Good Shepherd Gracenter

Winter 2014 Newsletter


Good Shepherd Gracenter helps women without resources break free from drug and alcohol addiction. By providing long-term transitional housing with an individualized 12-Step recovery plan, we offer each woman the opportunity to live a healthy and meaningful life. At Good Shepherd Gracenter, we believe a woman's recovery begins with grace.

Executive Director's Report

By Sr. Marguerite Bartling, RGS, MSW


Gratitude and sharing are the words that come to me as I reflect on the celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas this season. I am grateful to God for all the positive developments happening at Good Shepherd Gracenter as well as for each of you as our valued Mission Partners.

Our Board has developed and approved a Strategic Plan encompassing Gracenter’s Vision, Board Development, Funding and Staffing needs. We held the 2nd Annual Gracenter Fundraiser, an Art & Food Soiree. We also celebrated National Recovery Month by participating in a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Presently nine out of twelve women are employed, one will obtain her high school diploma in January 2015 and another is attending the local college.  Gracenter has facilitated many educational, cultural and recreational activities for its women including financial literacy classes, health fairs, Cique Du Soleil and boat trips to Alcatraz.

An important part of recovery is giving back to the community and some of the women, staff and Sisters participated in the St. Vincent DePaul's annual 2-mile walk, "Friends of the Poor." Other women give weekly volunteer hours to other non-profit agencies in the city and all are active members of 12-Step communities outside of Gracenter.

Thank you for being a part of our Mission of helping women without resources break free from drug and alcohol addiction. One of the women expressed recovery as "freedom of mind, body and soul….recovery is life!"

May each of you and your loved ones experience the gifts of gratitude and sharing this special season. You are in our minds and hearts.


Sr. Marguerite Bartling RGS, MSW
Executive Director, Gracenter

Art & Food Soiree 2014

By: Jeannette McDermott

Good Shepherd Gracenter held its 2nd annual fundraising event on Sept. 13 at the fun and funky SomArts Gallery in San Francisco. The Art and Food Soiree honored Teresa Mejia, the Executive Director of the Women’s Building in San Francisco, for her work improving the lives of underserved women in the area. Also honored was Loreen Seid Jung, Vice President and Branch Manager of Bank of the West in the Portola District, for her work teaching financial literacy classes to the women in residence. Nearly 200 guests attendedthe event, featuring a silent auction, a historic display about Gracenter, and a place where guests could express their grace.

It was held during National Recovery Month which provides a platform for spreading the message that substance abuse prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can, and do, recover! Programs like Gracenter are critical to helping women break the cycle of drug and alcohol use, crime, incarceration, and re-arrest. As one resident puts it "I'm a new person today because of Gracenter".


The Art of Second Chances

art-second-chancesIs there someone in your life right now, perhaps a family member or a friend, who could use your forgiveness and love? Cultivate the art of second chances in the following ways:

  1. Listening – take the time to find out what’s really happening. Refrain from advice or judgment Ask open ended questions and focus on the positive.
  2. Kindness – don’t underestimate random acts of kindness. Do something small and out of the ordinary with no strings attached.
  3. Acceptance – self-awareness and self-acceptance are powerful tools when learning how to accept others. Everyone wants to be loved as they are, including you. When you are at peace with yourself, acceptance comes naturally and with ease.

Living Life with Happiness: An Interview with Raven Smith

ravenRaven is a successful graduate  of Good Shepherd Gracenter, working full time in a managerial position and living independently.

How has Good Shepherd Gracenter changed your life?
This is like a safe haven. I met most of my goals, got a job and I got my life back, and it’s awesome. The big thing was my faith. I started praying more. I love this place, I still call it my home.

What are your goals and your dreams?
My goal is education, to go back to school. My biggest dream is to have my son with me in our own home. I have a lot of dreams. It just takes time.

How has your recovery impacted the important people in your life?
The main one impacted would be my son. He was angry with me for a long time. Now my son is happy, he tells me he loves me, he’ll blow me kisses, he tells me he’s proud of me. My parents too, they tell me they love me and I never heard that from them growing up. Even my sisters come to me for advice.

What makes you happy?
It brings me joy waking up every morning, knowing that I can go to work.

What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for my life today. I am grateful for my recovery tools. When something happens to trigger me, I know what to do. My favorite recovery tool is to sit down and close your eyes and just breathe deep. I’m grateful to my sponsor for teaching me how to meditate.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to living my life with happiness, laughter, to see people smile, I love that. A smile can do a lot for somebody, you don’t know what they’re going through that day. Maybe that will save their life. I look forward to going out and touching people’s lives and being in someone’s life.

Making a Lasting Impact

make-a-differenceOne person can make a significant impact on the lives of others by leaving a legacy. Become a mission Partner with Good Shepherd Gracenter and offer young women without resources a chance to break free from drug and alcohol addiction. You can change lives by making a bequest and including Good Shepherd Gracenter in your will or through planned giving. If you would like more information,  please contact the Development Office at (415) 586-2845

View Newsletter as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.