It was the beginning of the end of his time on the streets — and eventually, it led to a new era for one of the first places to provide counseling and temporary beds for homeless people in San Francisco.
Hospitality House was founded during the Summer of Love to shelter young people who flocked to San Francisco looking for peace and love but found hard times. In the 50 years since then, it’s become an indispensable piece of the city’s homeless services network, and now serves about 20,000 people a year.
In 2017, the 62-year-old Wilson — already one of Hospitality House’s greatest success stories — became its executive director. The man who once took refuge under the nonprofit’s roof now oversees not only its 30-bed shelter but also arts, jobs and counseling programs. All told, he runs a staff of 55 and an annual budget of $4.5 million.
“Joe is whip-smart, …