At all of TNDC’s thirty properties, year-round activities are organized by TNDC staff to provide continuing education, social engagement, community development, cultural celebrations and workshops and info sessions on accessing additional resources in the community. More than 1,600 events and workshops are made available to TNDC’s 4,000 tenants each year. In addition, TNDC organizes community-wide events like the TNDC Annual Block Party. Below are just a few examples of the wide variety of events.
TNDC Annual Block Party
Thus far, TNDC has organized three themed Block Parties. The “Tenderloin Votes” Block Party was held in September 2008 and focused on voter registration. The “Yes We Count” Block Party was held in April 2010 and focused on the 2010 Census. The “Tenderloin Harvest Festival” was held in October 2011 with a focus on access to healthy and culturally relevant food. Each event has been executed completely by TNDC staff with the support of volunteers from the community. Activities during the Block Parties have included; healthy and nutritious food, live bands, DJ’s, dance performances, kids activities, cooking demos, access to information about community resources, health screenings and more. More than 1,000 people have attended each event.
Produce Drops with the San Francisco Food Bank
Since 2000, the San Francisco Food Bank has been delivering free, healthy and nutritious produce to the tenants living in our buildings. TNDC also contributes financially to these “Produce Drops” to include additional non-perishable pantry items for tenants. Through the SFFB the Social Work Unit also provides tenants with access to the USDA Food Program and the Senior Food Box Program.
Throughout the year, the Social Workers host multiple events and activities celebrating the cultural diversity of the TNDC Community. Some common celebrations held throughout the year include; Chinese/Lunar New Year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Black History Month, Cinco de Mayo, Juneteenth, Pride, Philippine-American Friendship Day, Holi, Asian Pacific Islander Heritage, Latino Heritage, Diwali, Ramadan, Eid, and Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. During these celebrations, the Social Workers provide tenants with culturally relevant food and make informational displays to share information with tenants about different cultures.
Starting in mid-October, the Social Work Unit gears up for the “Holiday Season”. Events and activities during this time of year often include; Halloween Costume Parties, Dia de los Muertos Celebrations, Autumn Dinners, and Winter Dinners. It is important to the Social Workers that all events have a wide variety of food options with considerations for cultural identity and health needs. During this time, the Social Work Unit also organizes two Holiday Food Bag Events. The first occurs right before the Thanksgiving Holiday and the second takes place just before the Christmas Holiday. These two events are designed to provide food bags to our tenants who are most in need during the “Holiday Season”.
Arts and Crafts
Both children and adults love to participate in Arts and Crafts activities. Many of the Social Workers facilitate Arts and Crafts events throughout the year. Often, but not always, these activities focus on various cultural and/or holiday events. Some examples include making; Mardi Gras Masks, Christmas Tree Ornaments, Dreidels, Filipino Parol Lanterns, Dia de los Muertos alters, and Kente Cloth.
Informational and Educational Workshops
Providing tenants with access to information and education is of high importance to the Social Work Unit. Throughout the course of a year, the Social Workers develop partnerships with agencies in the community who can bring valuable information and resources to our tenants. Some examples include workshops with; the Chinese Community Health Plan, The San Francisco Police/Fire Department, Curry Senior Center, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market, the Aging and Disability Resource Center, the San Francisco Food Bank, Leah’s Pantry, MUNI/Paratransit, the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Healthy Families, Home Energy Assistance Program, etc.
Intergenerational Events with TASP
Throughout the year, our Tenderloin After School Program (TASP) and the Social Workers organize and facilitate Intergenerational Events at the Senior Properties. The activities are designed to be interactive and engaging so that the seniors and kids can socialize with and learn from each other. Most events focus on sharing and learning about culture through food, games, and Arts and Crafts.
Other Annual Events
Over the last several years, the Social Workers at The Ambassador, The Dalt and The West have come together to host an Annual Barbeque/Talent Show on the deck of the Pavilion at The Ambassador. Additionally, the staff at the SOMA Community has been hosting an Annual Barbeque for several years. Together these events draw out a few hundred tenants and staff to enjoy the food and the entertainment.