Free San Francisco

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If you're going to San Francisco, Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, If you're going to San Francisco, You're gonna meet some gentle people there. For those who come to San Francisco, Summertime will be a love-in there, In the streets of San Francisco, Gentle people with flowers in their hair. (Mamas And The Papas)

Seriously it is more like If you are coming to San Francisco when you drop acid don't think it's still 1968 there. The real hippies are all either old professors or pulling social security retirement and smoking legal medical pot by now. Seriously though most people in San Francisco have an extra dose of that west coast cool that we suspect was somehow surgically removed from LA. Fear not, you can still see plenty of crunchy white earthmuffin neo-hippy kids with dreads running around in sandals. We have experienced a minor disappointment, not so many flowers in the hair so far.

San Francisco is where you can meet plenty of radicals but the progress machine has gotten quite jammed by smug white liberals especially around Bezerkley and Mills. Don't worry though the city has reasonable services for the homeless by Amerikan standards, mild weather, a good bicycle culture, and it is an illegal alien refuge city. There are plenty of very well off neighborhoods with little tolerance for punks and bums due to the proximity to silicon valley.


Compass Family 
995 Market St # 5, San Francisco, CA

Episcopal Community 
1001 Polk St, San Francisco, CA

Treasure Island Homeless Development 
520 Palm Ave, San Francisco, CA

Family Emergency 
737 Francisco Blvd E, San Rafael, CA


It is impossible to starve in the city of San Francisco, but it is very important to know anemia is a large problem. San Francisco has numerous free food lines, but due to poor quality of food and the way in which it can be cooked, nutrition is a large survival factor for you to consider.

Food Lines/Soup Kitchens

The Tenderloin District:

1) Glide Memorial Church, corner of Ellis and Taylor. They Serve breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch w/ a take away meal (to make up for no dinner) Saturday and Sunday. They serve breakfast from 9-10am (sometimes a little longer, it simply depends), lunch from 12pm-2pm, and dinner from 4pm-6pm. It is important to get there at least 30mins to an hour early as many people go here. They also hand out tickets, no ticket, no food, seconds is usually allowed but you must go outside and to the back of the line for it (need another ticket and usually the first 50-75 people only get tickets for seconds). The disabled and elderly eat first, so depending on how many disabled or elderly are present to eat, times may be pushed back and/or extended, so expect if your 1st in line to wait 30mins or so to eat after they start serving at 12pm.

Glide also frequently asks people standing in line if they wish to volunteer. If you are able to volunteer, DO IT! I cannot stress this enough!!! If you volunteer you will either bring dishes to the dishwasher, filler pitchers of water/coffee, or serve food. Expect to be working non-stop for 1.5-2 hours, on your feet, at a fast pace. But although volunteers eat last, it is very much worth the wait and work. Typically those who volunteer get more food than everyone else (even if you went for seconds), you get a variety of drinks no one else gets (soda, assorted juices, etc), and usually food that was not given to anyone else (i.e. brownies, cookies, sometimes they order pizza, ect). Finally, if you volunteer regularly and you work hard and they get to know you, its possible to get a job working for them.

2) Youth With a Mission: Corner of Ellis and Taylor, directly across from Glide Memorial Church. Inside they offer water and fruit punch for free. Behind the building and around the corner (Eddy and Jones) is a park in which on Saturdays the pastor/manager of Youth With a Mission, has a sermon and they give away sandwiches, drinks, chips, and other "brown bag" foods. I highly suggest you do not go and listen for the brown bag unless absolutely necessary, they sermon is very long, hell fire and brimstone, and outlandish. It can last from 1-2 hours depending on his mood and you do not get your brown bag until after it is over. I would suggest eating and getting the brown bag at glide on Saturdays instead.

3) Larkin Street Youth Center: This is on Ellis between Polk and Van Ness. If you are under 25 you can get one free bagged lunch a day and if you are currently residing there they provide you three meals a day. They also offer things like showers, which can be beneficial if your not trying to keep a street kid appearance. [1]

4) The Mission's Food Pantry & Distribution Center, which provides food to the near-homeless in the Bay Area, assists more than 60 agencies that also care for the poor. Last year the food pantry distributed more than $200,000 worth of food and gave away more than $1 million worth of donated clothing, furniture, and household items.

