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Unveiling the Kaplan Family Oasis Shelter

Posted on October 26, 2023 | Original Post by St. Anthony's

Father Alfred Boeddeker, the founder of St. Anthony's, once remarked, "To retain love, one must freely give it away." In a recent celebration, the St. Anthony Foundation, together with the Providence Foundation of San Francisco, the City of San Francisco, and the Kaplan family, honored the spirit of love and teamwork through the reopening ceremony of the Kaplan Family Oasis Shelter.

The event featured notable speakers such as Nils Behnke, CEO of St. Anthony’s, Mayor London Breed, Patricia Doyle, Executive Director of the Providence Foundation, and Shireen McSpadden, Executive Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Carlo Fiatarone, St. Anthony’s Director of Mission, hosted the ceremony, while blessings were offered by Father Sam Nasada of St. Boniface Church and Michael Pappas, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council. Supervisor Dean Preston and a delegate for Supervisor Catherine Stefani were also present to commemorate the occasion.

The ceremony was highlighted by a heartfelt testimonial from Ladaysha Atkins, a former guest of Oasis and a mother who has now secured permanent housing for her family. She shared, "I was uncertain about our future after losing my son and becoming homeless. Your efforts have given me hope and the belief that I can overcome any challenge for my family."

Behnke expressed, "Today's celebration underscores the goodness and hope present in our world and specifically in San Francisco. Our divine mission drives us to aid the most vulnerable, guiding them towards breaking free from the enduring cycles of poverty, homelessness, and abuse."

Supervisor Dean Preston emphasized, "The permanent acquisition of the Oasis for homeless women and families, thanks to the Kaplan family and St. Anthony Foundation's activism and generosity, brings immense joy."

The Oasis shelter, previously a motel in the Cathedral Hill area with 59 units, provided temporary housing for women, children, and families facing homelessness. The threat of sale by the previous owners risked displacing many families and the potential closure of the facility.

A significant contribution from the Kaplan Family Trust and the board of St. Anthony’s enabled the foundation to purchase the Oasis shelter. In collaboration with the Providence Foundation and with financial support from the City of San Francisco, they have secured the operation and case management services of the shelter in a groundbreaking nine-year agreement. This arrangement showcases the power of collaboration between non-profit entities, the city, and supporters like the Kaplan family to support families in need.

Mayor Breed praised the collective effort, stating, "The collaboration to bring this project to fruition was remarkable. I extend my deepest gratitude to the Kaplans for their generosity. Their contribution, inspired by St. Anthony’s and divine guidance, exemplifies the miracles we can achieve for our community and its families."

Live Press Conference posted on October 25, 2023. Check out the video below:

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