Celebrating Our History of LGBTQA+ Outreach
Enjoy our Walgreens display at 18th & Castro in the non-profit window, thanks to OurTown SF. The display gives information about our nightly telephone Care Line.
Every night between 8pm – 4am (PST), our volunteer phone counselors answer calls from all kinds of people. While many callers are people are lonely, distress, or in crisis, other callers simply want someone to listen to their day or connect around matters of the heart.
Our telephone Care Line is open to everyone, and on any topic. We share this special service. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a trained volunteer and joining us in sacred listening.
CASTRO WALGREENS WINDOW
LGBTQ+ Program Manager John Brett shares a recap of Christmas Eve:
It’s been nine years since I began to visit the Castro on Christmas Eve. Sometimes I have joined together with ministers and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for midnight or 1 AM caroling after candlelight services. Sometimes the Night Ministry has held an early evening Christmas Eve Interfaith Service in the street, often with a meal and hot cocoa with a special welcome to our unhoused neighbors.
For the last three years I’ve had the pleasure of carrying the leftover cookies from our street service (generously donated by Hot Cookie) into the bars to engage the merry bands of Christmas revelers in Castro’s gay bars, many of whom have been rejected by their families.
This year, as Covid continues to threaten, we wondered what we might still do. We decided to continue to offer presence in the streets and to hand-out care packages with socks, warm cookies, and festive & practical sundries to our unhoused neighbors.
Members of the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Evangelist, The Gubbio Project, and others donated to and prepared the care packages in the days leading up to the event. On Christmas Eve we added the cookies from Hot Cookie—a delight! We had so many donations that a second delegation of Sisters distributed packages along Polk Street, another historic queer corridor of San Francisco.
We were blessed to share such abundance, connect with folks in the streets, and keep the Christmas Eve tradition of the San Francisco Night Ministry’s presence in the Castro alive—even in these times. Like many of those who participated, may that tradition shine, glittering, like the Christmas star for years to come.