I walked into City Hope with a job and walked out with a mission. Tucked away in a dingy back alley in the Northwest corner of the Tenderloin district in San Francisco sits an unassuming set of doors, secured by an unassuming metal gate. Take a step back from the front porch however, and you’ll note that the building is covered in art with beautiful and inspiring phrases like, ‘today was a good day’.
City Hope - A Beacon of Light
Through the metal doors I am welcomed into a world of smiles and humming with positivity. I came to City Hope to spotlight them as a customer doing good in the community. We at Cheetah love to highlight clients of ours who are furthering one of our missions; to be good for the environment, good for the body, and good for the community.
City Hope was founded by Paul Trudeau in 2005 as a place for the Tenderloin’s under-housed and homeless to get together and share a meal and, more importantly, share the moment. It has since evolved into a sprawling community center where meals are held, karaoke is sung, bingo is played, and the unhoused are made to feel human again.
Using all ingredients from the Cheetah selection, Chef Justin of City Hope crafts home cooked meals for hundreds of people a day. He tells me that he loves bringing good food to a community where a calzone is a new concept or where they might be trying their first plant-based meat alternative ever.
His journey with Cheetah started when he first spotted (we’re so punny) a Cheetah truck driving down an SF street. He knew that trips to Restaurant Depot visits or orders with Instacart were going to hinder the amount of people he would be able to serve based on the budget he had. He also knew that he needed a reliable distributor and team to make sure that his ingredients were top notch and ready to go for that day. City Hope and Cheetah have been partners ever since.
City Hope and Cheetah have been working together for about a year now – Chef Justin has this to say about the conception and continuation of this amazing partnership:
“It was about a year ago that I saw a cheetah truck drive by, and I was like ‘I need to see what that’s all about!’ So I went went online and saw that we could get all our stuff delivered here – that’s crazy! So I downloaded the app, created an account and ever since I’ve been able to receive reliable orders every single week. We’re growing more and more every month (especially now with the cafe downstairs) and Cheetah has continued to deliver everything we could possibly need.”
Free Coffee, Everyone Welcome
I am excited as they show me their newer cafe space. With a sign out front that reads, ‘free coffee’, they invite the local population in to enjoy a cafe experience they may otherwise be barred from. Never having found yourself living under these circumstances you may not realize it, but homeless folks are not often welcomed into Starbucks or other cafes.
The City Hope Cafe welcomes in anyone, for any amount of time. Guest’s names are scrawled across their oat milk lattes, just as anyone else would be enjoying at that very moment in the city, and use the space as they need it. Meetings and learning sessions are held in the back. Volunteers offering workshops and anyone in need of a space to take a business meeting can come in there and feel totally at home.
Donate Food, Money, or Time to City Hope
CityHope is an incredible organization changing what it means to dignify and serve the underhoused an homeless. Through Cheetah they get the best bang for their buck and are able to serve hundreds more in need of hot meals each day. We are excited to be growing our partnership with City Hope, now supplying to their cafe as well.
It is currently the May Month of Giving at City Hope and we are calling on anyone and everyone to contribute to this beautiful organization.
Donations can be made by following the QR code on this page. And for anyone local to the Bay Area, City Hope offers the opportunity to volunteer in a myriad of ways. Come serve dinner one night at one of their famously fun bingo nights and meet some incredible individuals in the process!