Foster care youth set on their own to survive at 18
to find housing at new Tenderloin community center
Site of the the new Salvation Army Tenderloin Housing Community
By Pat Murphy
June 22, 2006
Community leaders broke ground for a projected world class Tenderloin
community center yesterday.
Set to open in July, 2008, the center draws funding through a
$53 million gift from the Joan B. Kroc estate, wife of the McDonald's
fast food chain founder Ray Kroc.
"Gavin Newsom said it was a big check. I thought it was
a lot of hamburgers," Tenderloin District Supervisor Chris
Daly drew laughter.
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly joins community leaders for the
Daly and Mayor Newsom were among admirers of center services
planned for the first such Salvation Army facility built nationwide.
Artist rendering of Salvation Army Community Center
located at 240 Turk Street between Jones and Leavenworth Streets.
Artist rendition courtesy The Salvation Army
Newsom singled out center housing slated for emancipated foster
care youth freed to their own devices at age 18.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom worked with project sponsors
for five years to launch the center, he recalled.
"If I came up with just the ideal project in terms of prioritizing
need... you know what say?" reflected Newsom.
"I got 700 emancipated foster kids coming out of the system
in the next five years - this is an historic record number - we're
going to need beds for emancipated foster youth."
Eighty youth will leave the foster care system this year. The
center sets aside 27 rooms for emancipated youth.
"That is a big percentage of the overall need," the
Remainder of the 110 rooms will house tenants coping with substance
In addition to a public swimming pool, youth services for the
3,500 children living within an eight-block radius of the center
-- A gymnasium and weight room, dance studio, graphic arts studios,
a climbing wall, outdoor courtyard and activity rooms for mentoring
-- Nutritional and social programs for senior citizens, and
-- A worship room.
The former Salvation Army facility on the site, built shortly
after the 1906 earthquake, was razed due to prohibitive building
code and seismic retrofit costs. Current Salvation Army services
will be operated at 1 Grove Street.
The Tenderloin center is the first such facility nationwide to
be built through a 2004 endowment of $1.5 billion from the Kroc
estate earmarked for similar centers in several cities. An additional
$53 million Kroc gift funds construction of the Tenderloin site.
"This is a good as it gets," said Newsom.
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly who represents the Tenderloin
echoed praise for emancipated foster youth housing.
"I'm very, very excited about this project for all the reasons
our mayor listed," Daly stated.
"The housing for aging out foster youth, an incredibly difficult
struggle that 18-year-olds face when they have no family or resources
"Then of course on the struggle for recovery, what the Salvation
Army is best known for, without... supportive housing models the
struggle to recovery... never really leads to the actual sobriety
Daly noted other improvements occurring in the Tenderloin.
"This is really going to be a spectacular project and it
really is a spectacular addition to a lot of other great things
that have happened in this neighborhood."
Major Joe Posillico, divisional commander of the San Francisco
receives City Certificate of Appreciation from Supervisor Chris
Neighborhood social services providers collaborated on center
development, reported Tamiquia Moss, social service supervisor
for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC).
"I had been involved with the Salvation Army's ad hoc advisory
committee... to talk about the programs going into this amazing
project," Moss told the gathering.
"I was very excited because we're always looking for ways
to bridge gaps of services in the Tenderloin and I feel this is
a very exciting way to do that.
"We really rely on partnerships with the Salvation Army
and other organizations in the Tenderloin to provide the best
wrap-around services for our residents."