Shanti Project

Rating: 4.98 stars   63 reviews

Issues: Health, Cancer, Breast Cancer

Location: 730 Polk St., 3rd Floor San Francisco CA 94109 USA

Mission: Shanti is dedicated to closing the gap between people who receive comprehensive medical care and those who do not, and provides the information, skills and support clients need to make informed decisions about their treatment, improve their health and wellness, and enjoy good health outcomes and a high quality of life. Originally founded in 1974 to help people dying of cancer, Shanti was one of the first organizations to respond to San Francisco s AIDS crisis.  Today the organization provides a variety of emotional and practical support services that help people living with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer. Services include a drop-in center, peer and treatment advocacy, case management, health counseling, patient navigation, and activities. Shanti also shares its expertise in volunteer management and HIV/AIDS peer education with other local and national organizations interested in starting or improving their programs.
Target demographics: Our clients are all underserved individuals with life-threatening illnesses & often come from challenged, at-risk & underserved communities including women & those of trans experience, communities of color, seniors, the homeless and marginally housed & those with a dual or triple diagnosis with mental health &/or substance use issues in addition to their positive HIV or breast cancer diagnosis.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco
Programs: Shanti serves over 2,000 men and women every year through the following programs: The Breast Cancer Program reduces the obstacles faced by individuals with breast cancer by providing a continuum of tailored services that address their physical, emotional, psychosocial, educational and support needs. Clients are primarily low-income, uninsured and medically underserved San Franciscans, the majority of whom are women of color and who are living in poverty. HIV Services Program provides care navigation, peer advocacy, a drop-in center, activities and events, support groups, women's services and encourages a continuity of HIV treatment and care through the provision of culturally competent support to at-risk, underserved HIV positive communities. Volunteer Services Program trains volunteers to provide emotional support and practical assistance to individuals living with life-threatening illnesses, using the internationally recognized Shanti Model of Peer SupportTM. Volunteers serve clients through one-on-one client/volunteer matches, short-term or one-time only support, our drop-in center, our activities program and by offering workshops and classes. L.I.F.E. Program® is a health-enhancement program based on the latest medical research in mind-body medicine. “L.I.F.E.” stands for Learning Immune Function Enhancement. Evaluation research shows that L.I.F.E. reduces risk behavior, improves quality of life, increases medication adherence and reduces health problems. Our programs have the potential to increase the health of individuals with HIV, Hepatitis C, breast cancer and other immune related illnesses. Community Support Program provides management, administrative support and training to council members of the San Francisco EMA (Eligible Metropolitan Area) HIV Health Services Planning Council. This body is mandated by the U.S. Congress to determine the size and demographics of the population of individuals with HIV in the three county area and the needs of this population.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Shanti Project, they care about the work they do, their clients and how they reach others in the community. I had the pleasure of working with this amazing and dedicated staff during the past four months while planning their 40th Anniversary Benefit Dinner. I have never worked with a more dedicated & supportive staff in my 30+ years of fundraising. Pleasure to work with, amazing to hear their stories and see them work with the clients they service. Know when you donate to this organization, your money is spent well and for such great programs!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The year was 1988. I had graduated high school a mere 7 years earlier. I was young, social, enjoying the freedom the gay rights movement of the seventies paved for me and my generation. Then in one swift stroke my happy go lucky life changed forever. My very first and only HIV test came back positive. Back then it was a death sentence. I felt alone, scared and was certain that no one could possibly understand what it mean to be told at 24 years old that you were going to be dead at 30.

Then, I encountered Shanti Project. The staff and volunteers accepted me with open arms and hearts. They listened, without judgement, without fear, without advice, to my fears and concerns. The people at Shanti Project taught me that it was okay to be angry, afraid, to feel cheated. But they also showed me that those feelings and this disease didn't have to define my life. That I could live a quality life not in spite of it but because of it.

Shanti Project helped me to turn a corner and to view this as an opportunity to not only help and educate myself but to do so for others.

Thank you Shanti Project.

