Gracenter receives half million dollar grant

There is good news for Good Shepherd Gracenter. The San Francisco Women’s Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. also known as Stepping Stone, awarded us with a half-million dollar capital campaign grant in November. We will use the money to build an additional four bedrooms, add another bathroom and widen our narrow driveway.  

Terry Hennessy, the Board President of Stepping Stone, urged Gracenter to apply for a grant that would carry on Stepping Stone’s legacy of providing a home for women to further their recovery. The grant would cover capital expenses. It did not support operations such as food, staff salaries, or program costs. 

It has been a long-time dream of Gracenter to increase the number of women we could serve. We jumped at the chance to apply for the capital grant. In June Gracenter submitted a proposal, along with other women’s programs. Stepping Stone awarded us the grant last month.  

We have received small grants in the past for new windows and doors and to upgrade the bathrooms and laundry room. In 2016 we received a grant to remodel the kitchen. But the grant from Stepping Stone is our largest grant received to date. 

Gracenter and Stepping Stone

Stepping Stone was founded in 1962. It was the oldest alcohol and drug recovery program for women in Northern California. During the past 55 years, more than 1,000 women resided at Stepping Stone. Due to unforeseen difficulties, the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Women’s Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc. (Stepping Stone) decided to dissolve its operations and distribute their assets to several qualified nonprofits. 

The Board of Stepping Stone approved the grant and visited Gracenter on November 19, 2018, to bring the check. We invited Good Shepherd Board and Guild members to also come and be part of this happy occasion.  

Love for all

With these four additional bedrooms, we will be able to serve 17 women at a time. We presently have space for only 13 women. When we remodeled the kitchen and the dining room, we had no idea that we would be blessed with having the opportunity to serve four more women. There are 18 chairs in the dining room, so there is plenty of room – and love for all!

We are so grateful to Terry Hennessy for seeking out Good Shepherd Gracenter through the internet. She invited us to submit a proposal and advocated for us to receive the grant.

Sadly, she developed lung complications after her hip surgery and died on October 26, 2018.  We were able to attend her funeral at St. Hilary’s in Tiburon. 

During the funeral we met Terry’s family and one of the Stepping Stone board members and thanked them both for Terry. This tremendous woman was so instrumental in helping Gracenter grow in its mission of helping women break free from addiction to create a hopeful future for themselves and others. We give thanks to Terry and praise and gratitude to God for this tremendous gift!

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Marguerite Bartling

Marguerite Bartling

Sister Marguerite Bartling is the Executive Director of Good Shepherd Gracenter in San Francisco, California. Gracenter helps women without resources break free from drug and alcohol addiction and create a hopeful future for themselves and others.