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The Roving Library of the Tenderloin
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 02:50 PM

Books give wings to the soul. People who have barely enough money for food, if that, can't afford books to read. But the desire is there. So, too, is the willingness of some people to meet it. 
Not all San Franciscans walk past the poor of our streets without a care for their needs, their hopes their dreams. Some of us reach out to help. One such person is Challa Tabeson. Every week he pushes a shopping cart around the Tenderloin, as do so many others. But Challa's shopping cart is not his home. It is the Roving Library, a place on the sidewalk where people who can't afford books can get one for free. 

Challa is a native of Camaroon. After all the abuse and neglect that Americans have heaped upon Africa, that an African would come here to help our needy, speaks volumes of his character. This is an exemplary human being, a man to be emulated. Challa has been in America for eighteen years. He has seen good times here, and bad as well. He knows what it is like to be unemployed and homeless. Now that he is almost back on his feet, he has chosen to give something back to the people of the Tenderloin. Hospitality is a two way street. 

The Roving Library is a project of the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center, which is located on that ninth floor of the main San Francisco YMCA at Golden gate and Leavenworth. If you would like to donate books, or help in any way, come on down any Wednesday between noon and 5:00 PM. As soon as you enter the front door, turn right, and ride the elevator to the ninth floor. Follow the signs to TREC. There you will find Challa and his shopping cart full of books. 

Or not. If you miss Challa at TREC, fear not, he is on his route, and not far away. Try 147 Leavenworth, right around the corner. That’s the Hospitality House’s free artist’s studio. It a place where the artistically inclined, but financially wanting, can find free materials with which to create. Some truly fine art can be found there, in various stages of completion. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon until 5:00 PM. 

If you miss the Roving Library at Hospitality House, try St Anthony’s Dining Room at 132 Golden Gate, one block away. You can’t miss it. It’s the building with the long line of hungry people, waiting for lunch. If you think they only hunger for food, just wait until the Roving Library shows up. 

If you want to be sure of finding Challa at TREC, you can call in advance. The number is 415-558-8759. Or, you can email Challa at

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Challa gets ready
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 02:55 PM

Challa gets ready...
roving.library01.jpg, image/jpeg, 582x400

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This is work.
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 02:57 PM

This is work....
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In front of St. Anthony's soup kitchen
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 03:02 PM

In front of St. Anth...
roving.library03.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x612

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Hungry for wisdom
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 03:05 PM

Hungry for wisdom...
roving.library04.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x614

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Every Wednesday at noon
by nessie Wednesday August 06, 2003 at 03:10 PM

Every Wednesday at ...
roving.library05.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x620

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beautiful stories
by chico Saturday August 09, 2003 at 06:12 PM

oh, what a wonderful article:) oh, thank you so much whoever wrote it. oh, i love indymedia. its so refreshing to read about beautiful things. i think we too often spend much of our time pointing out the bad (which is needed) that we miss beautiful stories like this one. thank you to the author. you have had a little color into my day:) ~chico

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