Currently, San Francisco is the most expensive city to live in the entire United States. To live comfortably, residents must make at least $123,268 per year. It’s a mind-numbing figure, made even more shocking when you consider the wealthy city’s mounting homeless population.
Now, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting the jewel that is San Francisco, then you’d know that it is an absolutely gorgeous city, consisting of rolling hills, signature architecture, and glittering water aplenty. It’s the perfect vacation destination, but, when you step just outside of the well-kept tourist zones, you’re quickly met with the thriving city’s sad secret–its streets are home to thousands upon thousands of homeless people.
In fact, according to the City of San Francisco’s annual Homeless Census, an estimated 7,500 homeless people live in the city’s limits. Compared to other homeless populations, that’s a lot! To put the number into perspective, roughly half a million people are currently homeless in the U.S. This makes San Francisco the 7th city with the highest amount of homeless people, even though it is only the 13th most populous city in the U.S.
The fact that there are so many homeless individuals living in such a dense area makes for a very difficult problem to solve. Unsurprisingly, social services are stretched very tight in the city, with many of the needy unable to receive hot meals or even safe places to sleep.
That’s where the Gubbio Project comes in. The Gubbio Project is a Catholic charity that offers, as it says, “sanctuary and sacred sleep” to the many who are used to sleeping on the streets. The charity hosts an average of 225 homeless every night at its two locations, St. Boniface Church in the notoriously dangerous Tenderloin district and St. John’s the Evangelist in the Mission District.
What’s particularly beautiful about the Gubbio project is that it doesn’t at all operate like a traditional shelter– its goal is to treat everyone who walks through the doors with the respect and humanity that they deserve.
Both spaces are ADA accessible and neither one requires any sort of official sign-in or intake process. The organization prides itself on giving every single person who needs help a place to stay for the night–no one is turned away. When there, guests receive the care that many so desperately need, including blankets, socks, hygiene kits, referrals to outside services and resources, chaplaincy services, foot care from a registered nurse, and even massage services.
To meet a few of the many homeless people that have found shelter, care, and kindness from the goods folks at the Gubbio Project, be sure to watch the video below. It feels so good to see that those who have fallen on very hard times are able to rest in this safe, peaceful environment.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Gubbio Project. Do you volunteer your time to help the homeless? if so, what do you do? Do you believe that more organizations should open their doors to homeless people seeking shelter?