We provide essential food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and counseling to 14,000+ San Franciscans a year who are facing extreme personal and financial challenges - to help them achieve and maintain stability and hope for a better future.
A Brand New Set of Tools:
Charles and Shirley have walked a long road in a short time. Two years ago, they were living on the streets, held hostage by their addictions. They began eating at St. Anthony's Dining Room, where they heard about Father Alfred Center recovery programs.
After entering recovery there, Charles began working in the Dining Room. In the meantime, Shirley had entered another program with help from St. Anthony counselors. When she finished, she returned to San Francisco, where St. Anthony's found her a shelter bed while Charles finished his program. In time, Shirley got a job and regained custody of her children.
Charles and Shirley praise the structure provided by St. Anthony recovery programs: 12-step meetings and homework, individual and group counseling, physical exercise, coaching in life skills and social skills, and finally job training and placement.
"The routine is what gets you back on line," says Shirley notes.
Charles also attended classes at St. Anthony's Employment Program and Learning Center. There he developed a business idea, learned how to produce marketing materials, and used the Internet for outreach. Less than a year later, Charles and Shirley own and operate their own business with multiple maintenance and housekeeping contracts throughout the city.
Charles and Shirley are still part of the St. Anthony community. They visit every two weeks or more and encourage the men in the recovery program to stay sober. "We don't want a whole lot out of life," says Charles. "We just want to give back."