“Shotgun” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars, the 1990s pop song, filled the street as community members, volunteers and employees of Catholic Charities assembled, sheltering under rain canopies. February 26, 2019, was the first anniversary of Catholic Charities Bayview Access Point, and the jovial crowd made sure that there would be “no raining on this parade.”
The Bayview Access Point provides multiple services targeting the needs of San Francisco’s homeless families. Through rental assistance, legal referrals, childcare, and even housing subsidies, the nonprofit has helped numerous families and individuals in finding safe housing options for the past 25 years.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, world-renowned actor Danny Glover, and Reverend Amos C. Brown, graced the stage in honor of Black History Month and to express their gratitude towards the community members and employees of the Bayview district — highlighting the fact that San Francisco’s homeless population is disproportionately African American and LGBTQ.
Mayor London Breed zealously stated, “As Mayor of San Francisco I, too, stand on the shoulders of so many incredible leaders from the Bayview Hunters Point. A place that has a rich history, a rich tradition of African Americans… the folks in this community played a critical role in [the building of this city].” Mayor Breed continued highlighting a call to action, “We have work to do, to change some of the things that exist in San Francisco! [However] thank goodness we have an amazing community willing to wrap their arms around [struggling families] and ensure their success.”
Nothing about the perennial crisis in the Bay Area is easy, with more families getting pushed out of the city center, scaling rental prices, and competitive buyers. However, honoring Black History Month, the speakers challenged the audience to work constructively towards common community goals with dignity, respect, and love for one another. And with the right political investments, compassion from residents, and the support of an organization like Catholic Charities, society can prevent family homelessness and ensure individuals receive the assistance and care they need.