Community Building Program

The aim of the Community Building Program (CBP) is to increase the capacity of Hospitality House participants to make changes in their lives and in their communities to survive, thrive, and heal on their own terms. The CBP works both within Hospitality House and in the neighborhood to manage the effects that trauma has on individuals and communities in the Tenderloin. Our programs reflect a mission to build community, collaboration, belonging, self-worth and resilience within our participants and ourselves. We do this by helping folks to reduce isolation and to gain the tools and options they need to keep themselves safe and happy.

Each of our programs is rooted in principles of harm reduction and trauma analysis. They all operate under a commitment to increasing both our participants’ abilities to effectively deal with trauma and Hospitality House’s own organizational resilience.

ACTIVITIES PROGRAM
The Activities Peer Advocate develops and facilitates regular activities in the Self Help Center and in the neighborhood. The goal is to increase the capacity of Hospitality House to provide supportive, empowering services that do not re-traumatize our participants, and to build the capacity of participants to feel safe in accessing services. Through our community-building activities, we seek to support participants in being able to build and maintain positive relationship with other community members. We do this through working with participants to identify and develop meaningful daily activities and cultural events rooted in compassion, cultural competence, community-building and skill-building.

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
Hospitality House loves volunteers! Hospitality House needs volunteers! Volunteers are always needed in the Tenderloin Self-Help Center for activities, events, day-to-day programming, as well as administrative tasks. Volunteering can be anything from a temporary distraction from the Tenderloin hustle to a long term investment in your employment and leadership skills.

HOLD: HEALING, ORGANIZING, AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The CBP and the Community Organizer bring together a team of Hospitality House participants to intern with the HOLD Project. HOLD identifies and facilitates the growth of leaders from within the Tenderloin in order to reduce the impact and incidence of trauma through initiating community-building activities. To achieve these goals, HOLD facilitates regular skill-building and informational exchanges between our interns and community leaders which are aimed at leadership development, psychoeducation and coping skill-building. All HOLD interns develop the organizing tools necessary to remove barriers and create positive changes in their lives and communities. Through this challenging process, interns are provided a weekly stipend, and are encouraged to participate in harm reduction therapy services through the Harm Reduction Therapy Center. At the end of the process, the interns take action to organize a community intervention or public event to address issues they find relevant within Hospitality House, in the community, or in policy decisions that directly impact their lives. The goal is for the interns to gain the tools and motivation to bring their brilliant ideas, expert perspectives, and amazing skills to their families, networks, and communities.

SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR HOUSING

*Trauma Link
We see trauma as either an individual’s or a group’s survival response to extreme and harmful circumstances. Trauma can result from either experiencing or witnessing isolated instances of violence, or from a build-up of on-going harmful experiences (such as homelessness, regularly witnessing violence, or even experiencing regular hurtful remarks about our identities or our bodies). Our bodies and minds respond intelligently to these extreme and harmful experiences in order to keep us safe. Sometimes, these experiences can make us stronger and better able to cope with future experiences. Sometimes, those same intelligent responses can cause a wide range of ongoing difficulties in our abilities to function.

Trauma, for example, can keep us “on edge”, depressed, or make us more likely to act in ways that are risky. It can disrupt our memory and affect our ability to stand up for ourselves. It can make it difficult to have sex and maintain relationships. Trauma can also make us more likely to harm other people or ourselves.
The negative effects of trauma can disrupt our ability to fulfill our basic needs (food, shelter, belonging, autonomy, sexual expression, etc.) For example, some people who have difficulty having sex as a result of trauma they have experienced may use drugs to make those experiences bearable. This negotiates the need for belonging and physical intimacy with the negative effects of trauma.

We know that communities that are more vulnerable to the effects of criminalization, police harassment, poverty, racism, transphobia and other social inequalities experience higher levels of trauma. When our entire communities are traumatized it can cause breakdowns in the ways we are able to stick together, help each other out and to stay organized to fight for our wellbeing and livelihoods.

**Resilience Link
Resilience is our individual capacity or our community’s capacity to heal, “bounce back” and respond positively to traumatic events. Resilience protects us in many different ways from the impacts of trauma. Resilience can be that thing that puts a smile on your face or puts a little bit of sass back in your step. Maybe it comes from spending time with your dog to feel connected and happy. Or maybe it comes from the song you sing that makes you feel fierce and ready for the day. Resilience is what makes us feel like we can defend ourselves. Resilience is what makes sure that we survive.

 

290 Turk Street
San Francisco
CA 94102

415 749 2100

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