May 10, 2017

Sheltering homeless families in San Francisco

Twenty years ago, San Francisco was facing a housing crisis similar to the one we are witnessing today. Families with nowhere to turn found themselves without options, and without hope. In response to the increased number of homeless families, Catholic Charities St. Joseph’s Family Center opened its doors in April 1997. A collaboration between Catholic Charities, the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the City of San Francisco, the new family shelter was located South of Market at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The church had been closed due to structural damage from the Loma Prieta Earthquake in October 1989, and the archdiocese opened the large property and three of the buildings for the shelter: the rectory, the convent, and the Hall Building.

In June 2008, the shelter moved to a location in the Mission District where it continues to operate today. Over the last 20 years, St. Joseph’s Family Center has served over 1,000 families. Of the families supported, 75 percent have moved out to permanent or transitional housing. Catholic Charities Homelessness and Housing Services offers 13 programs, resulting in over 3,500 individuals who were stably housed last year alone.

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Catholic Charities Sunday is the annual second collection that supports Catholic Charities. This year’s collection will be on May 13-14.

From Catholic San Francisco.