This fall, San Francisco’s St. Anthony Foundation celebrated 60 years of providing food, shelter, clothing, and health services to much of the city’s homeless population. The day kicked off with a Hope Rally on the steps of City Hall and finished with a BBQ Block Party in the heart of the city’s Tenderloin District. StoryCorps San Francisco was there to share some of the many stories we’ve recorded with St. Anthony’s community for the past three years.
The StoryCorps tent was decked out with participant photos, and party-goers were excited to recognize other St. Anthony’s regulars. Our tent was smack dab in front of the stage, with live music throughout the day and a dance floor that never stopped.
We set up a cozy space away from the party where attendees could listen to the many stories on a listening station, which featured stories like those of Rose Johnson and St. Anthony’s staff member Lydia Bransten, who visited StoryCorps to talk about their friendship. We also shared stories of Charles Houston remembering his first encounter with segregation and Chris Mardorosian, who talked about addiction and how working at the St. Anthony Farm changed his life.
Meanwhile, a full city block was transformed into a dining hall that served more than 12,000 meals that day. It was clear from that even on a foggy, San Francisco day — from the vibrant energy to the impressive turnout — that St. Anthony’s is well-loved in this city!