Dave Seiler: TNDC Resident, Board Member, and Sometimes Santa
Dave Seiler as Santa
Dave Seiler as Santa

Dave lived for many years in TNDC’s Civic Center Residence. Always active and engaged in the neighborhood, he served as a Resident Representative on TNDC’s Board of Directors. After many years in San Francisco, this last August he moved to Southern California with the love of his life. Nowadays, you will find Dave volunteering at

Habitat for Humanity. “Volunteering was the starting point for my future being realized.”

Dave said that it is important that his story is heard, particularly at this time of the year. “The people who are living in the Tenderloin have so many struggles that it’s hard to envision a happy holiday. There is lots of social struggle and trying to find a place where you belong – and then the holidays are thrown in your face. It can make it all worse.”

When we asked Dave how he got to where he is, he said it all started one year when a staff member asked him if he would play Santa Claus for a children’s party. “It’s my beard, he said. “I look like Santa.”

Much to his surprise, Dave loved being Santa. He knew that the expectations around the holidays can be hurtful, so he started wearing the Santa suit on the street and in his building. “I wanted to give people something to hold on to, some hope. Because no matter what is going on in your life, you can still have hope.”

Dave says he highly recommends people volunteer, especially for causes focused on social change. Once Dave took that one initial step, his life started turning around. Today, he is a happy man and lives a life he loves.

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