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Climate Resiliency Progam

SF CARD’s Climate Resiliency program started in 2017 with a simple idea. Empower local nonprofit and faith organizations staff to activate and operate a heat relief center for their clients. The reason for developing this program was because of lessons learned from past heat waves, like the one that devastated Chicago in 1995, where over 700 people died within 5 days. Sociological evidence from the Chicago heat wave established that the most vulnerable communities can survive an extreme heat wave event if there is a strong community-based network to lean on. So, with a strong partnership with the San Francisco Neighborhood of Empowerment Network, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and San Francisco Department of the Public Health, this heat relief center program was able to receive funding to pilot the program in the Bayview neighborhood. 6 years later, the program is thriving.   

The following are program milestones since 2017:

  • Between 2017 and 2018, 5 organizations in the Bayview neighborhood in San Francisco participated in the pilot. All 5 agencies received training and several agencies received portable air conditioner units. 

  • Due to the program's success in the Bayview neighborhood, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Fewer and the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management provided the funding to offer this program to nonprofit organizations in the Richmond District.   One Richmond was the neighborhood resilient hub anchor and was instrumental in bringing the other organizations to the table. In total, 5 agencies participated in the program through attending the training and receiving air conditioning units.  

  • With the Walter and Elise Haas fund's generous support, the program expanded into a third neighborhood in San Francisco, the Tenderloin. Between 2021 and 2023, 3 organizations participated in the program by having staff attend the training sessions and all three agencies received air conditioning units. Moreover, ongoing technical assistance and training support were offered to the organizations in the Bayview and Richmond neighborhoods.


If you would like to learn more about this program, please get in touch with Brian Whitlow at

Program Sponsor

Walter & Elise Haas Fund

The Walter & Elise Haas Fund is graciously funding this program. Their funds are used to subsidize the training and equipment costs for the partner agencies. 

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Heat Relief Center Partner Organizations

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