2024 Winter Newsletter – Gracenter’s New Residence is Complete!

Gracenter’s New Residence is Complete!

The doors will open as soon as the licensing process is completed for the new five-bedroom building added to Gracenter’s residential recovery residence. One of the bedrooms is pictured above.

The building was made possible by a large grant from Stepping Stone as well as dozens of wonderful donors like you. (Pictured below is the new building’s ADA-accessible bathroom.)

To honor all who “set their support in stone,” the entrance of the building has each donor’s name. Each time we cross the threshold, we can all be reminded of our community who made this possible!

We expect to start welcoming additional women to our residence in early 2024. Once licensed, Gracenter will be able to begin serving 18 residents at one time and up to 35 residents each year.

Q&A with Long-Time Gracenter Volunteer

Michelle Tapia (pictured above) has shared her time and talents with Gracenter and our residents for over 10 years. She has taught fitness classes and stress management classes, helped with gardening day, hosted lunches, and helped run our bingo nights. Here’s what Michelle has to share about her time with Gracenter:

How did you learn of Good Shepherd Gracenter?
I was the Chair of the Social Ministries Council at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in San Francisco. I toured Gracenter, became interested in becoming involved, and invited others from St. Ignatius Parish to also volunteer.

From your perspective, what would you say is the most important element of Gracenter’s work?
Gracenter accepts the whole person. It supports women through their journey and offers them opportunities to further themselves from school to work to other personal development. We get to show up as ourselves. I share something I enjoy and bring enjoyment to the women.

Would you recommend volunteering at Gracenter to others?
Yes. The residents and staff are welcoming and appreciate their volunteers. It is flexible in terms of time, and there are different ways you can volunteer. It’s been rewarding to use and share my skills as a volunteer. At the end of the day, being at Gracenter feels like being with family. There is a lot of support and respect, and the residents and staff are very grateful for what the volunteers do.

Thank you to Michelle and all other volunteers for the work that you do! For anyone interested in volunteering, contact Sr. Marguerite Bartling, RGS at sr.marguerite@gsgracenter.org.

Recovery Is A Lifestyle

The women Gracenter serves are choosing more than abstinence from substances. Our residents are building different lives than most have ever known or thought possible. They are taking responsibility for their actions, their impact on others, and choosing a different future. We join the voices in our field to say: recovery is possible.

Ryan Blackstock, Psy.D. published in Treatment Magazine explains how lifestyle choices are central to sobriety, self-sufficiency, and self-fulfillment. He shares:

  • It’s not enough just to tick off the boxes of sobriety. The skills of staying sober have to become a routine part of a life of personal growth.
  • Establishing a lifestyle for recovery takes time, practice, and hard work. It also becomes a force that we begin to tap into without effort, one that sustains us through hardships, and often inspires others.
  • It’s important to spend time with others who share your lifestyle. People who are successful in recovery spend time with others who are successful in recovery.

Your support provides Gracenter’s life-changing programming to those who need it most. Read on to learn more about how recovery lifestyle changes here.

Welcoming the New Year with Gratitude

Many hands were involved in the milestones we reached in 2023. Some of our 2023 successes include:

We held our first in-person fundraiser in three years. Over 200 supporters attended, and we raised $100,000 to directly support our mission. Pictured below is the presentation of awards for addiction recovery advocates during the gala.

We welcomed new board members and guild members.

We also recognized our wonderful guild members who have shared their time, talent, and treasures with Gracenter. The Good Shepherd Guild has faithfully supported Gracenter’s mission since 1932. Pictured below are guild members at their Spring Forward fundraiser for Gracenter.

Our gardens received a landscaping award by the Portola Garden Tour.

This popular event showcasing the Portola neighborhood gardens was founded to be a fundraiser for local causes. Gracenter grounds have long featured healing gardens, bringing residents, staff, and volunteers together to tend to them. We enjoy being a part of the neighborhood and are grateful our community gave back to us in this way. Pictured below is a volunteer day working on Gracenter’s gardens.

Our campus will remain a sanctuary for many more years.

In addition to completing construction on our new residence, Gracenter’s primary building also underwent updates. With a new roof and new windows, our facilities will be able to face upcoming wet seasons. This year’s focus on refurbishing our grounds and primary building (pictured below), in addition to the new construction, will ensure that Gracenter continues to be a healthy and peaceful environment for recovery for years to come!

Gracenter Leadership Attended Global Conference In France

Gracenter’s Executive Director Sister Marguerite Bartling, RGS, MSW, SUDCC IV and Board President Tayo Akanni (pictured with group above) gained tools to lead Gracenter into the future during a global conference held by Good Shepherd Mission Partners in France.

The founding of Gracenter traces back to The Sisters of the Good Shepherd Order, which was formed in France in 1835 to help women experiencing hardship. More organizations around the globe were also founded from the Good Shepherd Order and continue to participate in opportunities provided by Good Shepherd Mission Partners.

During the conference held in early fall, over 80 participants attended from Canada, US, Taiwan, Panama, Lebanon, and El Salvador. The group learned more about their dynamic foundress St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, and how her inspiring life led to significant and long-lasting change. The goal of the week was for leaders to reflect on and share about their missions and how we may be able to grow together.

Gracenter looks forward to more opportunities for unity and support among our global community promoting the good works being done by each of our organizations around the world.

Sisters of St. Joseph Healthcare Foundation

The success of our residents and graduates is possible thanks to the generous support of many grantmaking organizations, including:

Grateful for Grants

Elevance Health
Trust Funds Inc.
Robert Half
VC Fund
RHE Charitable Foundation

Celebrate Foundation
Charis Fund
San Francisco Kolping Society
St. Ignatius Parish
San Francisco Foundation