Tag Archives: Homelessness

Day of Service with Grade 7

On Tuesday, Grade 7 students left campus to volunteer and visit with the nonprofits Glide, St. Anthony’s, Faithful Fools, Lava Mae (in Oakland), and Matter of Trust. 

The objectives for the day were to: foster community, team build, cultivate empathy, and learn how service can impact the world.

Highlights of the day included the following:

-Dancing to ABBA while serving and cleaning up breakfast at Glide

-Eating at St. Anthony’s Dining Room

-Quietly reflecting on time spent in the Tenderloin

-Meeting members of the Faithful Fools

-Helping out with a Lava Mae Pop Up Care Village

-Matting hair (for beach clean ups) and sorting eco products at Matter of Trust

During the reflection time, one student shared the following about her experience at Glide:

We are all humans with the same wants and needs. We should all help each other because that is what we are supposed to do. 

Below are links to the various organizations:

https://lavamae.org/

https://www.glide.org/

https://www.stanthonysf.org/

https://matteroftrust.org/

https://www.faithfulfools.org/

 

Hamlin Students Read Books at Hamilton Families

Wednesday evening, seven (Emma C. is not in the photo) altruistic Hamlin students went to the nonprofit Hamilton Families to read books to children experiencing homelessness. This was our first Read With Me visit of the school year. The girls read to the Hamilton kids, colored with them and even played blocks with a baby.

Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Hamilton Families is nationally recognized for pioneering homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs.

For many, many years, the Hamlin School has worked to support homeless families in San Francisco through a profound partnership with the nonprofit Hamilton Families. Hamlin students promote literacy through this Read With Me program. Multiple times a year Hamlin students visit Hamilton and read to younger children in the center. Both Hamlin students and Hamilton children alike, treasure this very human exchange.

To learn more about Hamilton Families, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/

 

Glide Minister Speaks at Hamlin

Wednesday afternoon, we welcomed Reverend Harry Louis Williams II. Reverend Williams has worked at Glide Memorial Church for the past 13 years. He spoke with Grade 7 students about his outreach ministry with people experiencing poverty on the streets of East Oakland and the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

Reverend Harry Louis Williams II, is a minister and social activist hailing from Oakland, CA. He is the author or co-author of eight books, ranging in genre from Black History to Urban Fiction. In 2015, the Oakland City Council awarded Williams a proclamation for his work in healing street-level violence in the Oakland, CA inner city, as well as his efforts to bring awareness to the epidemic of commercial sexual exploitation of children and comfort to its victims.

Reverend Williams spoke to students about the difficulties faced by children born into poverty. He asked audience members to visualize a recent excursion he took to East Oakland’s “Village Homeless Encampment.” He described a 4-year boy named Michael who lived in the encampment without parents, electricity, daily hygiene, and a regular source of food. He asked our Hamlin students how Michael would be treated when he started elementary school. Students responded with empathetic sentiments, expressing how alone and alienated Michael would likely feel.

Reverend Williams told our students, “you are fantastic, the future is yours, you are someone’s answer.” He closed by encouraging our girls to give back and volunteer to help others who are not as fortunate as they are.

 

Lava Mae Visits Hamlin

For the past two years, The Hamlin School has had a close partnership with the nonprofit Lava Mae.

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality™ – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service, Pop-Up Care Villages and buildIt toolkit.

Hamlin students have volunteered at Pop-Up Care Villages helping to distribute clothing and food to our unhoused San Francisco neighbors.

Jamie Ramirez and Kao Choua Vue from Lava Mae, visited with Grade 7 students yesterday. They shared videos, led students through simulations, and shared the following points (among others):

We deeply appreciate the warmth of Hamlin students who have volunteered with Lava Mae.

Lava Mae practices “Radical Hospitality,” a high level of care for our unhoused neighbors.

People on the streets rise to the level of care that they are given.

How you are treating people matters. Even just making eye contact and saying hello to someone makes a difference.

What if we all practiced “Radical Hospitality” to each other every day, what would our world be like?

To learn more about Lava Mae, please visit: https://lavamae.org/

 

 

Parenting During Turbulent Times: A Conversation

On April 10, forty people gathered at The Hamlin School for a rich discussion focused on parenting during stressful times. The world has always contained choppy waters, but current “challenges of our time” bring the turbulence of ecological disasters, school shootings, sexual harassment, institutional racism, and other ongoing events that erode our resilience.

Wanda M. Holland Greene and Nisa Frank led a profound conversation focused on parenting with perspective, reflection, and optimism.

Here are some of the core ideas that surfaced:

-There is a delicate balance between protecting innocence and having a child be ignorant.

-It is important to have a plan for discussing current events with your child.

-Turbulent times exist in the neighborhoods of some children.

-We must continue to ask questions about our own fears. Underneath our fear of school shootings is the idea that not everyone in our society is well. Rather than get into all of the specifics about shootings, we can lead from our value of “equity” and tell our children that there are unwell people with unmet needs.

-Rather than allowing fear to rule our thinking about homelessness, we can teach our children empathy, optimism, and compassion to act to help others.

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Grade 1 Students Support “Project Night Night”

Grade 1 students and their families have been leading the Lower School in collecting blankets, cuddly animals, books, and other supplies for the nonprofit, Project Night Night.

