Voices of the Tenderloin

Voices of the Tenderloin

Your generosity creates opportunities for people to find and use their voice. See some of the stories you made possible!

Championing Neighborhood Leaders

“I don’t think my life would have been much if I hadn’t gotten into organizing. I believe and know they saved my life.”
—Debra Copes, Graduate of TNDC’s Leadership Academy
For Debra, TNDC’s Leadership Academy was just the beginning. After 12 weeks of practicing public speaking, learning conflict resolution techniques, and facilitating group meetings, Debra continued to grow as a leader. At 60 years old, she goes door to door registering voters, posts flyers for community meetings, and works as a Community Organizing Outreach Leader at TNDC.

Building a Healthier Tenderloin

“The [corner stores] are community pillars. We want to make sure that they are a vital community resource for the people who live here.”
—Jennifer Siswandi, Food Justice Leader for TNDC’s Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition
Born and raised in the Tenderloin, Jennifer has seen the neighborhood’s lack of healthy options firsthand, but she has also made change by working with the Tenderloin Healthy Corner Store Coalition (TLHCSC). The TLHCSC works with local corner stores to offer more produce and less foods with preservatives. So far, the TLHCSC has redesigned five stores and a sixth is on the way!

Mobilizing the Neighborhood

“Organizing is interpersonal relationships. You have to build community with the people you work with.”
—Lorenzo Listana, Community Organizer at TNDC
Organizers bring people together. Lorenzo founded the first Filipino Community Association in the Tenderloin, and regularly organizes the Tenderloin People’s Congress, an alliance of 12 organizations.

Transforming Lives in the Tenderloin

“We give people back purpose, meaning, hope.”
—Curtis Bradford, TNDC Donor, Resident, Board Member, and Community Organizer
Curtis describes Community Organizing with one word: transformative. His transformation happened seven years ago when one of our Community Organizers approached him at a community meeting at his home, the Alexander Residence.
Through the team’s support, he learned to move beyond his past and define his identity for himself. He felt stronger, empowered, and confident enough to join TNDC’s Board and become a full-time advocate for the Tenderloin.
Curtis is proud to support an organization that understands both the importance of home and the power of organizing. Every day he sees the impact as his neighbors find a new sense of purpose, speak their truth, and feel heard.

Engaging the Neighborhood

“The results that I see [through Community Organizing] are tangible.”
—Rebecca Browning, Community Organizer and Resident at TNDC
To find out what the community wants, all you have to do is ask, says Rebecca. One of the ways Community Organizing creates opportunities for neighborhood dialogue is by hosting the Better Lower Eddy Street outreach pop-up, which happens every first Friday of the month on the corner of Eddy and Taylor Street.

Empowering Tenderloin Residents

“Every day I get to impact the lives of people in a positive way. It makes my day. Every day.”
—Ramon Quintero, Community Organizer at TNDC
At TNDC, education means having a constant conversation. Ramon facilitates a drop-in Ethnic Studies Class every year and a year-round Land Use Class that runs twice a month.
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