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New LightHouse

What a Celebration! LightHouse Grand Opening and “Blind and Proud” Parade Highlights a Momentous Moment in LightHouse’s 114 Year History. Thank you to Everyone Who Participated, including our Fantastic Volunteers.

We came, we marched, and we conquered the streets!

The San Francisco police estimated that more than 1,000 marchers, blind and sighted, took over Civic Center for the most boisterous Blind and Proud parade ever. In addition to our own community, dozens of volunteers from area tech companies and organizations helped with the important logistics that a major event like our Grand Opening celebration requires.

Thanks so very much to all of the wonderful LightHouse volunteers who gave their time to help us get ready for our Grand Opening parade and celebration, marched with us, offered sighted assistance during the parade or assisted us with our packed open house. Your participation made our Grand Opening Celebration a fantastic, best-ever event and we THANK YOU.

ribbon cutting ceremony

Photo: LightHouse CEO Bryan Bashin cuts an orange ribbon in front of 1155 Market Street, officially inaugurating the new LightHouse building. Photo credit: Chelsea Dier

The outpouring of volunteering was followed almost immediately by the launch of our new Volunteer Program where 45 new volunteers attended the first Orientation at our new headquarters building. Thank you to all who were able to make it. And for those who are eager to volunteer for the LightHouse but couldn’t join us, be assured that the fun and opportunity to serve our community will continue.

Here’s what we have coming up:

Volunteer in our Adult and Senior Program:
We always need more volunteers to work with our Adult and Senior programs on weekdays. Every Monday, Wednesday and the third and fourth Friday of each month, we invite you to help us setup for the gathering and, upon request, serve as sighted guides for new students in our large new headquarters or accompany students who wish to explore the sprawling farmer’s market just across the street.

Become a Personal Services Volunteer:
Link up with a student who has requested assistance with grocery shopping, reading mail, or needs a sighted guide around the neighborhood. You work with your match to decide when and where you will work together.

Our next Volunteer Orientation is Saturday, July 9th and we’d love to see you there.

Please contact Justine Harris-Richburgh, our Volunteer Engagement Specialist, at volunteer@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7320 to RSVP or get more information about the Orientation or any aspect of our Volunteer Program. A completed volunteer registration is required and can be found on the volunteer page of our website where you can sign up to stay in the know of upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Contribute to LightHouse’s Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse

Program and Naming Opportunities at the New LightHouse
We are more than grateful to the generous donors who have made substantial commitments to fund our new building. Some naming opportunities are still available.

Here is our current list of named rooms:
Betty Ruhland Teaching Kitchen
Bill Gerrey, WA6NPC Amateur Radio Station
Dove’s Nest Craft Studio
Harold S. Dobbs Board Conference Room
Herbst 10th Floor Reception and Community Learning Center
Joseph K. Chan Low Vision Clinic
Kebbel Family Tech Labs #1, #2, #3
Mutual of America Staff Lounge
Polara Video Conference Center
Susan O’Sullivan Room in memory of Audrey Baker
US Bank Finance Suite
Winifred Downing Braille Room

Why have we built a new LightHouse? Newly-blind neighbors and experienced blind residents will welcome what will surely be the most advanced blindness center in the West. Under one roof we’ve gathered advanced tools, built respectful and private spaces for learning, conversation and mentorship, and crowned the effort with the capacity to host students, family members and researchers for overnight stays when an immersive and intensive learning experience is optimal.

Twenty people become blind each week in the Greater Bay Area. Each year, a thousand Bay Area neighbors enter their blindness journey tentative, afraid and with a deep need to learn techniques and gain the self-confidence to live life to the fullest. This is our mission; and with your support, we will build a new headquarters to serve blind kids, teens, adults and seniors for the next century of innovative practices impacting the blind community globally.

Contributions to the Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse will provide tangible benefits for the blind kids to seniors that benefit from the joy and learning of the LightHouse for the next century. To learn more about the campaign, for naming opportunities or how a deferred gift can be used to leave an enduring legacy in you or a loved one’s honor, contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Contribute to LightHouse’s Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse

Program and Naming Opportunities at the New LightHouse

Many of you know that the LightHouse is undergoing a campaign to move our San Francisco headquarters to a new Mid-Market location with a larger footprint for expanded programs and located a few feet from the Civic Center BART/Muni station for the best accessibility.

The new building and its design process is the focus of this month’s San Francisco Magazine, in an in-depth and fascinating discussion of how we’ve designed and built the perfect headquarters for our next century.

Why are we building a new LightHouse? Newly-blind neighbors and experienced blind residents will welcome what will surely be the most advanced blindness center in the West. Under one roof we’ll gather advanced tools, build respectful and private spaces for learning, conversation and mentorship, and crown the effort with the capacity to host students, family members and researchers for overnight stays when an immersive and intensive learning experience is optimal.

Twenty people become blind each week in the Greater Bay Area. Each year, a thousand Bay Area neighbors enter their blindness journey tentative, afraid and with a deep need to learn techniques and gain the self-confidence to live life to the fullest. This is our mission; and with your support, we will build a new headquarters to serve blind kids, teens, adults and seniors for the next century of innovative practices impacting the blind community globally.

Contributions to the Campaign for a 21st Century LightHouse will provide tangible benefits for the blind kids to seniors that benefit from the joy and learning of the LightHouse for the next century. To learn more about the campaign, for naming opportunities or how a deferred gift can be used to leave an enduring legacy in you or a loved one’s honor, contact 415-694-7333 or jsachs@lighthouse-sf.org.

Tours

Tours are hosted by our Information Concierge Esmeralda Soto by appointment. Email esoto@lighthouse-sf.org to schedule an individual or group appointment.

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In 2016, the LightHouse completed the move from its old location at 214 Van Ness Ave., where it was situated for more than two decades, to a new, state-of-the-art headquarters at 1155 Market Street in the heart of downtown San Francisco.

A rare example worldwide of physical space designed by and for blind individuals, with the leadership of world-renowned architect Mark Cavagnero and blind architect Chris Downey, the New LightHouse is not only a blindness center fit for the 21st Century, but has dozens of subtle but meaningful features which may not be obvious to those unfamiliar with universal design. Held together by an elegant three-story staircase which serves as the top-floor office’s centerpiece, the New LightHouse also includes short-term residential facilities, a large teaching kitchen, a HAM radio room, technology centers, studios and computer labs, among many other technological and practical meeting spaces for blind education, community building and skills training.