SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) —- A former church in San Francisco’s outer Richmond neighborhood has been transformed into a new housing complex to aid the developmentally disabled.

The official ribbon cutting at St. Peter’s Place on 29th Avenue and Clement Street attracted some high level officials, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“St. Peter’s Place is of national significance because it demonstrates that when the community works together, we can produce a result that meets the needs of people,” Pelosi said.

One of those people is 27-year-old Sara Hoffman, who likes to be called Sarafina. She has been dealing with disabilities her entire life, and she said she finally is getting a taste of what independence is like.

“We want to be recognized for our capabilities, what we’re able to do instead of what we’re not able to do,” she said.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports: 

This plot of land used to house St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which crumbled in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.  Church officials could not secure the money necessary to rebuild, so they partnered up with the city and the feds to turn a negative into a positive.

One of the partners was the nonprofit Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Faith Kirkpatrick, the spokeswoman for the center said the 20 units which tenants pay 30 percent of their income for make a huge difference.

“It provides a space for them to live forever, which is really important,” she said. “Especially if they’re living with their parents and their parents are getting older and they’re not sure where their care is going to come from.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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