The Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) is an organization based in San Francisco’s Mission District which seeks to end childhood poverty by helping parents and families transform their lives for the better by providing perinatal and parenting services as well as housing assistance, domestic violence services, mental health support, child welfare assistance, job training and emergency support.
On May 30, HPP hosted its annual fundraiser, which this year diverged from the traditional concept of a fundraising gala and instead took on the form of an art exhibition which both celebrated the Mission’s diverse and vibrant culture while also depicting the neighborhoods’ pressing issues.
The gala-exhibition event, titled Our House, Our Mission showcased Ten Women: Ten Stories, a new series by Janet Delaney, whose work South of Market is currently on display at the de Young Museum. Ten Women: Ten Stories is composed of portraits of HPP client families in their homes, which include temporary shelters, affordable housing and long-term Mission residents. It focuses on illuminating the contrast between the residents and their lives and the constantly changing city of San Francisco, demonstrating how it is becoming increasingly difficult to live in these evolving urban environments. The pieces set the backdrop for HPP”s work, as they collaborate with families and community members to improve the city’s living conditions and access to basic resources.
The event, curated by talented Event Chair Jennifer Board, also showcased work by two local artists: Marsha Shaw, a printmaker, teacher and the current manager of Mission Grafica (a part of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts) and the Artillery’s Ivan Lopez. Shaw created a 20-color screen print for the event which featured HPP’s well-known home, the Lipman Family Building and Lopez showcased a mural. The exhibition also featured pieces by HPP staff and clients as well as interactive art works crafted by attendees and a screening of the San Francisco Chronicle’s recent film A changing Mission.
The night was complete with entertainment by vocalist and harpist María José Montijo and DJ Audiopharmacy, a silent auction featuring pieces of artwork as well as items from neighborhood businesses such as Bissap Baobab and food and drinks from vendors such as Straw, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Philz which were crafted to reflect the Mission’s unique culinary culture.
Since 1989, HPP has worked to establish itself as an impactful organization in San Francisco. It has emerged as the first agency in the city to begin hiring former clients as staff members (today, one half of HPP’s current staff of 80 is composed of members of the community it serves) and thus far has succeeded in aiding over 85,000 families through its programs. This year, HPP was able to raise over $200,000 through the Our House, Our Mission event, all of which will go to directly supporting HPP’s continued efforts.