Most recent volunteer training: an army of Millennials have stepped up to support their older neighbors. Bravo! - San Francisco Village

Dear Members and Friends:

It has been an extraordinary few days since I last wrote to you. We closed the office and staff are now working remotely in response to the shelter-in-place order from Mayor Breed. We’re hunkered down learning new skills so we can expand our capacity to deliver essential services to you.  Back in 2007, when our founders were imagining what San Francisco Village could mean to people, I don’t think a web of connection in response to a global pandemic was in their minds eye. But here we are.

We’re adapting to a new normal that includes social distancing as our best weapon in fighting the spread of Covid-19. It seems contradictory to who we are as a village. But in fact, its an invitation to change how we know ourselves as a village.

Are you wondering how you’re going to endure the long stretch of solitude up ahead? I am. So let’s not conflate social distancing with social isolation. Although we can’t gather in-person, there are many options for staying connected to other people, a sense of beauty, and an optimistic future. All are critical in maintaining our psychological and emotional health.

One way to stay connected is online. If you don’t know how to use Zoom video conferencing, we encourage you to watch this video tutorial. You can also contact Jill and she will connect you with a volunteer who will call you on the phone and walk you through it.

Evidence of an optimistic future is the number of Millennials that have reached out to us volunteering their time. They are eager to help you and get to know you in the process. Allow a kind young person to teach you a new technology and then use it to stay in touch with each other. Now, there’s something to look forward to.

Sarah Kent is moving the program online! She has put together a schedule of programs for the rest of the month, as well as some nourishing online resources. Please be sure to RSVP by email or phone.

I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and discover some new terrain. Change is here.

Stay well and don’t watch too much cable news!

Kate Hoepke
Executive Director



Upcoming Programs


Makers and Crafters
Monday, March 23, 1:00 – 2:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

Calling all visual artists and crafters! We’ll join together on Zoom for a “show and tell” session. It’s time to get that favorite creation or current project and use your camera to show it to the group. No camera for your computer or ipad? Get descriptive to tell the group about your project!

Zoom Coffee Date
Tuesday, March 24, 10:00  — 11:00 AM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link and telephone number

An experiment in online connection—let’s have coffee together while we are physically distancing ourselves. We’ll log on to Zoom and connect.

Aging Well with Meditation
Wednesdays, March 25, April 1 & 8, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link and telephone number

Mindfulness mediation – paying attention purposefully and non-judgmentally in the present moment – is associated with lower stress, improved self-awareness, positive brain changes, more compassion, and better sleep. All levels of experience are welcome.

Creating Connection in a Time of Isolation
Thursday, March 26, 2020 1:00 – 2:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link and telephone number

With all of the activity and program closures throughout the country, let’s make sure this forced isolation doesn’t lead to increased feelings of loneliness amongst older adults in our communities.

Join Amber Carroll, Director of Well Connected to learn more about the virtual connection opportunities available to the older adults living anywhere throughout the United States.

Tai Chi and Qigong
Thursdays, March 26 & April 2, 2:30 – 3:15 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

Practice Tai Chi to improve your balance, help with arthritis, and increase your energy. We will be showing Dr. Paul Lam’s videos via Zoom. These sessions will include skills of Qigong discipline, the perfect blend of Tai Chi and Qigong.

LGBT Circle
Friday, March 27, 1:00—2:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link and telephone number

Our first circle gathering virtually! We’ll spend this time sharing about the uniqueness of being LGBTQ.

Spanish Film Showing: All About My Mother / Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
Monday, March 30th, 1:00 — 3:30 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

Come celebrate Women’s history month with us! We will watch Todo sobre Mi Madre (1999): Young Esteban wants to become a writer and also discover the identity of his second mother, a trans woman, carefully concealed by his mother Manuela. This drama is written and directed by Spanish master Pedro Almodovar. Starring Penelope Cruz and Cecilia Roth. The movie will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. Discussion to follow after film.

Film Fest: Phenomenal Women
Friday, April 3, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

The Use of Indigenous Carvings for Healing and Problem-solving
Monday, April 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

This experiential seminar will be a brief introduction to the use of found or carved fetish animals for the restoration of personal power. Although most cultures have at some time employed power objects, their usage in Native America has been uninterrupted and is alive and vibrant today.

We will work with traditional animal carvings (sculpted by Nature or by indigenous artists) to acquire insight into the ingenious use of consciousness for problem-solving that has been cultivated and refined among aboriginal cultures world-wide.  Please note that there will be brief periods of drumming with a handheld drum during the workshop. Prior to attending, participants are encouraged- but not required- to lightly reflect upon a dilemma or “stuck place” they would like to approach in a novel way.

To prepare: go anywhere outside and find a tiny (1/2 in to 2 in) rock, or piece of wood, that resembles any animal and bring it to the seminar. You may find it on a walk in a park, or in your backyard or even near a city sidewalk. (If you choose to wash the rock make sure it is dry by the time of our gathering.) Please pay attention to the very small dimensions. If you happen to own a Native American carved fetish you may choose to use it for the workshop, although it is not necessary. Indeed, as will be demonstrated, “found fetishes” have much power.

Mentoring Exchange: Masters of Public Health students
Monday. April 20, 4:45 – 6:30 PM
RSVP to (415) 387-1375 or to receive the Zoom link

San Francisco Village is thrilled to be partnering with USF for a mentoring exchange between members and Masters of Public Health students. By spending time in a one-on-one conversation, both parties will gain a better understanding and connection to a different generation. Topics discussed can include but are not limited to backgrounds, interests, life experiences, and thoughts about the future. This meeting will take place via Zoom since USF classes are online for the rest of the semester.


Staying Engaged and Connected with Online Resources

Well Connected

Check out all of the free phone and video programs by Well Connected—
Whether you like art or zoology, music or meditation, there is a program for you. Each Well Connected session offers groups and classes on a wide range of topics. You’re sure to find one that interests you. Well Connected members call in via a toll-free number at a set time each week, with some groups also offering the option to connect via computer, tablet, or mobile device. Most groups last 30 minutes to an hour with around 12 participants. Newcomers are always welcome! If you don’t feel like talking at first, you’re welcome to just listen as long as you’ve let the group know you’re there.

Ivy League Courses
There is so much to learn from so many people! Ivy League Courses are online for free—learn more at

Friendship Line
Many of us are dealing with uncertainty around the coronavirus. As participation in social activities wanes, social isolation, loneliness and anxiety may increase. The Friendship Line can be a much-needed support service to aging adults at this time – we encourage you to provide the Friendship Line number to seniors who need a connection or a listening ear. We provide calls in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish as well.  The Friendship Line number is 1 (800) 971-0016


For information on how to get involved with San Francisco Village as a member or volunteer, email or call (415) 387-1375 x 2.