Project Night Night donates  over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age- appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children we serve.

Hamlin parent, Amy Morgan shares:

We have a class of thoughtful, caring girls that feel passionate about helping others. We thought this was a great way to come together as a first grade class to build community and help the community! 

Donated items were sorted last Friday and will be put in bags for delivery on March 15.

Special thanks to Hamlin parents Dalynn May and Amy Morgan for leading this altruistic work!

To learn more about Project Night Night, please visit: http://www.projectnightnight.org/

 

Homeless Voices, Hamlin Voices

On February 8, middle school students and their parents participated in a very special listening event with Lava Mae and Sound Made Public. The evening provided an opportunity for Hamlin community members to listen to the voices of people experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco, while also hearing reflections from our students who have been regularly volunteering with Lava Mae.

Participants sat on buckets and cardboard with the lights off, creating an environment to better empathize and take in the powerful narratives. The event provided the opportunity to get a little closer, listen, and imagine not having a place to call home – evoking a deeper view and a greater connection to our shared humanity.

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service, Pop-Up Care Villages and buildIt toolkit.

Sound Made Public is a creative agency focusing on audio experiences, large and small, that change the way we hear the world.

Quotes from the audio recordings:

Homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, people who are bums, it’s the farthest thing from the truth, you meet people from all walks of life.         -A man experiencing homelessness

It’s a situation, people who are homeless weren’t always homeless, you’re in is a situation, it’s changeable, it’s very changeable.          -A woman experiencing homelessness

After like 30 minutes or so volunteering with Lava Mae I became much more comfortable and I understood that they were people. Homeless people are like normal people.   -Hamlin student

It’s not just their exterior, there is a lot going on underneath, and if you see somebody, you don’t know what they’ve gone through, you don’t know what they’re going through, so if someone looks like they need help, then I think you should help them.      -Hamlin student

We just went and we volunteered for a few hours, and it wasn’t that hard, and it wasn’t that much, but when many people do that, it adds up. And when there is something like Lava Mae that makes it possible for people to volunteer for these things, even if it’s not solving homelessness, it’s definitely making a a difference.       -Hamlin student

To listen to the recording, click here

To learn more about Lava Mae and Sound Made Public please visit:

https://lavamae.org/

http://www.soundmadepublic.com/

 

 

 

Hamlin Harvest 2018

For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support families experiencing homelessness in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families.

Hamilton Families’ mission is to end family homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our largest event connected to Hamilton is our annual Harvest. This year over 200 Hamlin students, parents, and faculty members prepared food for families currently experiencing homelessness. On Saturday, January 27, we made vegetable lasagnas, salads, fresh garlic bread, and apple crisps. The following day a group of Hamlin Grade 8 students served the food at Hamilton Families. Altogether, Harvest provided nourishment for 300 people.

The event took place between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and consisted of two work shifts. Between the shifts, Wanda Holland Greene (Head of School) and Tomiquia Moss (Executive Director of Hamilton Families), addressed the volunteers. Ms. Holland Greene shared inspiring words and led everyone in the song With My Own Two Hands. Ms. Moss stated that we can end family homelessness in San Francisco and stressed how important is for kids at Hamilton to be known, loved, and supported by their community.

Special thanks to Hamlin parents Betsy Ahlstrand and Nichole Sullivan for helping to organize this wonderful event.

For more information about Hamilton Families, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/

 

 

Lava Mae & Simply the Basics

On January 25, Lilah Beldner spoke with our Grade 7 students about Lava Mae. Ms. Beldner is a recent graduate of Lick-Wilmerding High School and is taking a gap year to serve people experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco. Since 2016, Hamlin students have been volunteering every month with Lava Mae’s Pop-Up Care Villages, serving food and working in the street store distributing clothing.

Lava Mae brings critical services to the streets – delivered with an unexpected level of care we call Radical Hospitality – to rekindle dignity and hope for people experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Hygiene Service, Pop-Up Care Villages and buildIt toolkit.

Ms. Beldner emphasized the following points (among others):

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Hamlin Harvest is Coming

For many, many years, The Hamlin School has worked to support homeless families in San Francisco through a profound partnership with Hamilton Families. A child born into this world has no control over their situation; our partnership strives to address hunger, literacy, and provide awareness of homelessness faced by some of our city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Hamilton Families was established as an emergency overnight homeless shelter in 1985. At that time the shelter was located in the Haight-Ashbury district and was open nightly from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.

These days family homelessness in San Francisco has increased by more than 90% from 2007 to 2014. Over 2,000 children were homeless in 2014 and it took most families nearly nine months to access temporary shelter. Hamilton Families is working to address this crisis by helping families quickly find permanent housing. Progress in communities across the nation over the last few years has affirmed that an end to family homelessness is an achievable goal (Hamilton Families Website).

Hamlin’s connection to Hamilton dates back to the late 1990s when Hamlin’s Lend-A-Hand started partnering with the center. Lend-A-Hand is Hamlin’s dynamic Parents Association service learning program. It is open to all families and offers service opportunities with San Francisco organizations that focus on hunger, homelessness, and literacy.

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