On a Friday afternoon in mid-Market San Francisco, city leaders, nonprofits, tech companies, and all-around locals came together to go out and make a difference for our homelessness neighbors. Small teams hit the streets to give out much-needed hygiene kits and HandUp Gift Cards, reaching over 200 homeless neighbors in one afternoon. Teams made up representatives from local companies including Dropbox, Zendesk, SuperCell, CivicMakers, Google, Full Circle Fund, 1776.vc, and Sparrow Mobile.
We kicked off the day with a few words from Bevan Dufty of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Opportunity, Partnership, and Engagement.
“I had the privilege of meeting Rose Broome and learning the mission of HandUp at the very, very beginning and I so believe in it because I think it is so palatable, that when you forget the humanity of the people who are on our streets, that’s when bad things happen,” San Francisco Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement Bevan Duffy (pictured above) said at rally. “That’s when you think that a police officer is in a better position to solve homelessness by moving somebody from one block to the next.” (via Megan Dickey Rose / Techcrunch)
The group also got a chance to hear from Emily Cohen, Director of Programming with Project Homeless Connect. Our first and largest nonprofit partner here in San Francisco, the team at PHC has been pivotal in the success of HandUp Gift Cards.
Going over best practices is key and it helped participants feel ready to go out and engage on the street. We had Jessica Bendit, Development Manager at Project Homeless Connect dive into the best way to approach a homeless neighbor.
This group led by Del Seymour of Tenderloin Walking Tours, explored the streets of the Tenderloin. The team even ran into some current HandUp members!
Other teams walked through areas in Hayes Valley, Soma, the Mission, and mid-Market led by incredible community advocates from Compass Family Services, Larkin Street Youth, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, and Project Homeless Connect. At the end of the day we re-grouped back at The Hall to reflect on the afternoon. It can be emotional and inspiring.
"Getting out on the streets and trying to see how we can integrate technology and technological systems with the human systems that we have, which not a lot of people in the tech world are willing to do. Knowing your community and knowing who your audience is and really going out to meet them face to face is just a really important part of designing any type of social programs." (Lawrence Grodeska, Civic Makers via Selena Larson / Daily Dot)
We’re looking forward to hosting SF Outreach Day next year. Thank you to our partners Zendesk, Dropbox, The Hall, OneCity, and the Mayor’s Office of H.O.P.E!