Nurse practitioner Katherine Burchell remembers the couple that came in to the South of Market Health Center SMHC with multiple physical ailments, but who also, it was clear to her, suffered from behavioral disorders as well.
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They would talk nonstop, over and around each other. As the year went by, the sessions grew calmer. When the pair announced that they were moving away and would no longer be her patients, tears flowed on both sides.
Two months later Burchell got a card from the couple. All aspects of the South of Market Health Center, from its large open windows to the inviting lobby, create a calming, safe and secure environment that put patients at ease and help staff gain their trust. These and other touches create a safe, secure, and calming environment, like that at any good private practice facility. Indeed, this sense of normalcy is what engenders the pride that many of the homeless and low-income patients express when talking about South of Market.
Nurse practitioner Judy Anderson, a former Veterans Administration nurse, credits the thinking behind the new building—opened in after Capital Impact Partners provided critical financing that made the 20,square-foot-structure possible—as an important part of the healing process. When Anderson first started at the health center, it was housed in a decrepit warehouse that had been damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake.
The entry to that original facility was off an unwelcoming garbage-strewn, alley.
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The inside lighting was poor and the equipment ancient. Now, the ambience in the new facility goes a long way toward building trust with patients whose lives are already complicated by substance abuse, and who, she says, desperately need to take the hard step of testing for HIV or hepatitis C. Anderson, a former Veterans Administration nurse, is thrilled with the level of care she is empowered to provide patients. No rushed minute visit here—the patients are given at least 30 minutes of undivided attention from medical personnel in a standard appointment.
At the east end just south of Market Street are many office buildings which have spilled over from the Financial District along with new highrise condominiums.
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This includes 45, sf of free art-filled public spaces. If you are a shopper then head further west on Market St. If you are into the gay scene, check out the nightclubs on Folsom St. The rest of Upper SoMa is mainly old industrial space now housing an eclectic mixture of small businesses, restaurants, and clubs. During the day the active small businesses here service most of SF but at night the area can sometimes still be a bit foreboding unless you are into the nightclub scene. It hits Market Street i. A little further southeast is Mission Creek Park.
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This area south of Hwy and north of King St is where many nightclubs, funky restaurants, and experimental dance groups do their thing. It was also the heart of the dot.
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Many modern furniture showrooms and architectural firms can be found in Lower SoMa as well. A part of Lower SoMa, this little neighborhood of 2-story homes surrounds an old block long oval park.
The restaurants around South Park also used to be a central feeding destination for the media gulch crowd. The food is still good however.
Over the last 15 years this land has been redeveloped into Giants Ballpark and the 43 acre UCSF research campus which have already and will continue to provide impetus for hundreds of million dollar condominiums and many more new biological research buildings. Forty nine acres were set aside for parks, the first of which is Mission Creek Park. This new local park follows Mission Creek from the Ballpark west to 7th Street. It is a very pleasant place to ride your bike or walk your dog.