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Groundbreaking for New Ritter Center Building At 800 A Street with Mayor Kate Colin and Ritter Center CEO Mark Shotwell

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Groundbreaking Celebration, Jan 25, 2024
On January 25, 2024, Ritter Center hosted a Groundbreaking Celebration to mark the start of construction at their new facility at 800 A Street in San Rafael. Mayor Kate Colin and Ritter Center’s CEO Mark Shotwell talked about the strides made in addressing homelessness and poverty in Marin and what the new Center will bring to the community. The breaking ground ceremonial moment involved gold hammers, hard hards and lots of laughter, followed by a cake cutting and tours of the $14.5M future home for Ritter Center. Speaking about the need for a new facility, Mark Shotwell, Ritter Center CEO remarked:
“16 Ritter Street has served as Ritter Center's site for 43 years, but we have outgrown our little yellow Victorian and temporary portables. The new facility will reflect our dedication to providing high-quality services, and our commitment to serve our clients with the utmost respect and dignity that every human deserves. The new building will also enable us to evolve with the needs of Marin County’s vulnerable children, families, seniors, and individuals experiencing homelessness and economic insecurity.”  

Cornerstone supporters and $1MM donors, Marin Community Foundation, couldn't be there in person but Rhea Suh, MCF President and CEO, sent this message speaking to the investment in the future of our community.

Rhea Suh, MCF President & CEO


"The groundbreaking today is truly seismic. For those of us who know and have known Ritter Center over its past four decades, we understand the critical role they play in providing services to those of us in most need. This new building will enable Ritter to expand their services to reach many more people and to have a remarkable place that can serve as a beacon of hope and dignity. MCF is honored to be a contributor to this building and to Ritter Center’s profound mission.”

Rhea Suh, Marin Community Foundation President & CEO

The current building at 16 Ritter Street has limited office and medical space, no parking, outdated facilities, insufficient interior waiting rooms, and an environment that does not reflect our dedication to providing high-quality services. Currently, the staff operates out of offices at 16 Ritter and 30 North San Pedro.
Standing at nearly 14,000 sq. ft. the new center will have the following features: twice the medical exam rooms, modern healthcare equipment, dedicated behavioral health rooms, lab for onsite testing, treatment room for minor procedures, meditation and lactation room, off-street parking and EV charging infrastructure. The Food Pantry will have storage for twice as much inventory, a walk-in cooler/freezer, a dedicated entrance, two walk-up windows, space for 10 households to line up inside, and a large workspace for staff and volunteers. 


Ritter Center's new building is planned to open at the end of 2024. To learn more about this project overall, visit our About page. View progress, timeline, and scope via our Project Scope page.


If you would like to schedule a private tour with  Ritter Center CEO Mark Shotwell, or support the project in any way, please contact Annie Everett: or (415) 847-8043.

Thank You:

Ritter Center is incredibly grateful for each and every person who’s helped us reach this groundbreaking moment. A special shout out to the many attendees who made the time to celebrate this milestone with us including:

County Officials:

  • Kate Colin, Mayor of San Rafael (and Special Guest Speaker at the event)

  • Chance Cutrano, Mayor, Town of Fairfax

  • Brian Colbert, Councilmember, San Anselmo

  • Eli Hill, Councilmember, District 2 San Rafael

  • Holli P. TheirVice-Mayor, Town of Tiburon

  • Aidan Lynch, Senior Field Representative, Office of Assemblymember Damon Connolly

  • Rachel Kertz, Councilmember, District 4 San Rafael

  • Max Perrey, Councilmember, Mill Valley

  • Gabriella Skarka, District Rep and Casework Manager, Congressman Jared Huffman at U.S. House of Representatives


  • Chris & Lindsay Dunham, Gruber Family Foundation

  • Jim & Joy Phoenix, Fenwick Foundation

  • Kathleen & Michael Murphy, Drysdale Community Foundation

County Partners:

  • Jennifer Ancona, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin

  • Nikolas Brady, Department of Health and Human Services

  • Mel Burnette, City of San Rafael

  • Aracely Chely Canas, County of Marin
  • Paul Fordham, Deputy Executive Director, Homeward Bound of Marin

  • Sara Fusenig, Department of Health and Human Services

  • Cherie Graham & Will Dittmar, ExtraFood

  • Anne Grey, Vivalon

  • Samantha Guzowski, Marin Housing Authority

  • Kendra Heiken and David Chatman, Catholic Charities San Francisco

  • Lynn Murphy, San Rafael Police Department

  • Gary Naja-Riese, Marin Health and Human Services

  • Dede Rosales, Operation Access

  • Carrie Sager, Marin Health and Human Services 

  • Arinn Testa, Marin Housing Authority
  • Hidat Tikue, County of Marin, Homelessness County Coordinated Entry Program

Corporate Partners:

  • Jaime Ortiz, Bank of Marin

  • Paul PerezHeritage Bank of Commerce

  • Rebecca McManusHeritage Bank of Commerce

  • Rebecca PoonHeritage Bank of Commerce

  • Todd AllenHeritage Bank of Commerce

  • Karina KalbfleischKaiser Permanente

Additionally, Ritter Center would like to thank the Capital Campaign Committee, including Co-Chairs Katie Smith and David Neagle, Board Members, staff, volunteers and the many generous donors and longtime supporters who attended. We are truly honored and humbled by your support and can’t thank you enough for believing in us.

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