Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco has stepped up in impressive ways throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Since the very beginning, we have committed to continue standing shoulder to shoulder with our youth and communities, serving them in the best manner possible while being safe and smart. Immediately after the Shelter-in-Place Public Health Mandate was announced in March, BGCSF was declared an essential business and altered operations to meet the health requirements and keep the doors open at most Clubhouses. As well, the Club quickly developed virtual programs for youth six to 18, providing critical support for young people, with school, wellness, physical fitness, mental health counseling, leadership programs, and youth workforce development. In April, we closed additional Clubs and pivoted to food distribution efforts, serving over 4,100 meals per week at our high point. On June 15th, we launched our summer program, with 10 locations open for youth and virtual programs continuing. Starting August 17, the first day of distance learning for the new school year, BGCSF opened its doors at ten locations allowing young people—with a focus on the most vulnerable youth—to access the Clubs for real-time support with online learning, supplement education services, wellness and mental health services, recreation, and daily breakfast and lunch.
Throughout the pandemic, BGCSF has held the health and safety of our youth and staff at the forefront of all our decision making. To stay safe, the number of youth we serve each day at the Club is greatly reduced, we have adequate cleaning supplies and PPE, and we provide training for staff. As long as we feel like we can function safely, we are going to keep our doors open to those youth in our community who need us the most.