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St Mary’s

Kearny Street Housing Corporation

The histories of the International Hotel Citizens Advisory Committee (IHCAC) and the Kearny Street Housing Corporation are intertwined. In 1979 San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein appointed Filipino and Chinese community members to the IHCAC to advise on the development of the International Hotel block, with the overarching goal of restoring low-income housing on the International Hotel site.   The IHCAC explored a number of private development proposals, one of which involved tax credits. This proposal, put forth in 1987, resulted in the IHCAC incorporating as a non-profit corporation: the Kearny Street Housing Corporation (KSHC).

Membership of the KSHC Board of Directors was the same as that of the IHCAC until 2011 when the KSHC Board began to include new members. Although the tax credit proposal did not advance, the KSHC remained as the incorporated arm of the IHCAC. It continued to advocate for the development of low-income, senior housing on the International Hotel site, working with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, which finally gave the site top priority for development of housing. In 1993 the IHCAC chose the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) as developer for the site.

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a 202 grant with Section 8 rent subsidies to the I-Hotel development project. HUD requested the KSHC and the City and County of San Francisco to co-sponsor the project with the Chinatown Community Development Center. The KSHC Board agreed to be a co-sponsor.

In 1995, KSHC and CCDC established the International Hotel Senior Housing, Inc. (IHSHI) to own and operate the project. The IHSHI Board of Directors is comprised of 4 members appointed by the KSHC, 4 members appointed by CCDC, and 1 member jointly appointed by both co-sponsors, for a total of 9 members.

To this day, the KSHC continues its part in appointing individuals to the IHSHI Board.


For more information on the International Hotel and the International Hotel Citizens Advisory Committee please see the Asian American Studies Library Collections page “Documents Relating to the International Hotel in San Francisco”. on the Ethnic Studies Library website: 


Self-Help for the Elderly

Self-Help for the Elderly (SHE) is a non-profit corporation providing a variety of services to seniors in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties.

Since its establishment in 1966 as an anti-poverty program, it has provided a range of services: social services, information and referral, health insurance counseling and advocacy, nutrition and senior centers, housing, homecare & hospice services, employment training and economic development, adult day health services, etc.

At the International Hotel, SHE operates the Manilatown Senior Center, nutrition and activities program, 5 days per week (Monday – Friday). The program is designed to provide a nutritious meal to seniors to promote health and provide opportunities for socialization to reduce isolation. The Manilatown Senior Center program is supported by the Department of Aging and Adult Services and donations. It provides 100 meals per day to seniors living at the International Hotel and the community, currently with 377 unduplicated clients enrolled.

The Manilatown Center has been in operation since the late 1960’s, serving Filipino and Chinese seniors. When the former International Hotel was demolished, it was moved to and continued in various locations in the Chinatown and Financial Districts. In 2005 when the new International Hotel was completed and opened its doors, SHE was invited to operate a nutrition and activity program in the third floor community space. SHE moved the Manilatown Senior Center back to the I-Hotel and it has remained there providing services under agreement with the International Hotel Senior Housing, Inc. until the present day.

For more information on Self-Help for the Elderly, go to the Self-Help for the Elderly website:


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