Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

The importance of Community: Hawa Soumare ‘27 Martin de Porres House of Hospitality in San Francisco, CA

I am currently volunteering at Martin de Porres House of Hospitality, in San Francisco, California. I am surrounded by kind people, and thriving nature like I’ve never experienced before. Martin’s goal is to feed the homeless population in Mission district, as well as targeting and combating the current opioid crisis in San Francisco. Martin de Porres is open 6 days a week Monday through Saturday for breakfast 4 days a week, and lunch everyday. We serve hot soup, pastries, bread, and different drinks everyday we’re open, all items are made or prepped by dedicated volunteers, and long term staff who reside at the David House. We give showers everyday that we’re are open, along with distributing items such as soap, towels, clothings, razors, and feminine hygiene products to guests.
During my time here I’ve learned quite a bit about communication and what it means to be a part of a community. I reside with 9 other people at David House each with their own private room, but I also go volunteer at Martins with these same members of my community. Although we don’t do everything together we are still a small community of people who take care of day to day operations at Martin de Porres. We work together to both guide the volunteers we get and make sure that each guest at Martins has a quality experience. Normal day to day operations at Martin’s includes chopping vegetables, bussing and cleaning tables, washing dishes, baking, creating and overlooking the shower list, and other things such as charging electronics for anyone who asks.
Asides from my co-op there are many things to enjoy about San Francisco, such as the wonderful sunny weather almost everyday. There are many parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and thrift stores around the area. The members of David house are never hesitant to help with anything you need, or partake in duo or group activities. The members and some volunteers hold a gathering each week to organize, and talk about new ideas that will help Martins. These meetings not only bring people closer together, but they also teach me a lot about communication and community organization, both of which will help me in my field of psychology. I’ve come to understand that it’s always better to just tackle any obstacles as soon as they manifest. That has helped me mature in the way I think and see things.
As I continue my journey I hope to learn more about the people I’m surrounded by and create more memories and experiences. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want to do with my future by being here. I would come again without question. With city and Co-op were both great.

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