The famous Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who lived among the poorest of the poor in the leper colonies of Calcutta, India once said:
“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering, and the lonely right there where you are—in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society—completely forgotten, completely left alone.”
The Tenderloin district is less than one square mile and is located in the heart of San Francisco. It is home to about 37,000 residents, the transition space of approximately 7,000 of San Francisco’s homeless population, as well as the place of upbringing for over 3,000 children.
The poverty that we see is often in the form of hunger, drug addiction, destitution both indoors and out, poor physical health, domestic violence, and overall physical suffering. However, what we see on the surface all have their roots in what is unseen: the trauma, brokenness, and isolation that have lead people to that place.
In fact, the common story of many of the people that we meet here is that they were often abused at a young age which lead them into self-medicating with a substance. This self-medication eventually develops into an addiction that consumes their life. The desire for escaping their reality through drugs or alcohol causes their relationships and responsibilities to diminish leading them into homelessness and destitution wherever they have come from.
Due to San Francisco’s many programs to aid the homeless and destitute, many of them emigrate from other places, where the conditions and services are not as friendly as it is in San Francisco. Here, are funneled into the shelters and low-income homes of the Tenderloin. As people settle onto their new home on the street or in an low-income apartment, the notion that they are forgotten and unloved sets in as insolation becomes their reality. Though we’d like to believe that the youth of the Tenderloin are safe from this pattern - they are on their way to repeat this cycle unless someone intervenes.
Fortunately for this community, Jesus can change everything and He is worthy. For this Conference, you get to be a part of seeing this community revived! We have 45+ outreaches in which we will challenge you to reach the lost and broken of the city—even if it is just one life. If we (YOU!) don’t go, who will?