After more than a century, the YMCA in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood has a new mission.
The historic building has been transformed into the Kelly Cullen Community, an ambitious development that combines 174 studio apartments, social services, and an 11,500-square-foot health clinic focused on serving the homeless.
“We see ourselves as stewards of a community asset,” says Mara Blitzer, senior project manager at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. (TNDC), which purchased and redeveloped the property after the Y decided the building no longer met its needs.
The structure required extensive rehabilitation to meet today’s seismic standards.
TNDC took on the challenge and developed a project that serves the city’s neediest residents. The $90 million development houses individuals who have been chronically homeless, including those who were among the highest users of local health services, Blitzer says.
All residents are being referred by the city’s Department of Public Health, which is operating the Tenderloin’s largest community health clinic at the site. The center is expected to serve 25,000 clients each year.
The development maintains several Y features, including an auditorium and an indoor basketball court with a track.
The city contributed roughly $20.4 million to the development. It is providing three legs of the supportive housing stool—capital, operating subsidy, and a supportive services grant.
The low-income housing tax credit exchange program and historic tax credits were also used.
The development is named after the late Brother Kelly Cullen, who led TNDC for many years.