SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- GLIDE reopened its doors for indoor dining on Thursday for the first time in nearly three and a half years, since before the pandemic.
They say the hold-up was because of covid restrictions and safety concerns.
People like Reginald Dillard Senior, who has relied on services from GLIDE for years, were welcomed back, with open arms.
"It's a little bit warmer than the outside," Dillard said.
Malcolm Walter, interim CEO of GLIDE, says today's "return to community" marks their next 60 years of service, with the goal of providing higher levels of stability for people who need help with things like housing, food security and substance abuse, needs he calls "life domains."
"Our goal here is to find one or two domains in which our clients are ready to seek more stability in their lives and then move on to the next one and the next one and the next one until we can create a lot of stability in their lives," Walter said. "And it all starts with a meal."
San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston thanked GLIDE for their flexibility during the pandemic and for serving as a beacon of hope in a neighborhood that's taken a national stage amid the current fentanyl crisis.
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"Especially at a time when it's become all too easy to attack San Francisco and to attack this neighborhood in particular," Preston said. "You offer hope to so many people and a pathway and a vision for how the city can be a better and more compassionate place."
And by bringing people back indoors for a warm meal three times a day, year-round, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, who rolled up his own sleeves to help volunteer Thursday, believes it will help improve the image of the city.
"Sometimes it's just getting respite, goes a long way and people are not on the streets, they're inside, in shelter, being cared for," Scott said. "Because at the end of the day, I think we all want somebody to care for us and that's what this place does."
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