Stories of Transformation

City Impact, San Francisco, CA

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Taiwanese immigrant Roger Huang and San Francisco’s Tenderloin District share similar histories filled with homelessness, abuse, low-income jobs, and more. But with the help of God’s saving grace and Church Extension Plan’s generous financial support, Roger and the Tenderloin now share another common trait: revival.

Running Away 

When Roger ran away from his abusive home after high school, his daily struggles only continued to intensify. The young adult juggled multiple jobs and occasionally slept for only two or three hours each day in hotel lobbies or doorways. But, eventually, his life began to improve. He met and married his wife, Maite, acquired better jobs, and then accepted the Lord soon after. As new and passionate believers, the couple began to seek God’s direction for their lives. “I knew I wanted to be used by God,” says Roger.

Back to the Tenderloin 

One afternoon while changing his flat tire in the heart of the Tenderloin, Roger witnessed a group of bullies tormenting a young boy. Memories of his abusive, challenging past filled his mind, and Roger suddenly knew God’s direction for his life would lead him toward the very misery he had spent his whole adulthood trying to escape. The following day, Roger made 50 sandwiches and handed them out on the same street corner–along with a prayer for the recipient. On that day, City Impact was born.

In addition to feeding hungry bellies, the early years of Roger’s ministry focused on kids. Though the Tenderloin teemed with children, it offered little in the way of schools, parks, or healthy activities.

With the generous support from other ministries and donors, including a loan from Church Extension Plan, City Academy became a solution and grew to serve more than 130 low-income neighborhood kids.

“Everyone has a story” 

“Everyone in the Tenderloin District has a story,” says Christian Huang, Roger’s son. “God would send a person our way, and we’d hear their story, and we’d create a program to help.” Today, those stories have culminated in a range of programs assisting more than 8,000 Tenderloin residents each year. City Impact has expanded to include nightly services, a rescue mission, a thrift store, recovery programs for addicts, a free medical clinic, and more. In addition, their single building purchased in 1997 is now a campus of seven buildings across the Tenderloin.

“Owning our properties makes the work a lot easier. We don’t have to be fearful of being evicted,” Roger says. “The CEP team gave us their right hand of fellowship, and we are humbled by their kindness and trust.”