SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - After 31 years in the same San Francisco apartment, Brent Paradise found himself without a home, struggling to find a meal.
Because of the Ellis Act, he and others were evicted.
They "threw us all out and I lost my job and ended up on the street," he said.
Until he came to St. Anthony's in San Francisco, a nonprofit which is set to debut a $22.5-million dining room that serves an average of 2,700 meals a day to homeless and low-income San Franciscans. The grand opening is slated for Oct. 4.
Two years ago, the dining room, which has served 40 million meals to those in need since it opened 64 years ago, moved to a temporary space, as construction work began on a new permanent space.
The new kitchen has a big grill, and the second floor houses a social work center and a free clothing program.
Executive Director Barry Stenger hopes the new digs will inspire those who are down and out.
"They'll look around and say, 'Maybe I'm not as bad as people say I am,' " Stenger said. "'Maybe I do deserve to be sitting here talking to people, maybe I am a little more human than living on the streets.'"