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EPIPHANY FEATURED ON KQED '“At first, with meth, I remember thinking, ‘What’s the big deal….But when you look at how crazy things got, everything was so out of control. Clearly, it is a big deal.” Anna shared the few important possessions she has maintained through her decades long struggle with addiction: the Serenity Prayer and her childhood teddy bear.' When KQED’s Health Reporter, April Dembosky, was looking for information on the methamphetamine epidemic in San Francisco, she was directed to Epiphany Center's Chief Operating Officer and Director of Adult Services, Suzi Desmond. Ms. Dembosky wanted to know why so much attention has been cast upon overdoses related to opioids while methamphetamine overdoses have been skyrocketing in San Francisco. Ms. Dembosky interviewed current and former Epiphany Center clients who were former methamphetamine users. Epiphany’s philosophy and perspective were explored as women shared how Epiphany Center is different from other programs. She observed morning meditation and acupuncture, and attended a group facilitated by our clinical psychologist, Dr. Linda Perez, PHd. Currently there are no Medication-assisted treatments (MAT) for the methamphetamine user as there are for opioid users making relapse prevention strategies crucial. These interviews and experiences culminated in an in-depth examination of the methamphetamine epidemic and gave birth to several radio reports, a KQED Forum program, and a 30-minute segment on The California Report, as well as sharing the appreciation our residents have of Epiphany Center in their healing process. To listen to the



EPIPHANY'S CLINICAL DIRECTOR PUBLISHES BOOK Congratulations to Epiphany Center’s Clinical Director of our Family Treatment Program and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Linda Perez, PHd. who coauthored Trauma-Informed Practices for Early Childhood Educators: Relationship-Based Approaches that Support Healing and Build Resilience in Young Children. The book provides guidance to child mental health practitioners and early childhood educators so they can more effectively understand and support children who are experiencing stressful reactions to traumatic events. For almost 30 years, Dr. Perez has worked with the families and children at Epiphany Center and trains both the staff and interns. She is considered one of the leading experts on trauma informed-practices as well as on mental health and developmental disorders of infancy and early childhood. Dr. Perez has been Co- Director of the Mills Infant Mental Health Program and a Professor of Education at Mills College. Dr. Perez spoke with us about Epiphany’s Family Treatment Program, “We have an innovative program that provides health, mental health, onsite childcare, parenting education and in-patient substance abuse services to mothers who are pregnant and/or parenting infants in the first 3 years of life. The primary therapeutic objective is to strengthen the attachment relationship between the mother and baby and improve developmental outcomes of high-risk infants, while supporting the mother’s own recovery. The mothers’ confidence to care for their children improves and they are better at regulating their own emotions and meeting their children’s needs.”




A Message from the Executive Director


Dear Friends of Epiphany,


Tha nk y o u to t Leagu e he E piph any and our amaz in g P arty Deb i Cu l C hair, r ey!

Happy Springtime! What a beautiful time of welcome for all kinds of new life, whether it be flowers or birds or other newborns that are brought to life at this time of year. Here, at Epiphany, we are blessed to have new babies come to us throughout the year, but when we have these nice sunny days, all of us find a kind of “new life” bud forth. In this issue of FOCUS, we celebrate many wonderful events that allow us to have and give new life to what we do together. We celebrate Dr. Linda Perez and her new book and recognize her almost 30 years of caring service to our women and children. We also celebrate the generosity of so many of you who gave new life to our courtyard, which may have been fun in the mud, but is so wonderful now with Nellie’s Play Space for the children, and a reflection garden for our women and staff, who have a place to sit and reflect with the sound of the burbling fountain. Nellie’s story is also in this issue. It is a story of heartbreak, but also of trust and hope and generosity. She represents every child who has ever been served by Mount St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth’s and all those who will ever be served here. The untold story we especially celebrate this Spring, and every season, is of the generosity of all those who have and who still make the service of the Daughters of Charity possible to women and children. Each of you who are reading this are part of the new life provided every day that transforms lives and give new beginnings of hope. God bless each of you and thank you,

Sister Betty Marie Dunkel, D.C.



