The HOPE SF Learning Center

The HOPE SF Learning Center fosters an innovative culture that links reflection and action through strategic, coordinated, and applied learning activities. Since the start of HOPE SF, the initiative has done a significant amount of evaluation, assessment and piloting work. The HOPE SF Learning Center integrates these activities into a formal structure to institutionalize and maximize these efforts and ensure they have significant impact.

Local academic institutions within the City, philanthropic partners and strategic consultants, work together at the center to create a hub of knowledge generation and application for HOPE SF to ensure that the initiative builds on what works.

The HOPE SF Learning Center works on behalf of the HOPE SF initiative


HOPE SF is revitalizing the most distressed public housing sites in San Francisco. The four public housing sites included in the initiative are Alice Griffith, Hunters View, Potrero Terrace & Annex, and Sunnydale. The goal of the initiative is that families are self-sufficient, healthy, and thriving in safe, affordable mixed-income communities. HOPE SF strategies focus on housing, education, health, safety, economic mobility, and community building. HOPE SF is led by the San Francisco Mayor's Office in partnership with the San Francisco Housing Authority, public housing residents, city agencies, community-based organizations, philanthropic, and academic institutions. Learn more about HOPE SF.


HOPE SF Pie Chart of ActivitiesWe engage in evaluation, research, training, and communication to build on what works in the HOPE SF initiative.


Track progress to understand what is working in the HOPE SF Communities.

  • Track community indicators and progress measures
  • Evaluate strategies and programs
  • Examine the overall HOPE SF initiative process


Investigate innovative approaches in partnership with the community.

Continuous Improvement

Strengthen HOPE SF efforts based on scientific and practice based evidence

  • Apply learnings to strategy development and systems change
  • Align site-level planning
  • Support application of promising practices
  • Train students to work with public housing communities


Share learnings to support change in the HOPE SF initiative. 

  • Develop materials about HOPE SF strategies and learnings
  • Create database of HOPE publications and information
  • Support cross site learning

Community Health Assessments

SF State Master of Public Health (MPH) students enroll in a Health Assessment course each year led by Jessica Wolin, HEI Associate Director of Community Practice. Each year students conduct a health assessment focused on four of the HOPE SF sites: Alice Griffith, Hunters View, Potrero & Annex, and Sunnydale. Students are trained in the different phases needed to complete the assessment. These phases include:

• A comprehensive review of literature on the issue

• In-depth interviews with community residents, stakeholders, and others

• Analysis of the data

• Final Presentation of the findings at the San Francisco Department of Public Health

• Final report created for distribution 

These projects have given SF State Master of Public Health (MPH) students an opportunity to work on a significant public health project and gain real life experience. Their work has been critical in moving forward the collaborative strategy to improve health and well-being at the HOPE SF sites. 

The Assessments have been taking place in the HOPE SF Communities since 2011. The topics have included:

2011-2012: Peer-to-peer health strategies in HOPE SF Communities. This assessment resulted in new programs at the public housing sites including $3.3 million of new funds to support peer leadership programs. Download the reports below:

2013: The 2013 Health Assessment focused on mental health in HOPE SF communities. Download the reports below:

2014: The 2014 Health Assessment focused on how to support youth in HOPE SF communities. Download the reports below:

Learn about the MPH student experiences and learnings in this course:

2015: The 2015 Health Assessment focused on how art can be a vehicle for healing and community transformation in the HOPE SF communities. Download the reports below:

Latest News

Groundbreaking Paper Presents a Model for Strengthening Community in Trauma Affected Neighborhoods

Across the country efforts to revitalize low-income and public housing are underway as part of large-scale community development initiatives that seek to alleviate poverty and improve neighborhoods. Residents in communities with high levels of trauma may not be prepared to improve their neighborhoods; barriers in trauma affected neighborhoods must be addressed in order for revitalization efforts to be successful. Trauma Informed Community Building (TICB) is a new model that addresses the challenges trauma poses to traditional community building strategies, taking into account the real-life experiences of low-income and public housing residents. The paper was published in 2014 and co-authored by Jessica Wolin, Emily Weinstein and Sharon Rose. In the paper, TICB is presented along with strategies that aim to de-escalate chaos and stress, build social cohesion and foster community resiliency over time. This paper is a major contribution to this field of work and a great resource for organizations, advocates, and residents working in trauma affected communities. Read the full paper here.  

Evaluation on peer leader program in HOPE SF communities completed Phase I

In August 2013, HOPE SF invested in peer leadership strategies to support community leadership and resident-driven strategies to address pressing health and social issues facing children and families in HOPE SF communities. HOPE SF is working to ensure that peer leadership strategies have a significant impact at the individual, interpersonal and community levels. Funds were awarded to organizations at four HOPE SF sites (Alice Griffith, Hunters View, Potrero and Sunnydale) to develop Peer Leadership programs that focus on health in their communities.  By the end of 2013 all four sites had hired Peer Leaders and begun program implementation. The Health Equity Institute at SF State was contracted to conduct an evaluation of the Peer Leadership programs, and a basic framework for the evaluation elements was developed in early 2014. 

The evaluation of the Peer Leadership programs is designed to achieve 3 goals.  First, information will be generated for the individual program coordinators and HOPE SF sites staff that will assist them in refining and improving their programs.  Second, information will be generated that will assist stakeholders including philanthropic funders and City staff to understand the impact of the financial investment on community health improvement.  Third, sites will develop evaluation skills and will leverage that capacity for on-going program improvement and goal setting. A key aspect of the Peer Leadership evaluation is its participatory evaluation approach. The evaluation will explore the impact of the Peer Leadership interventions at 3 levels of uptake: the individual, program, and community levels.  The first level of evaluation is an assessment of the ways that the peers themselves have been impacted through their work in the programs and a review of early program structures that have been put in place. This level of the evaluation has been completed in year 1 (May 2014) and the attached infographic is a visual representation of the findings and recommendations. Download the full report: Peer Leadership Strategy Evaluation Report


The Team