Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerHomeless Youth Alliance executive director Mary Howe

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerHomeless Youth Alliance executive director Mary Howe

Haight-Ashbury center serving homeless youths still set to close on Christmas

As it has on many Christmases, the Homeless Youth Alliance in the Haight-Ashbury today will serve more than 150 meals of turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, green beans and other foods. But come 7 p.m., its doors will shut for good after 12 years of helping youngsters in need.

Despite fundraising efforts and a petition that has gathered more than 5,000 signatures, the organization has been denied a stay extension from the landlord of 1696 Haight St. and has not come up with $3 million to purchase a new building in the neighborhood.

“The angel investor has not come along and saved us with the Christmas miracle, so we're hoping they're waiting until tomorrow [Wednesday],” the organization's executive director, Mary Howe, said Tuesday. “It can happen.”

The petition that was started by a supporter a little over a week did help bring awareness and put pressure on City Hall to “take a look at the situation in the Haight-Ashbury and acknowledge that these kids are not going to leave and that the services are needed,” Howe said. About 49 percent of youth recipients identify as LGBT.

Barring a Christmas miracle, the organization will pack its items into storage and continue to provide its services – psychiatric, medical and the needle exchange, among others – in the same neighborhood at Golden Gate Park. Plans for a mobile service are moving along, but not finalized.

“It's been a really emotional week,” Howe said. “It's been a lot of anger and a lot of sadness, and also a lot of gratitude.”

Bay Area NewsChristmasHaight-AshburyHomeless Youth Alliance

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Demonstrators commemorated the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside S.F. City Hall on June 1, 2020.<ins></ins>
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

San Francisco Unified School District Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, pictured with Superintendent Vincent Matthews on the first day back to classrooms, will be board vice president for the remander of the 2121 term. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

An instructor at Sava Pool teaches children drowning prevention techniques. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Indoor city pools reopen for lap swimming and safety classes

Two of San Francisco’s indoor city pools reopened Tuesday, marking another step… Continue reading

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Most Read