Building A Movement with Boden
Invest in our people
38 years ago today, I got my first paycheck to be a part of Hospitality House’s efforts to support community members that were finding themselves ass out, or as we used to say, shot to the curb. It was my 24th birthday and I had been volunteering for Hospitality House’s brand new Temporary Homeless Program for 9 months.
Even though all of SF’s homeless programs at that time were “temporary” because of FEMA funding requirements, it was clear that homelessness in the early 1980’s wasn’t a temporary crisis. It was very much a consequence of the Reagan Revolution in America, and we knew that we needed to both take care of each other in the present moment and fight like hell for systemic change. We also knew that that change can only happen when we build a movement that is accountable to and invests in our people.
I am especially proud to say I was staff at HH because no one gets hired at the House unless they deserve to be there, being grounded in the community eliminates the pretense of token hires. Everyone at the House is rooted in a deep and abiding belief that taking care of each other and building power go hand in hand. People aren’t a case to be managed or a unit of service – all of us are messed up, brilliant, weird, creative, angry, and most certainly, strong and united. A really cool day was the day Jackie Jenks called me to celebrate that as they filled some Admin. positions everyone hired was a promotion from within and that opened up opportunities for volunteers to then come into paid positions – exactly how poverty work should be done!!
When your current Executive Director (Joe Wilson) first met you cause they slept in your shelter that’s not token hire shit, that is simply recognizing the heart, brilliance and skill in your community.
For close to 55 years now, Hospitality House has faithfully honored and reflected the humanity and dignity of unhoused and poor San Franciscans, so for my 62nd birthday I am wishing for everyone seeing this message to take a minute and please kick down a couple of bucks or a gift (like computers for people to access in the DIC) or just send them some love to help sustain this vital work.