Chinatown, San Francisco – April 2014 marks the one year anniversary of a complete renovation to Gum Moon Women’s Residence (Gum Moon), a non-profit serving women and children in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Thanks to donor support and the Seismic Safety Loan Fund, Gum Moon was able to make $3.4 million in improvements to their existing 100-year old building, originally designed by architect Julia Morgan. The renovations include the addition of ADA accessible rooms, entryways, hallways and bathrooms, a seismic retrofit to protect inhabitants in the case of an earthquake as well as new kitchen and laundry facilities for residents.
“Gum Moon truly feels like a home,” says resident Julie. “Living in a place that is so well taken care of and easy to get around in makes me feel special and proud to live here.” All Gum Moon residents are women in geographic and social transition, and approximately 70% are seeking refuge from domestic violence. The average stay for each resident is 24 months.
The renovations also include major improvements for the family support and education facilities the non-profit provides to the community through their Asian Women’s Resource Center (AWRC) arm. These include child-accessible restrooms, separate teaching and play rooms for each age group and even a room for music lessons.
“The difference is remarkable,” says Mei, a parent of a child attending AWRC’s Parent Child Program. “Since bringing my daughter in after the renovations, she seems even happier to be here and I feel better knowing she is now in a safe and secure building.”
Additionally, recruiting staff members has proven to be easier after the renovation.
“It’s been a night and day difference touring a potential employee through the pre- renovated building and the wonderful building we have now,” says Gum Moon Executive Director, Gloria Tan. “The original beauty of the building now shines through and is definitely an asset to our employee recruiting and retention. We all love coming to work here each day.”
The renovations include refurbishing long hidden hardwood floors and restoring design elements that were original to the building 100 years ago. Gum Moon is in the process of providing naming rights for significant rooms in the historic building to interested benefactors. Those desiring additional information should contact Gum Moon’s Executive Director, Gloria Tan, at (415) 788-1008.
To learn more about Gum Moon, please visit www.gummoon.org.