The concept of Hotel De Zink was born in Palo Alto during the Great Depression, in 1931, by Mrs. Mable Glover. While listening to the radio show called the “Amos and Andy Show”, Mrs. Glover heard a story about restaurants throwing away left over food. Upset that restaurants were tossing away food when there were so many that were desperate and hungry, Mrs. Glover decided to do something to help the local downtrodden. Along with her husband, she petitioned the Palo Alto City Council for money and a space for a shelter. The local police Chief Howard Zink was an enthusiastic supporter and to honor him, they named the shelter after him. The shelter’ s original home is where the Palo Alto Sheraton now stands and it offered men a clean bunk, a warm shower, a shave and a haircut. In order to stay at Hotel de Zink, the men were required to help with the running of and upkeep of the shelter. Between the years of 1932-1933, the shelter assisted over 9,000 individuals.
Today, Hotel de Zink is no longer a stationary building, but a collaboration of communities. In partnership with InnVsion Shelter Network, Hotel de Zink is a rotating church shelter for single adults. 12 faith-based communities participate and Hearts for Homeless is one of those communities. Each community hosts 15 men and women for a month and provides them food, fellowship and a warm, safe place to stay overnight. The month for Hearts for Homeless is November and it is a special experience for everyone involved.