PROJECTS Past & Present
Community & Wellness Spaces
Welcome began at Old First Presbyterian Church as a project that connected 11 different interfaith groups interested in feeding the homeless and hungry. Meals were served every Tuesday, Thursday and two Saturdays a month. While the meals at Old First continue, Welcome developed a niche creating new projects to enable communities to support the homeless and hungry. We specialize in providing care and support through the visioning and building process. This allows Welcome to birth needed programs into the world as community needs change. LIke our name, we believe welcome is something that must continue to grow over time, to include more people and respond to the changing needs of the world. Current projects include efforts to remodel a house at Mt. Cross Ministries (near Santa Cruz, CA) so diverse individuals and families can have a space for wellness and retreat. Past project have included community support for Sunset District in San Francisco, the Free Farm at St Paulus Lutheran (San Francisco, CA), the Community Garden Project at St. Mark's (San Francisco, CA) and Bethlehem Lutheran (Oakland, CA).
Homeless Vision Project
A nationwide project which has given away over 3,000 free eye exams and prescription glasses to homeless and low income individuals in San Francisco and Kailua-Kona since October 2013. This project is in partnership with the Project Homeless Connect and SF CARES. In 2017 we plan to enable 3,000 homeless San Franciscans to obtain prescription eye glasses. Learn More
Supporting Intersectional Diversity
Welcome hosts whole body wellness events in San Francisco and online for support diverse individuals and communities. Special projects have included:
Transitional Wisdom and Wellness Project (for transgender individuals)
Vanguard Revisited (a project supporting LGBTQ homeless youth in partnership with the GLBT Historical Society, Larkin Street Youth Services, Glide, and the LGBT Center)
Just Lutheran (a project that helps faith communities take tangible steps to decrease their bias)
Daily Grace (a multimedia space to support whole body wellness)
Mission Trips and Community Service Days
Welcome provides educational opportunities for youth groups and mission trips to the San Francisco Bay Area. Welcome has also organized large community service days for multiple congregations. Each service day is tailored to the needs of the group that is visiting. One of our most popular activities is a conversation about homeless and hunger that includes making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and distributing them to the hungry during a walking tour.
We partnered with the SFPD and others to create a chaplaincy program that is dispatched by San Francisco's first responders. We also worked to empower communities with historical and current tension with the SFPD to develop community policing strategies and local best practices for responding to tensions between the community and the SFPD. Now that the SFPD is taking the lead on this project we are exploring avenues to continue to provide training and support to other spaces in need of community chaplaincy.
Singers of the Street
Welcome helped coordinate a choir of homeless, formerly homeless and homeless advocates. In addition to the music, the group provided food, relationships and advocacy for San Francians about the needs of the homeless and hungry.