San Francisco Homeless Resource
The Ark of Refuge
Address 1025 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone 415.861.6130 , FAX: 415.861.6103
Summary See article

The staff of The Ark of Refuge, Inc. has been working together since 1988 when they collectively designed a program which became a Northern California model for promoting AIDS education in African-American Community and targeted high risk groups. The mission of the Ark of Refuge is to challenge and overcome the individual and institutional barriers which discourage or prevent underserved populations from accessing vital services. This agency is dedicated to creating culturally sensitive programs which address holistically the complex life circumstances of persons in need of basic health, educational, and psychosocial services. A component defining the program's uniqueness was and continues to be the "train-the trainer" peer outreach to the religious and lay communities. In 1989, the programs expanded to include housing and direct services for low income and homeless HIV infected individuals through the creation of The Ark House, a communal living facility with comprehensive services and the first of its kind in Oakland.



1025 Howard Street San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact Numbers

Phone: 415.861.6130
FAX: 415.861.6103




One Voice ¬ Gospel Artists Respond To AIDS

A national education campaign in collaboration with the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Bobby Jones Gospel, BET, Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar, Balm in Gilead, and Community Supportive Living Systems.

Project LEAD

Leadership, Education, Assistance and Development program to "teach the teachers" and "heal the healers” an outreach to Black Church leaders in the Western Region funded by the CDC.


State of Emergency Preaching Institute. Outreach to and technical assistance for African American Church leaders for AIDS Awareness and education funded by the State of California AIDS Office and Bristol Myers-Squibb.


Walker House

24-hour facility targeting multi-diagnosed persons living with disabling HIV/AIDS and substance abuse issues.

Restoration House

24-Hour dual diagnosis facility with coordinated substance abuse intervention services for HIV-positive African American Transgender women. Shared housing for 6 HIV+ / AIDS African-American women and women of color recovering from substance abuse, preferably 3-7 days clean and sober. Residents attend day treatment through Walden House or the Iris Center. Program fees vary according to income. Transitional housing for up to 18 months. While program is focused on women of color, it is open to all races, ethnicities, and nationalities. Also willing to accept women who are currently using - they do detox there. Program is flexible and willing to work with specific needs of individual residents. 304 Gold Mine Drive, 94131; 415-285-2302; 415-285-2303 (FAX)M-F: 9am-5pm

Project Independence

HOPWA funded rental subsidy program for people living with HIV disease.


Housing and Hunger is an assistance program to reduce the occurrence of homelessness and hunger for poor persons and families, including people living with HIV/AIDS

Word of Mouth Food Project

Weekly grocery distribution in collaboration with the SF Food Bank.

Young Adult Shelters

Emergency winter homeless shelters for 8 to 23 yer olds, including the Noe Valley Metropolitan Community Curch shelter, targeting LGBTQQ young adults


Case Management Services

Ryan White, AIDS Walk and City of Oakland funded comprehensive psychosocial case management linked with direct emergency assistance for programs. The satellite program office is located in East Oakland at the Allen Temple AIDS outreach Center and provides services by appointment only.

“Magic” Johnson Jr. Medical Clinic

An AIDS drug dispensing clinic with supportive primary medical care and substance abuse counseling services at Refuge Ministries' corporate offices located in the SOMA.

Safe Harbor

Individual, family and group psychosocial counseling available to all agency clients and parishioners.



Youth Multi-media Arts Program for Social Change, is an after-school and summer technology and expressive arts program for low-income San Francisco youth

The Ark House

A transitional living program for homelss LGBTQQ young adults, ages 18 to 23. Ark House provides housing, medical and counseling services, assistance with educational and employment golas in a safe and sober environment.

Youth Guidance Center

In collaboration with the Spiritual Life Program of San Francisco Juvenile Hall, the center provides mentoring and counseling services for incarcerated youth.


Citywide collaboration of youth service providers under the sponsorship of the Department of Children Youth and Families and Coleman Advocates of Youth, which is the exclusive tenant of one of the Ark's facilities as well as major collaborator with YouthMAP.


Hands on Heart Ministry

A Tenderloin based support center in collaboration with Network Ministries, including meals, job training, and pastoral care.

Circle of Love

Practical support and recreational activities for people living with disabilities at Providence House in Oakland.

Jail Ministry

Ministry teams work collaboratively with the San Francisco County Jail Religious Director to provide pastoral care and worship experiences at the maximum-security jail, the medical pods and the women's jail.

Narcotics Anonymous

Individual, family and group psychosocial counseling available to all agency clients and parishioners

Pathways Ministries

Support groups, counseling and recreation for women at "Women’s Place", an emergency shelter for women.


Psychosocial support groups, treatment and AIDS education prevention advocacy, and recreation activities for the Transgender community.


Pilot program sponsored by the SF AIDS Office to create mentorship relationships between gay, bisexual and transgender young African American men with older men to provide healthy role models, personal support, and sense of community as a vehicle for AIDS prevention.