. Prior to serving as Co-Executive Director, Kristen served as GLIDE’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a position she held since she came to GLIDE in 2007. In this role, Kristen oversaw program evaluation efforts and all aspects of operations. Prior to joining GLIDE, Kristen worked at Rubicon Programs, Inc., a nonprofit organization with a $16 million budget. At Rubicon, Kristen helped run three social enterprises, social-mission based ventures that employed formerly homeless individuals. Prior to Rubicon, she operated her own consulting firm, advising high tech clients in areas of financial and business planning. She has held executive positions in software and medical device startups. Kristen lives in San Francisco with her husband and two daughters. Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenGY