The Healthcare Foundation partners with The Healing Well in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco to enhance food security. They operate the Cadillac Hotel, constructed in 1907, which accommodates 185 formerly homeless individuals, many of whom grapple with substance use disorders and mental and physical health challenges. With the Healthcare Foundation's support, this is one of the hotels to which they deliver produce on a weekly basis.
Several months ago, the residents inquired about the possibility of introducing community meals. Interestingly, it’s not the Healing Well staff who prepares these meals; rather, it's a team of residents themselves. Hence, the initial provision of produce gradually led to the initiation of shared meals. This initiative contributed to fostering a sense of community within the building and also nurtured leadership among the residents.
Given the formidable challenges faced by the people residing in the Cadillac, it's unfortunate that in most months, at least one person loses their life, often due to overdose or suicide. The monthly meal has now evolved into what can be termed a "celebration of life." A memorial for individuals who have passed away within the building is organized alongside these meals. In the rare months when no deaths have occurred, the occasion transforms into a celebratory birthday party.
The food made possible by the Healthcare Foundation's assistance has not only facilitated celebration and love but has also forged a genuine sense of community - a form of real healing.