Launch of Leroy Looper Graduate Program

THC’s Transitional Housing Department, in partnership with the San Francisco Adult Probation Department (APD), has officially launched the Leroy Looper Graduate Program. Located at 6th and Howard, the Program is intended for justice-involved adults who have successfully completed a previous residential treatment program and demonstrate stability to be successful in a more independent environment. Participants are referred by an APD Case Manager and work with THC staff to move to permanent housing upon Program exit. The Program has 15 units available.

The Program is named after Leroy Looper, a local and national pioneer of supportive housing, who left behind a legacy of love and acceptance for those impacted by substance use, homelessness, and poverty. Leroy’s belief in allowing second chances for others and seeing the potential in others embodies the intention of the Graduate Program.

The plaque reads:

Leroy Looper, Written by his son Camlo Looper

“Leroy Looper was born in 1924 into a family in which he and his mother suffered under an abusive father and at times extreme poverty. He went to reform school at a young age never to see his mother again, and grew up to succumb to heroin and alcohol addiction. Eventually he was incarcerated two times as a young adult. Yet in midlife he vowed to make a change and he got clean and started an agency that helped countless others get their life back through drug rehabilitation, educational mentoring through Youthbuild USA, and housing programs like Reality House at the Cadillac Hotel and Chateau Agape, which provided a stable living environment for the residents who lived in them. He was recognized in a 14-page profile in the New Yorker Magazine, the S.F. Examiner, Beyond Chron, and appeared in TV news programs such as 48 hours. He opened a Sizzler in the Tenderloin because he believed that residents who lived in the neighborhood deserved real food options that were low-cost and he employed local residents to work in that business. The majority of his organizations are still operating today some 50 years later, from Brooklyn (Reality House voted the best drug rehab in NY in 2020) to the Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco. These programs stand as proof of the untapped human potential in each of us. He would often say “it’s never too late” and in his mid-fifties got his Master’s degree from Antioch College. Leroy Looper’s spirit lives on in the lives of those who were impacted by him or the organizations he created and the ripple effect these positive changes have for the families of the people who go on to live productive lives and the communities in which they live. His story provides a glimmer of hope to those who are struggling with unfulfilled dreams, and yet recognize in themselves that they too have tremendous untapped potential.”