Recently, an item on the morning news caught my attention. It actually riveted me and stopped me in mid-lift of my coffee cup in a way few news items ever do. It was Pope Francis, the controversial new pope of the Catholic Church who is making news headlines by speaking out on behalf of the poor. And this is what he was saying:
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
The Pope’s bold statement to the world hits home especially now here in Northern California. Right now we are experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures. Sadly, four homeless people died of hypothermia in the San Francisco Bay Area since last week, highlighting the danger to people without shelter as the region is gripped by freezing temperatures. Although these deaths did make the news, it does not make up for these the fact that these deaths were preventable.
That’s why I am proud that one of the organizations our firm’s foundation supports is the Dolores Street Community Services. As their organization’s own tag line says so well, what they do is to provide “neighborhood answers to homelessness.”
Dolores Street Community Services operates the only shelters for men in the Mission District and the only shelters in San Francisco specialized in serving Latino working poor men. The Dolores Shelter Program began in 1982 as a sanctuary for refugees. Today, it provides support and emergency housing for up to 100 working homeless men every night. Dolores Street Community Services also provides other needed services to the community, including those living with AIDS.
But as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Businesses spend money on things like advertising and promotional events to attract customers and make more money. But nonprofit organizations often can’t afford do that. They may not have money to spare to promote themselves and attract donations. That’s where our firm’s foundation was able to help Dolores Street Community Services. We helped underwrite their recent fundraiser and were glad to do it.