Multimillionaire "CEO whisperer" Tony Robbins, who once spent some time homeless himself before striking it rich as a business and self-improvement coach, has for the second time come to the rescue of a group of French nuns in San Francisco who run a small soup kitchen in the Tenderloin. After helping negotiate a reprieve from a threatened eviction in February and giving them a check for $25,000, Robbins has now bought the nuns of the Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth Soup Kitchen a new space from which to serve the homeless, next door to the Navigation Center, at 1930 Mission Street. Robbins paid $750,000 cash for the building and ground-floor space, which was secured after a month-long real-estate hunt.
Robbins tells the Chronicle, the paper in which he first read of their plight, how he is incredibly inspired by the nuns and their work, and how he's even enlisted some of his billionaire friends to help as well. In fact, $400,000 of the money used to buy the new soup kitchen came from his foundation's "platinum partners."
And Robbins is now reportedly leaning on some of these billionaires to help find the nuns new housing as well the location they've been in at 54 Turk Street is also their home, while they say that they will not try to evict any of the existing tenants in the building at 1930 Mission.
Says their Chicago based Mother Superior, Mary Martha, "Finding this building is really like a resurrection for us it goes so well with the holy week of Easter. We were so concerned for the sisters in San Francisco, and we were praying so hard for them, and then God sent Tony to help us."
The Chronicle first broke the news of the nuns' eviction troubles in early February. The order, founded in France in 1977, runs soup kitchens, hospitals, schools, and orphanages around the world in an effort to help society's most destitute, according to their website.
Sister Mary of the Angels told the paper, in thickly French-accented English, "All we want to do is help the homeless. Homeless people often have no affection, and here we can say hello and give them some good food. I give my heart."
The nuns live off a meager income they make selling pastries at farmers' markets, and, because they're French, their soup kitchen has come to be known as having some of the best free food in all of the 'Loin. Since starting the SF soup kitchen eight years ago, the nuns now serve 300 lunches three times a week, and 500 dinners twice a week largely using food brought to them by local cooking school founder Mary Risley's Food Runners organization, which collects unused food from local restaurants to give to charity.
They plan to begin their move next week, after Easter.