Your Path to Health and Independence
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From the Executive Director

I hope all of you are enjoying our long summer days! Here at SteppingStone, we started the season with the exciting launch of the Double Shift at our Mission Creek Day Health center. This has increased our capacity to provide Adult Day Health Care services to twice as many seniors and adults with disabilities. Our participants are really enjoying the summer activities—BBQs, Warrior celebrations and Fourth of July parties. I’d like to give special Kudos to our hardworking team at Mission Creek. They’ve been extremely busy organizing the new schedules and activities while addressing participants concerns.

On June 22nd, Mission Creek hosted an Open House. It was a marvelous event for people to come together in our community to celebrate the Double Shift. It also provided an opportunity for people to learn more about the services that SteppingStone provides to San Francisco’s frail seniors and adults with disabilities. Employees were available to give tours of the facility as well as answer questions about enrollment and the day-to day operations. We have an open wait list so please call our intake social worker if you have any questions.

Last but not least, thank you to all the donors who have made contributions throughout the year, from near and far. SteppingStone has been the fortunate beneficiary of donations made in memory of loved ones and donations from out of town donors such as the group from Los Angeles. Thanks to your generosity, San Francisco’s seniors and adults with disabilities can enjoy a quality of life at home for as long as possible!

Mollie Tobias, 
Executive Director


Carol - Art as Therapy

If you walk into Mabini Adult Day Health you will see three ink paintings on display. These paintings were generously donated to the center by participant, Carol Cheung (above left), who is also their creator. Carol started attending Mabini Adult Day Health in 2015 after undergoing surgery. She values her time at the center because it has helped her heal.

Earlier in her life, Carol was a pattern worker in clothing factories in Hong Kong. Carol advanced in her field to high-level positions creating complete clothing samples for mass production.

Carol has always enjoyed art, but it wasn’t until she became sick 14 years ago, that she had time to pursue a new artistic passion. She started doing calligraphy upon the recommendation of a friend. The first school she attended for ink painting and calligraphy she found by serendipity when getting off a bus in Chinatown.

According to the International Art Museum of America: “Chinese ink painting is one of the oldest art traditions still practiced today. A brush is dipped in ink and then applied to rice paper or silk. One important form of ink painting is Chinese calligraphy. From the Shang Dynasty in the 18th Century B.C. to the present day, various calligraphic styles have been developed.”

In the beginning of her practice, Carol focused on calligraphy. She received good feedback early on from a teacher for her picture painting technique. Eventually she shifted her focus from calligraphy to painting pictures upon the receipt of more positive feedback from friends.

It is evident when viewing her work that birds are significant to her as they are featured in many of her pieces. After seven years of taking classes at three different schools, Carol decided to continue her studies on her own.

She says it was difficult to pursue an independent practice and she taught herself by looking at the work of masters. She also learned by sharing skills with her friends

Carol enjoys practicing painting and calligraphy because it gives her something to focus on. She also appreciates the praise and respect she receives from others for her artwork. On several occasions, her pieces were selected by her teacher to be submitted to the Sing Tao Art Edition . Also with the help of a friend, Carol self-published two books of her ink paintings. Here at Mabini we are proud to showcase a few of her pieces and hope you can come by to view her work.

Bruce Carp

Chair of the Board - Bruce Carp

I joined the Stepping-Stone Board of Directors in 2015, served as the Treasurer last year, and I am honored to be the President. I want to thank the previous President, Maelin Wang for a job well done. The great services that SteppingStone provides every day for its participants is a result of the hard work of the Executive Director, Mollie Tobias, Program Directors, Nurses, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Social Workers, Activity Coordinators, and all the staff. Many thanks to all who provide these dedicated services every day.

After over 40 years working in healthcare and nonprofit companies, I retired from my most recent position as Chief Financial Officer of a nonprofit health care company in Oakland. In one of my previous positions, I worked for a company in Los Angeles that operated several Adult Day Health Care sites, so I am familiar with our business. These are truly challenging times in health care as the federal government is contemplating major changes in the financing of health care, which will certainly have its impact on SteppingStone.

I am very excited to see the development of the Double Shift at our Mission Creek site. This will allow us to serve more frail elderly patients in our existing facility in a more efficient manner. SteppingStone is now able to serve 250 patients per day, an increase from the 200 per day that previously attended SteppingStone every day.

I am very excited about the future of SteppingStone. As the population in San Francisco ages, there will be more demand for our services. We are expanding our services with the Double Shift to serve this population. With the commitment of our Board of Directors, Staff, and the community, the next year looks very promising for SteppingStone and the people we serve.

Kenny Williams
SteppingStone in the News

Reaching a diversity of participants—adapted from

Mission Creek Day Health is one of four centers run by SteppingStone Health, an organization founded in 1983 that focuses on the needs of seniors and disabled adults. Now, the center is expanding its day program so that it can support more seniors in living an independent life.

Kenny Williams was first invited to join Mission Creek Day Health after he was approached by an employee at the center’s publicly-accessible garden. That small gesture turned out to be a lifeline for him.

“I was very isolated,” Williams told Hoodline. “I stayed in my room and avoided people. I had a bad anxiety problem.”

“This program is here to provide people the support they need so they can remain as independent as possible and in their homes for as long as they can,” said Mollie Tobias, SteppingStone’s executive director. They may not be able to move around easily, have chronic illnesses, suffer from dementia, and may or may not have caregivers. “They are a population that have a difficult time advocating for themselves whether it is due to mobility, speech, or mental health diagnosis.”

The day program includes two shifts: 7:30am–12:30pm and 12:30pm–5:30pm, and intake begins with an interview with a social worker assistant to determine what kind of program each individual might want. Language services are also available in Chinese and Korean, explained the social worker assistant, and Medi-Cal, Veterans’ Administration, and private pay options are available. There’s also an appointment scheduled for a visit to the center itself.

SteppingStone’s clients come from all walks of life and demographics in San Francisco, including folks from the city’s African-American, Asian-American (including Chinese, Filipino, Korean and Vietnamese), Caucasian, Latin and Russian communities.

One major benefit of the services and programs provided at Mission Creek Day Health Center and other SteppingStone locations, which serve 350 people a year, is that they come at a fraction of the cost of nursing homes and are covered by Medi-Cal.

At the four SteppingStone locations, activity coordinators keep the seniors engaged, with multiple events happening at the same time to provide variety.

For Williams, the support and friendship provided at SteppingStone was critical. “I found out that I was missing out on life,” he said. “I started coming and it’s been a whole new world. I started meeting people and learning new things.”

Williams took computer classes and learned how to navigate the internet. He began eating better because he now gets two meals a day, and takes part in exercise classes.

“I was very scared,” he told us. “I’m not scared anymore.”

Read the full story at


Golden State Warriors Donate $2,500 to


The Golden State Warriors, the NBA Champions, have made a generous donation of $2,500 to SteppingStone. SteppingStone came to the Warrior’s attention through Rose Weaks, a participant at the Mission Creek Health Center. Rose’s son, Theo Ellington, is the team’s Director of Public Affairs. SteppingStone is grateful to the Warriors and will use the funds to enhance the quality of care we provide our participants.

Many bay area companies, like the Warriors, support local nonprofit service organizations. If you have a connection to a company that supports community groups please consider letting them know about SteppingStone and our work serving frail seniors and disabled adults. We can help you provide any information they need. Maybe they’ll join the Warriors in providing support!

Previous Newsletters

Summer 2017

Spring 2017

Winter 2016

Summer 2016

All photos by Karen Ande,

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