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MATTER Staff Spotlight

Kenneth Hill

Introducing Kenneth Hill  HPF’s New Director of Environmental Programs

Kenneth Hill, Deputy Director of Environmental Programs
The Hunters Point Family (HPF) is proud to announce that Mr. Kenneth Hill has joined the “Family” as our new Director of Environmental Programs.  Kenny is a native and resident of Bayview and is passionate about environmental and food justice.  Before taking on his role as Director of Environmental Programs for HPF, Kenny was at the Bayview Healzone, where he launched the Bayview Healthy Heroes campaign.
In his new role, Kenny will be busy.  HPF has included urban farming, a free food pantry, nutrition and cooking classes, as part of our service model since 1999, long before these types of programs were trendy.  HPF recognized that our childrens’ health was suffering as a result of diets high in processed foods and a toxic environment.  In the last two years, our environmental programs have grown to include aquaponics, a fruit delivery business, and most recently the Healthy Bayview Program.
Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Families, Healthy Bayview is a comprehensive initiative to increase the capacity of community gardens, increase food production, expand food distribution to over 1,000 underserved families in BVHP, raise awareness and educate residents about nutrition and healthy meal preparation, and support local, social enterprises with a mission to increase food security. Healthy Bayview will provide over 100 training and employment opportunities for high-risk youth and young adults living in BVHP.

Kenny’s vision is to build HPF’s environmental and food justice programs so they transform the community from a food desert into a food oasis and a model for urban farming and sustainability. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more about HPF’s Environmental programs, reach out to Kenny at

Kenny@hunterspointfamily.org

 

Pit Stop

 Hunters Point Family goes city wide with Pit Stop.  

HPF is proud to announce that we were awarded the Pit Stop Grant from the San Francisco Public Works. As of January 20, 2016 the Hunters Point Family began staffing the Pit Stop sites.  What are the Pit Stops?

You know those green bathrooms downtown and in the Mission that you would never use because you’re afraid of what may have gone on in that cramped area before you.  Well, it’s a new day and an all new Pit Stop, and we want you to take the Pit Stop Challenge!  The next time you stop by a Pit Stop, go in, smell the fresh scent, examine the clean floors, toilet, and sink.  Take in the soothing music and the lush atmosphere created by the plant.  This is your time, your experience, your 15 minutes (or less if you don’t need all of the time) of peace and relief.

In order to ensure the Pit Stops are so clean and safe, that even you will want to use them again and again, the HPF recruited a Dream Team, including Dejuan Lewis, Dwayne Cooke, and Everett Highbaugh.  This team works in partnership with CDCR and Geocare (the halfway house on Taylor Street), to identify, train, and hire exemplary formerly incarcerated individuals as monitors at the Pit Stops. The Pit Stop program provides viable employment, for these men and women who are actively working to transform their lives, as community stewards. HPF’s Pit Stop monitors have been extremely successful ensuring that the Pit Stops are safe and being used for their intended purpose.  Every monitor has the mandate that the Pit Stops are to be cleaned to the standard that someone could let their 3 year old daughter use the toilet.  Since HPF began operating the Pit Stops, usage numbers have more than doubled. Women are using the bathrooms more frequently, and at certain times, there are lines of people waiting to use the Pit Stops.
Hunters Point Family has added plants to the units, soft sounding music, and a light, fresh fragrance that is reminiscent of a tropical paradise.  This week, monitors will also have available feminine hygiene products and a special seat for children to use. In addition to ensuring all San Franciscans can “experience” relieving themselves in a clean and safe, and fresh smelling environment, the Pit Stop monitors also remove debris and feces from the surrounding areas, provide a receptacle for hypodermic needles, and bag for doggie waste. Since HPF began operating the Pit Stops, we have received hundreds of comments from local residents (both housed and homeless) and business owners, saying Pit Stop is one of the best things that has happened in their neighborhoods.
But the real test is you!  The next time your downtown or getting off of BART, instead of holding it (that’s not good for your bladder) or running into Starbucks, test out HPF’s Pit Stops and let us know about your bathroom “experience.

 

HPF Black History Month Celebration Hunters Point Family Black History Month Celebration

On February 23, 2016 HPF celebrated Black History Month.  This annual event is a tradition of the Hunters Point Family, bringing together our youth, staff, friends, and families from the community to celebrate and uplift the heritage of our participants. Each year, HPF’s Black History event showcases the participants and provides them an opportunity to research, facilitate, and educate themselves and the community about the richness and beauty of African and African American culture.

This year’s program was especially exciting and featured an African fashion show.  Phil Bounds was our King, dressed in full King Tutankhauman regalia.   The youth modeled traditional, colorful African kangas , kaftans, and wraps, to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time.” The fashion show provided an opportunity for the youth to experience and represent the beauty and grace of African culture, with pride.

In addition to the fashion show, youth performed poetry, spoken work, and recited speeches about the power, struggles, and joy of being Black.  These performances allowed their peers, friends, and families to reflect upon the incredible journey of the African American people and the resilience and hope that is in our community.  In a time when so much of our society negates the importance of African American contributions and undermines the value and existence of Black children, it is essential that we raise our children with knowledge and pride.  HPF’s Black History Month celebration is a time when the community comes together to celebrate and honor the struggles and achievement of our ancestors, while encouraging and blessing our children to fulfill their potential and contribute their gifts to the larger society.

Of course no celebration would be complete without a feast to represent love, abundance, and nourishment of our community.  This year’s menu, was lovingly prepared by the best chef’s within the HPF Family.  Ms. Jackie brought her famous greens and hot water cornbread. Ms. Ruby, came through with her mouth watering macaroni and cheese, and cake with the cream cheese frosting.  JT made his famous smoked turkey and baked chicken. Nathan Brown brought red beans and rice and jambalaya that made you want to sing, and Ms. Whittenberg brought her peach cobbler and banana pudding.  Now if all that doesn’t make you want to make sure you mark next year’s HPF Black History Month on your calendar, you might need to call a doctor.  Please make sure you contact us late January of 2017, to save the date for next year’s event.  Our children need the support of their community to infuse them with the courage and encouragement.

 

Hunters Point Family Featured in the Atlantic Monthly Citylab

Why So Many Jails Are Embracing Aquaponics

Working with the technology provides job skills for inmates, but there’s more to it than that.

Dressed in traffic-cone orange, a similar shade to the fish under their care, inmates at the San Francisco County Jail set about their weekly duties: checking for pests, pH levels and the overall welfare of the jail’s pilot aquaponics program, the first of its kind in the state.
Click here to read more…..