Welcome seeks to provide a faithful response to poverty and to improve the quality of life for individuals in our community through hospitality; the arts; education; food; and referrals.

The Heart of our Work

Welcome teaches individuals and faith communities to respond to local poverty by listening to the needs of the community, artistically and creatively responding, and whenever possible enabling those living in poverty to participate as equals. Welcome's projects utilize interfaith volunteers, are designed to somatically heal post traumatic stress disorder and to be replicated.

The Welcome board of directors regularly are reevaluated each year, in order to respond to current poverty issues. While, most of our projects are based out of San Francisco, we also travel to other cities across the country to share what we've learned and to help others replicate our projects.  In order to increase our impact, we partner with often partner with other organizations.

Art Programs

Singers of the Street: A program that enables homeless and marginally housed San Franciscans express themselves and improve their quality of life by singing in a choir. 



Health Programs

The Homeless Vision Project: A nationwide project which has given away over 1,000 free eye exams and prescription glasses to homeless and low income individuals in San Francisco, Kailua-Kona and Portland since October 2013.  This project is in partnership with the Project Homeless Connect and SF CARES.  A partnership with SF CARES and Project Homeless Connect.

 Education Programs

Transgender Education Project: A website to provide educational information for service providers and low income individuals in San Francisco who are in need of transgender related care.  A partnership with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Just Lutheran: A multimedia online DIY (do it yourself) guide to enable congregations and individuals to respond to poverty. Supported by the ELCA Hunger Project.

SF CARES: A collaboration of St. Paulus Lutheran Church, Night Ministry, the Faithful Fools Street Ministry and Welcome, faithful organizations who are working together in order to increase our ability to help the underserved in San Francisco.  We are particularly passionate about providing opportunities, resources and support for individuals who are poor, homeless, formerly homeless and experiencing mental health or brain disorder issues.

Urban Pilgrimage: Provides educational opportunities, seminary classes on diversity and urban ministry, certificates for trainings in urban ministry, curriculum for youth groups, pilgrimage opportunities, mentoring for groups and individuals and teleconferences. A partnership with SF CARES.

Homeless Resources Mobile AppsOur Homeless Help Mobile Apps help pastors, social workers and neighbors provide referral information in cities around the country. 


Previous Projects

Hospitality Hour: Every Sunday morning, 90-140 individuals are served a two course meal at St. A partnership with St. Francis Lutheran Church.

The Senior Program: Every Wednesday, activities, lunch and hospitality for seniors are provided at St. Francis Lutheran Church. This project is in partnership with St Francis Lutheran Church and SF CARES.  A partnership with St. Francis Lutheran Church.

The HIV+ Grocery Project: Every Saturday we provide groceries to housed HIV+ individuals.  Currently 56% of HIV+ individuals in San Francisco do not have enough food to take their medications on a regular basis.  We hope to reduce this number.  This project is by reservation only.  Email to learn more about this program.  Please do not send any information via email about your HIV status or the status of someone you are referring to the program.  A partnership with St. Francis Lutheran Church and Food Runners.

The Welcome Pantry: When the only food pantry in San Francisco's Castro District was closing, Welcome saved the program and gives away over 108,000 pounds of food each year to about 200 families living in the Castro the neighborhood.  A partnership with St. Francis Lutheran Church and the San Francisco/Marin Food Bank.

Faithfully Fluid: December 11-13, 2014 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3201 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94116  The World Student Christian Federation North America (WSCF-NA) and the Student Christian Movement- USA (SCM-USA) will be holding a conference addressing intersectional justice issues for LGBQ & Trans*gender people in our faith communities in the U.S. The conference will prioritize workshops and presentations on issues urgent for LGBTQ people that include but are not limited to: racism and racial justice movements, immigration, disability, poverty, mass incarceration, HIV & AIDS, street violence and systemic barriers targeting gender non-conforming and Transgender people. This conference seeks to further the work of empowering and healing our church communities through creative, educational, and faith-full tools and resources.
Welcome will be coordinating the conferences in partnership with WSCF-NA, SCM-USA, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and SF CARES. 

The LGBTQ Youth Leadership Project: A nationwide storytelling project since 2008, that collects multimedia oral histories with LGBTQ homeless youth across the country, encourages faith communities to create or connect with local shelters and creates curriculum for replicating the project.

The Welcome Center: Every Tuesday since 1996, guests are served a light lunch, get their mail, clean socks and blankets. Volunteers get to know guests and chat with them at Old First Presbyterian Church. A chaplain helps participants one-on-one, improve the quality of their life. This project is in partnership with Old First Presbyterian Church, SF CARES and the Faithful Fools Street Ministry.

Saturday Community DinnersEvery second and fourth Saturday since 1996, between 150 and 300 guest are served dinner. Congregations and other groups provide the food, volunteers and eat with our guests. This project is in partnership with Old First Presbyterian Church, SF CARES and the Faithful Fools Street Ministry.

The Church Security Program: Consultations with congregations about how they can make their congregation safe, agree on safe boundaries for pastoral care, respond to the effects of mental illness and addiction issue and provide mission based alternatives to night time security.

The Free Farm: A community farm created on the ashes where St. Paulus Lutheran Church used to be before it burned down in the early 90's.  Since its creation in 2010, more than 6,093 pounds of free food have been harvested and given away to it's neighbors.  This project is in partnership with St. Paulus Lutheran Church, SF CARES, the Free Farm Stand and Produce to the People.

Vanguard Revisited
Vanguard Revisited is a project in partnership with the GLBT Historical Society, that enables homeless queer youth to creatively interact with a group the history of the street hustlers who lived in San Francisco's Tenderloin District in the late 60's.  This project will create a magazine, book, exhibit and nationwide speaking tour to highlight the poverty and issues that affect queer street youth.

Otro Vanguard: A weekly gathering of LGBTQ Homeless youth in San Francisco since 2010, that uses art, poetry, video and engagement with the history to empower LGBTQ homeless youth to improve their quality of life, speak out publicly and become leaders.

Somatic Trauma Care:
This one-on-one support for homeless and formerly homeless individuals enables them to gain the skills they need to heal from the trauma that causes and comes from life living on the streets.  Designed to help individuals live fuller more independent life, participants in our trauma care often find they are then able to utilize other services and opportunities to improve their health, education and ability to participate in community.

Urban Share Community Gardening:
The Urban Share Community Gardening Project transforms unused church properties into community gardens to grow free produce.  Welcome has created community gardens at Bethlehem Lutheran in West Oakland, Shepherd of the Hills in Berkeley and St. Paulus and St. Mark's Lutheran churches in San Francisco.  More than 2,400 pounds of food have been harvested from these gardens since February of 2010.