San Francisco's Rev. Glenda Hope to be honored


"The streets of the tenderloin are my parish," said Hope.

And for Hope, those on the streets are her congregation.

This has been her calling for 40 years, as founder of the San Francisco Network Ministries along with her late husband Scott.

In 1989, Hope protested on behalf of the homeless and now the Presbyterian minister is stepping down.

"Retirement is a word I still don't really understand. What I do understand is leaving the Tenderloin. Leaving the people that I love and the work that I have been so blessed to be able to do for 40 years. This is hard," said Hope.

Hope is most proud of the residential treatment program created for women leaving prostitution.

Her organization has also built low-income housing for families and established a computer lab, now run by St. Anthony's Foundation.

"Glenda is, I mean, she's the best of the religious traditions; she's a prophet, she's a pastor. A very compassionate pastor," said St. Anthony's Foundation Executive Director Barry Stenger.

On the streets everyone knows Reverend Hope for the hundreds of memorial services she has conducted for the homeless who have died.

In 2001 Hope was honored by the Dalai Lama as a hero of compassion. Now others will take over her work and perhaps follow her path.

"I think it's a challenge to churches, and synagogues, and mosques and temples to come outside of their building and walk the streets," said Hope.

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