Steve’s Story

The Simple-But-Powerful Idea That Transforms Lives for People Who Have Experienced Homelessness

Born and raised in San Francisco, Steve Tanksley lived much of his life in Hunter’s Point. But Steve hit a string of bad luck and lost his job — and with it his stability, his security, and his home. Without the means to pay his rent, he was forced to move out of his apartment and fell into a deep depression. Without a permanent place to live, Steve struggled with his mental health, until he found Community Housing Partnership — and a new place to call home.

When Steve moved into his new apartment at the Cambridge, a Community Housing Partnership residence in the Tenderloin that provides supportive housing, he felt confident it would be the safe place he needed to get a fresh start. The Resident Services team provided him with critical rehabilitation services and guided him through the support services that gave him the tools to get back on his feet. It wasn’t long before Steve felt empowered to give back to his community, gaining the trust of his fellow tenants and becoming the lead volunteer for his building’s weekly Food Runners meal donation program.

The simple-but-powerful combination of housing with support services was just what Steve needed not just to survive, but truly thrive. With the support of Resident Services, Steve was eventually ready to move out of supportive housing and start paying rent in his own affordable housing apartment – a true testament to his newfound level of stability and self-sufficiency.

Steve hasn’t forgotten the support he received at the Cambridge and the community that helped lift him up. To this day, Steve volunteers with Food Runners. “I have been doing this for 10 years now and haven’t missed a Friday,” Steve shares. “I love to give back to the community to make it a better place to live.” In December 2018, residents and staff recognized Steve for his decade of service. (Watch clip below.)

Steve’s resilience and spirit of making our community a better place for all of us to live inspires us. It can be painful and frustrating to see people living on the streets in San Francisco. As individuals, it’s hard to know what to do to make a difference. But together, we can change lives for people, like Steve, who have experienced homelessness.

You can be part of rebuilding the neighborhoods and city we love through volunteering, donating, or spreading the word about the issues surrounding homelessness in San Francisco. Join a community that’s changing lives and building a brighter future for our neighbors in need, make a gift today.