After a long anticipated completion, we have officially blessed, opened, and dedicated three beautiful and wonderful spaces: play yard, reflection garden, and vegetable garden. These spaces are all places of growth and transformation! We are wishing all the good wishes we can for its future, praying that delight and joy, peace and new life will always fill it. We have named the area, Nellie’s Play Space, for the very first child, Nellie Murphy, placed in the care of the Daughters of Charity while they traveled from Maryland to California in 1852. On the journey, Nellie’s mother died and her father, a young army officer, asked the Sisters to care for Nellie, and they did so from that moment. The play space is dedicated to all of the children, past, present, and future cared for by Mount St. Joseph’s, St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital, and Epiphany Center and to all those who will use the playground, sit quietly by the fountain, or plant, grow, and pick vegetables from the garden. We extend our deep gratitude to the many individuals and contributors who made this place of beauty come to life. Before construction began, Sister Estela Morales, who believes beauty is essential to live fully, brought in the Academy of Art University to design and paint the wonderful mural. We are grateful to Low Income Investment Fund for making this project possible and to ALL the donors who shared our vision and made it reality. Our prayer is that Nellie’s Play Space always be blessed by the joy of play and the connections of friends and that it be blessed by those who touch it and move, work, and play on it. And finally, may it connect all who use it with one another and with wonder, beauty and joy.

On March 14th, we gathered at The Family on Powell Street to celebrate Epiphany Center’s 22nd annual Benefit Party & Show - Good Vibrations, to raise funds to benefit the children and families served by Epiphany Center.

The charismatic Dr. Clem Donahue emceed the event’s FundA-Need live auction, which raised more than $25,000 to provide dental care to help women restore their smiles and in turn restore their confidence! Then guests “tuned in” to the “outtasight,” spectacular performances by entertainers Nigel and Clive and our all-star cast that included performances by Van Morrision, The Supremes, Nina Simone, and The Rolling Stones. We applaud their phenomenal talent and generosity.

We deeply appreciate the Epiphany League, a Dressed in 1960s vintage regalia, longtime attendees and newcomers group of dedicated women who alike enjoyed the sound of sixties tunes performed by our amazing cast of donate their time and talent to volunteers. Our gratitude to Party Chair, Debi Curley, for going Epiphany Center, who outdid above and beyond in expertly organizing a lively, fun-filled event, and to themselves yet again with their Dwight Okamura for once again producing an incredible show. generosity and service that inspires us all to keep motivated in supporting Epiphany programs. Lastly Guests had the honor of hearing a resident of Epiphany’s Recovery Program we would like to thank all of our Sponsors, Donors, Guests, and Volunteers speak about her struggles and successes on her journey from a place of who believe in strengthening the city’s most vulnerable women, children, despair to one of hope and healing; they were reminded of the real reason they had dawned their groovy garments and attended the Show – to inspire and families with holistic, life-changing care. A gracious thank you for taking part in our beloved annual celebration. lasting change and healthy futures.

ur ou to os ! y k T han er f ul c a t w ond

Hiedeh Honari Saghi, Valerie Malone Raskin, Gail Anderson, D’Arcy Owens, Ginnie Menezes, John Vitalie, Victoria Stewart Davis, Norm Meister, Dave Eshleman, Peggy Haas, Robert Steele, Jeff O’Sammon, Erik Davis, Matt Callahan Photo Credit: Richard Mayer Photography



no n p ro f i t o rga n i zat i o n U.S. POSTAGE PAID SAN FRANCISCO, CA

m o u n t st. jose ph – st. el i zabeth


100 Masonic Avenue, San Francisco, California 94118



Our Mission

Epiphany Center strengthens family life through programs faithful to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, rooted in Judeo-Christian values and the tradition of service of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Epiphany Center provides client-centered care to a diverse population of women, children, and families, who are most vulnerable in our society. Our purpose is to enhance the physical, social-emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth of each person in our care. Our vision is to create a safe environment that reflects the belief person created by God, is endowed with unique gifts, and is worthy of respect. We believe that our care for EP I P Hthat A N each Y CE N T E R |is4 individuals enriches their present and future lives, the lives of their families and, through them, the community in which we live.



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FOCUS 2019 Epiphany Center Newsletter  

FOCUS 2019 Epiphany Center Newsletter  

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