Welcome to Good Shepherd Gracenter

january 2019 newsletter

Good Shepherd Gracenter helps women without resources break free from drug and alcohol addiction to create a hopeful future for themselves and others.


By Sr. Marguerite Bartling, RGS, MSW

Marguerite Bartling

Looking back at the past year of 2018, I marvel at how Good Shepherd Gracenter continues to connect with the wider community. Just as importantly, the women of Good Shepherd Gracenter give back to others. This newsletter highlights some of those key connections. As the New Year of 2019 begins, I am personally grateful for the opportunity to get to know good people, like you, who make a difference in the lives of others. Because of you, the women at Good Shepherd Gracenter have the opportunity to create a hopeful future for themselves and others.


Blessings for the New Year of 2019.

Sr. Marguerite Bartling RGS, MSW | Executive Director, Gracenter


It has been a long-time dream of Gracenter to increase the number of women we could serve. The San Francisco Women’s Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. also known as Stepping Stone, awarded us with a half-million dollar capital grant in November 2018. The grant covers capital expenses only. It does not support operations such as food, staff salaries, or program costs. Therefore, we will use the money to build an additional four bedrooms, add another bathroom and widen our narrow driveway. With these four additional bedrooms, we will be able to serve 17 women at a time. We presently have space for only 13 women.

Gracenter and Stepping Stone

Stepping Stone was founded in 1962. It was the oldest alcohol and drug recovery program for women in Northern California. During the past 55 years, more than 1,000 women resided at Stepping Stone. Due to unforeseen difficulties, the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Women’s Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. (Stepping Stone) decided to dissolve its operations and distribute their assets to several qualified nonprofits.

We are so grateful to Terry Hennessy, President of the Stepping Stone Board, for seeking out Good Shepherd Gracenter through the internet. She invited us to submit a proposal and advocated for us to receive the grant.

Sadly, she developed lung complications after her hip surgery and died on October 26, 2018. This tremendous woman was so instrumental in helping Gracenter grow in its mission of helping women break free from addiction to create a hopeful future for themselves and others. We give thanks for Terry and praise and gratitude to God for this tremendous gift!

hungerHunger Knows No Holiday

With ready hands and hearts, the women of Gracenter put together over 60 sandwiches and proceeded to feed the homeless and those in need of compassion and care at Army St. & Potrero in San Francisco on Christmas Day. Besides sandwiches, the women and staff passed out cookies and chips with a lot of love to go around. We also package dog food for their pets. It was great to see the smiles on everybody’s faces!

Every year we make gift bags filled with toiletries for the homeless at the Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen. Like Good Shepherd Gracenter, Martin’s believes that all people have dignity; all people have the right to be respected and all people deserve to eat.

The Market Partners with Gracenter


Good Shepherd Gracenter was invited as a Non- Profit Sponsor to attend the Market Square Fall Harvest Fair at The Market on 1355 Market Street last October. The Fall Festival with 60 vendors displayed a dazzling array of foods and goods.

As a socially conscious company, the aim of The Market is not only to offer high-quality, locallysourced food, but to invest in the health of our communities by employing their neighbors, including the residents of Gracenter. We would like to thank Michael and Susan Cohen and Chris Foley, owners of The Market, for their superb leadership in the community.

Bby the numbersY THE NUMBERS

Every year, Good Shepherd Gracenter serves approximately 30 women in our licensed recovery residence.

In 2018, we provided support to over 70 alumni that included mentoring, along with housing, employment and legal referrals.

Alumni are welcomed to participate in Gracenter’s special events and fun activities.

Right: Residents, staff and graduates enjoy getting together for parties throughout the year

Read More

Good Shepherd Gracenter Nonprofit Overview and Reviews on GreatNonprofits

It’s official. Good Shepherd Gracenter is on the 2018 Top-Rated List For GREAT NONPROFITS.


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Gracenter is a recovery residence that offers a supportive and gently challenging program for women who wish to strengthen their early sobriety. Typically, participants have completed a primary recovery program and are seeking to re-establish employment, healthy relationships, and deepen their spirituality through participation in 12 Step programs. We are committed to be a healing presence in the lives of women.

Located in San Francisco, and proudly serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area, Gracenter provides a stable and supportive living environment with a healthy balance of structure and independence where women can develop sober living skills as well as offering a network of professional, lay, and peer guidance support. A full-time case manager links them with the educational, employment, health care, child care and other social services they need and helps them navigate these systems to maintain their sobriety.


During their stay, the women of Gracenter learn to develop positive coping skills, as well as build healthy relationships and forge new ones that support their sobriety.

Please consider making a donation today.