Food Pantry & Distribution Center 123 Macdonald Avenue @ 2nd Street Richmond, California - Get a map! (510) 215-4887

5) San Francisco Food Not Bombs serves vegetarian and vegan dinner most days, much of the food is local and organic. Servings are always changing and sometimes late, please visit their web site or call voicemail (415-620-8229) for the latest details. [2]

6) Curry Without Worry [3]

Medical Care[edit]

The Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic provides free urgent care for a variety of problems. 558 Clayton Street, (415) 746-1950 , Clinic Drop In Hours: Monday/Tuesday 4:45 PM Tuesday/Wednesday 8:45 AM Acupuncture Drop In Monday 8:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Glide Memorial Church Free Clinic is on the 6th floor of Glide Memorial Church on the corner of Ellis and Taylor. Brand new clinic with little wait and is VERY clean. They offer TB Clearence tests, A MUST if you are living in ANY shelter in SF, for free and only takes 2 days to get your card. They also provide great check ups at a face pace and are VERY friendly!

Legal Aid[edit]

ACLU, free legal aid/counseling, pro bono attorneys, etc.

Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling[edit]

Legal aid, resources, etc. The new GI Rights Hotline- 877-447-4487 Courage to Resist- (Not in SF, but a close BART ride away in Oakland) - 484 Lake Park Ave # 41, Oakland CA 94610 - 510-488-3559 -


See Free Play section, include details for this city.

Beaches, Swimming Pools, Parks, Sports, Museums, Music, Theatre, TV shows, Movies, etc.

There are many free things going on in the bay area. Here are a few sites that list local events, by topic.

  • Activism - [4]
  • Art - [5]
  • Free Museum Days - [6]
  • Street Festivals - [7]
  • Technology / Culture - [8]
  • Queer - [9]
  • Fun or cheap events- [10]


General weather, traffic, news resources, etc.

Pot in San Francisco is most easily accessible. Many dealers and wheelers can be found at the end of Haight Street and the beginning of Golden Gate Park, most affectionately called Hippy Hill by the locals. Pot there is very cheap, and is in very high quantity and is openly accepted to buy, sell and smoke on the hill.

Underground Papers[edit]

Bound Together Anarchist Collective Bookstore- 1369 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 - [11]


Any other freebies

Public Transit[edit]

Subways, Buses, Light Rail, Ferries, Shuttles, etc.

I try to use the theory of transfer ticket karma... When you get a transfer use it until you don't need it and then leave it somewhere for somebody else to use when your done... For me I've always been able to find a transfer ticket on the ground when I need to catch a bus. Most drivers don't thoroughly check transfers, but if they give you a hard time simply walk to the next stop and catch the next bus and more than likely you'll never fail the second time around.

Down on Market St. you can find a man in a bus stop that sells all day transfers for 50 cents. He wears a bandanna and looks a bit like a pirate.

Free Clothing and Furniture[edit]

See Free Clothing and Furniture section, provide details for this city.

Assorted Freebies[edit]

See Assorted Freebies Section, provide details for this city, including other topics. Whatever fits and is useful.


Go to the Survive section and provide any city-specific details, including new topics.

Original Fuck San Francisco[edit]



The nights are chilly in San Francisco but there are places that offer a free night's lodging. To avoid overcrowding they tend to employ a ticket system. By showing up in the late afternoon, you are generally assured a place to stay that night. The following places work it this way:

  • Brother Juniper's Inn--1736 Haight, tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Holy Order of Man--937 Fillmore, no tickets.
  • Hospitality House--148 Leavenworth, for people under 18, generally filled.
  • Pinehurst Emergency Lodge--2685 30th Ave., for unwed mothers and women with children.
  • St. Mary's Church--660 California, tickets at 6:00 PM.
  • St. Patrick's Church--756 Mission, tickets at 6:00 PM
  • St. Vincent De Paul--235 Minna, tickets at 4:00 PM for single men only.
  • Salvation Army Harbor Light--290 Fourth St., no tickets.

Traveler's Aid, 38 Mason, 771-0880, will assist in finding temporary shelter. Young runaways will find it cool to try All Saint's Church, 1350 Walker (863-9718) for both room and board. Also Huckleberry's for Runaways, 1347 7th Ave. (731-3921) will provide these and other services such as counseling.

If you're going to settle for a while in San Francisco, you might have difficulty finding an apartment to rent. Try the Federal Housing Information Center, 100 California (556-5900). They maintain a free listing.

The Community Design Center, 215 Haight (863-3718) provides free advice on architectural and design of pads inside and out once you locate a place, speaking, you can find a Traveler's Aid Station in every place that large numbers of travelers can be found.