A leader in helping the underserved in San Francisco, Shaun Haines is being recognized at this year's Pride as a Pride Community Award honoree. Find out what Shaun thinks every visitors to San Francisco should experience.

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June 19, 2018

How I See San Francisco: Community Activist Shaun Haines

Shaun Haines is a native San Franciscan, and founder of San Francisco Impact Partners, building a coalition of leaders to create resources and solutions to support the homeless, particularly in the LGBTQ community. Shaun serves on the San Francisco LGBT Cultural Heritage Strategy, Equity, and Economic Development Committee, as well as the San Francisco Police Chief's LGBT Forum and Castro Community on Patrol. For this work, his long support for preserving Trans, Leather, and Castro cultural districts, and developing anti-racism resources, Shaun has been honored with a Pride Community Award by the San Francisco Pride Committee in June 2018 as part of festivities for the annual Pride Parade and Celebration. Here, Shaun shares thoughts on San Francisco and Pride.

What should we expect from this year’s Pride Celebration?
I expect to have fun while bringing a focus on an important message of service and our need to support safety, dignity and opportunity for all in need. 

How should someone best experience Pride weekend?
In addition to Saturday's Pride activities and the Pride Parade on Sunday, visitors to San Francisco can best experience how our city and people express Pride by participating in the various community events around our wonderful city. There's so much to choose from!

San Francisco is known as a welcoming destination. How do you see this?
Visitors to San Francisco should know that our city welcomes all. We have a rich diversity of cultures. The biggest thing visitors will find is that San Franciscans are accepting and protective. Folks who visit our city are inspired to keep coming back because it reminds everyone of home. 

How does Pride in particular represent San Francisco?
Pride is San Francisco and San Francisco is Pride. The event and organization represent what our city is all about. Standing up for important causes, bringing the community together and having a good time. 

How can someone in town for Pride make a difference in the community?
People visiting San Francisco to enjoy Pride can make a big difference in our community! As a Heritage of Pride Community Award Honoree, I also represent San Francisco Impact Partners, an organization that I founded to bring people, business and communities together to address poverty and homelessness. Find us online to learn how you can get involved.

You’ve been active in providing resources for the underprivileged. What should a visitor know about your efforts to improve the quality of life for residents in need?
At San Francisco Impact Partners, we work to end homelessness. Visitors can support our efforts to provide storage, access to showers, laundry and other supportive infrastructure. That would make a huge difference for our community and for our city. 

What is a great place to see San Francisco's welcoming spirit in action?
Visitors to San Francisco will see and feel the welcoming spirit of San Francisco in the faces of our people. In communities all throughout our city, we are celebrating Pride. There is something for everyone, everywhere. Take advantage of seeing all of what we have to offer. 

Is there a new LGBTQ-oriented location or event in the city you’re excited about?
There are great LGBTQ events at our LGBTQ Center near the Castro. I am also very excited to see a lot of LGBTQ-oriented activities springing up in the Bayview neighborhood, the Tenderloin, South of Market and in the Mission

Besides San Francisco Pride, what's your favorite event in the city?
One of my favorite events in San Francisco is Sunday Streets, when communities all across our city come out to have a good time and learn about local businesses and organizations. I enjoy attending Sunday Streets because it allows me to form a deeper connection to different parts of the city where I grew up!

What is a must-see neighborhood of the city for visitors? 
You must see every part of San Francisco. Every community has something different and unique to offer. Spread out and take as many tours as you can to see what life is like. There's a rich history in San Francisco and every community has contributed greatly to our city heritage. 

Do you have a favorite excursion to recommend outside of the city?
My favorite thing to do is to ride a bike. Training for AIDS/LifeCycle, I have ridden all 49 miles of our city (even those toughest hills). Riding a bike or walking puts you in touch with the spaces around you, and by doing so you will see and learn a lot. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant in the city to recommend?
One of my favorite places is Mi Lindo Peru in the Mission. The make the best Bistek a Lo Pobre!

Do you have a favorite place for a photo in San Francisco?
Take a tour of our murals. There are hundreds to choose from. In addition to a picturesque scene, they tell a part of our story as a city.  

What's one item still on your San Francisco bucket list?
Own a home. I think that's next on the bucket list. 

What would you like visitors to San Francisco to take home with them?
What's most important to leave with is the knowledge that you've spent your time here getting to know the people and our history. Take a piece of that with you and keep it safe in your heart. 

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