Annie Panlibuton-Barnes is co-founder of Sunrise Special Services Foundation (SSSF), a nonprofit health and social services organization. SSSF’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those with special needs including the elderly, homeless and communities of color. She is the daughter of Asuncion Panlibuton, a founding community activist for the I Hotel in the 1960’s. Annie was an actress with the New Shakespeare Company, a San Francisco based national touring company from the 1965 to 1980. In the 1970’s, she also became part of the San Francisco State University’s political and cultural/ performing arts of Pilipino Americans.
A turning point in life was raising a family while living in poverty and homelessness in rural Northern California from 1985 to 1995. The immigrant values of resilience and hard work led to the completion of an MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco in 1996. Pursuing her passion for improving the quality of rural life, she became an accomplished grant writer and developed programs for California Tribes and Northern California rural counties. Achievements include serving as a Rural Fellow for the Office of Rural Health Policy, recognized in 2013 by UCLA for Health Leadership and as a federal consultant for the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services.
Annie once again became homeless in 2018 when Lake County was ravaged by wildfires. As a widow with grown children and grandchildren, her heart yearned to return home- to San Francisco. As destiny would have it, she is a tenant at the I-Hotel and a member of the Elders Council of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation.