Known for its junkies, hookers, thieves, and an ever mushrooming homeless population in dire need of services, the Tenderloin contains 586 apartment buildings within one square mile. This represents the highest population density in San Francisco, as well as the lowest median household income. City Impact is a relative newcomer to this scene (St. Anthony Dining Room was opened in 1950; Glide Memorial Church began its social service programs in the early '60s; and Raphael House became the city’s first shelter for parents and children in 1971) but its pastor, Roger Huang, knows how to make an impression. You might recall, City Impact opened the Tenderloin’s first Christian school – next to an adult theater. In spite of the pastor’s hunger strike in 2004, the Chez Paree was not shut down, but neither did it inhibit City Impact’s expansion. Its kitchen can make as many as 6,000 meals in a day. Because its staff members understand most of the TL’s residents are hardworking immigrant families who live in poverty, they have moved their holiday meal out of the soup kitchen into the street, for a Thanksgiving Day Block Party where neighbors can hang out and kids can play. During the course of the day, 600 volunteers will be needed to carry 5,000 meals door to door, serve the line, and bag groceries.
Thu., Nov. 24, 9 a.m., 2011