Code Tenderloin, a nonprofit group serving the homeless in San Francisco, said it has about $7,000 worth of gift cards to hand out to those who need the extra financial assistance over the holidays.
In recent weeks, requests from members of the community have poured in for food, clothing and gifts. Others are merely seeking Code Tenderloin’s help to put a roof over their heads on a rainy evening. And those solicitations will likely only mount as the holiday season drags on, said Donna Hilliard, executive director at Code Tenderloin.
“While everybody is going through their day-to-day, super excited about this holiday season, we have a whole community of folks who are stressed out,” said Hilliard in a phone interview. “We’re seeing more demand this year than we’ve ever seen.”
The dynamic that Code Tenderloin witnesses playing out in San Francisco speaks to a bigger wealth gap that has only accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic and will be especially evident over the holiday season. Predictions for holiday sales are rosy, with the National Retail Federation, the industry’s biggest trade group, calling for historic gains of 8.5% to 10.5% from year-ago levels. But the growth is largely being driven by a wealthy fraction of consumers. Meanwhile, a record-high amount of people aren’t expecting to partake in any gifting, according to one survey.
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