Hospitality House COVID-19 Community Update
Dear Friends and Supporters of Hospitality House,
The COVID-19 global pandemic has fundamentally altered our way of life, and restructured human interaction in our workplaces, in our communities, and in our homes. All of us at Hospitality House are grappling with this new reality, struggling to adapt to new ways of community building. We applaud the valiant social justice warriors confronting this same reality, and challenging us to preserve the best of our humanity in the worst of times – when it matters most.
Though we’ve had some difficult conversations internally, and we’ve wrestled with some difficult choices, one abiding principle is clear: community matters to all of us. We can all contribute to preserving our humanity, even when not at the workplace. Staying healthy is a contribution. Interrupting the spread of contagion is a contribution. Washing one’s hands is a contribution. Supporting those who have nothing with the simple gift of your presence – and sometimes little else - is a contribution.
First and foremost, Hospitality House has prioritized our emergency shelter program. We are committed to maintaining some level of drop-in access at our Self-Help Centers. We are providing hygiene kits, limited emergency supplies, employment, and housing case management, on a case by case basis.
Hospitality House’s Revised Program Hours & Services
[call us at 415-749-2100 for updates]
- Shelter Program – limited operations with most residents staying in designated hotel room to ensure safety. Read the story here.
- Sixth Street Self-Help Center, 169 6th Street – due to staff shortage, program hours limited to emergency services only, drop-in hours suspended till further notice. Available: Hygiene kits/supplies and resource information. NARCAN available by request.
- Tenderloin Self-Help Center – capacity reduced to ensure social distancing and safety for community members and staff, drop-in hours 9AM-5PM. Hygiene kits/supplies, and NARCAN available by request. Case management by appointment only.
- Employment Program – Job Readiness and Neighborhood Access Point employment and support services available by appointment, drop-in hours limited. Call 415-369-3055 for information.
- Community Arts Program – due to staff shortage, open studio hours have been limited. Support for artists, e.g., portfolio development, phone consultation, art work pick-up, etc., by appointment only.
- Community Building Program – due to staff shortage, program hours suspended until further notice. Emergency case management/housing support by appointment only. Hygiene kits available on limited basis.
In the midst of this global pandemic, we in the human services field are experiencing a fundamental unraveling of our reason for being - that humans are a communal species, that we need each other. To stay healthy, we are warned, we must move away from each other, not touch, not hug – we could be infected.
For human beings, closeness matters, and community is both self-sustaining and regenerative. From the moment of birth, it is human touch that welcomes us into the world with an enveloping blanket of kindness - absolutely essential to our psyche, and our notion of self-worth.
It would be irresponsible for Hospitality House to insist that we not heed the warnings of scientists and medical professionals around the globe. We should also acknowledge the power of human connection, empathy and kindness as requisite ingredients of healthy communities.
As it turns out, kindness is also good for our immune systems.
We at Hospitality House believe in the transcendent power of our humanity as the ultimate weapon alongside science in battling COVID-19. Community and closeness will always matter, and we will fight hard to protect it, and each other. We need one another - in order to stay alive.
In this moment of crisis, it may be the strongest weapon of all.
Joseph T. Wilson