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Rating: 5 stars  

What lies at the core of the Shanti model is the epitome of humanitarianism to me - kind, caring, nonjudgmental support of peers in their time of greatest need. I feel privileged and grateful to have been a part of this community as a volunteer for eight years and counting. I get to help others the way I've been helped in my life. And I get to see so many wonderful staff members and volunteers make a positive difference in so many lives. This is all possible because of the focused and efficient way Shanti functions as an organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering for Shanti Project in numerous capacities over the last year and a half. They genuinely care about their volunteers and follow up and offer more opportunities for folks to expand their services. I have gained positive personal growth and am certain my matched client benefits greatly from both the services I and Shanti provide. I am so thankful this organization is available in our community.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I joined the Shanti community in May 2013 and have been warmly welcomed by the staff, and members of the community within this great non-profit. I not only have been blessed with peer-support opportunities, but have been assisting within other departments such as Research and Fundraising. Not only are the staff and volunteers friendly and helpful, but the organization provides support for their volunteers as well. I believe this is key to the long-running strength of Shanti as a key player in the non-profit sector and LGBT community within San Francisco and abroad. The Shanti Model is one other non-profits, HIV/AIDS and Breast cancer organizations strive to mirror.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering with Shanti in various capacities for nearly two years. I have found this organization to have a high performing staff, who are always engaged and eager to work with you. Shanti's unique mission has a tremendous impact for both their community and their clients, and I have been proud to be a part of this special group through volunteering both my time and money.

Some highlights of this organization and my experience are as follows:

-experiencing the unique volunteer training course, which ensures that each volunteer understands and espouses the Shanti mission
-building a relationship with my Shanti client
-helping plan the annual Breast Cancer Program event

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Shanti is an amazing organization both for its volunteers and for the breast cancer and HIV communities it supports. I joined Shanti 3 years ago as a volunteer in the HIV peer support program and am impressed regularly with Shanti's commitment, professionalism, and caring/knowledgable staff.

The first thing they do for new volunteers is to put them through an intensive weekend training program, which was an absolutely amazing experience. I was worried it would be poorly organized and kind of a waste of a precious weekend, but I could not have been more wrong. The training was well thought out and contained many safe and supported opportunities to practice the skills I would need as a peer support volunteer. The presenters were prepared and knowledgable, and the material was based on many combined years of Shanti experiences and best practices. I left the training with new friends and new skills in both personal life and peer support.

Following this I was matched with my very amazing and wonderful client, Josh, who is a blessing in my life. I am able to be a friend and support to him, listen to him, help him get to appointments, and share in his joys and his challenges. Our relationship is incredibly special to me, and I look forward to our time together very much. I feel grateful that we can share each other's lives through the Shanti model. I am also constantly supported by Shanti's amazing staff. As a volunteer I am part of a small support group that meets monthly, allowing us to work through issues that are hard for us with our client, share the joys and challenges and refresh ourselves by supporting one another. At the same time if I have anything come up with Josh that I'm not sure how to handle I can call or email my Shanti contact, who knows Josh personally and also stays connected to him. This means that Josh and I always have experts to go to for the challenges we are not sure how to handle on our own. I am so grateful to this amazing organization and love to be a part of it!

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I went through the volunteer training about 20 years ago! That training informed my work with nonprofits. I joined the staff to help raise funds for the organization in 2012 and I couldn't be happier. Our work with breast cancer clients and people living with HIV helps the most at risk and underserved, and the clients really appreciate our hard work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish we could raise more awareness about Shanti. People deserve to know what a great resource we have in San Francisco.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with Shanti for eight years and am honored to have recently joined the Board of Directors. I found Shanti shortly after moving to San Francisco and volunteered to facilitate jewelry-making workshops every few months for women in their breast cancer program. During that first year, Shanti's staff treated both me and their clients with a level of professionalism, kindness and respect that blew me away.

My experience with the program inspired me to increase my involvement and I decided to go through the weekend-long training to become a Peer Support Volunteer. This was followed by several years of deeply rewarding, multi-faceted volunteering with Shanti which I hold as one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. I was matched with a client in the breast cancer program, Magna, for many years and still help train new volunteers as well as run a monthly support group for currently matched volunteers.

I support Shanti because I have witnessed the critical need that their services fill for vulnerable people facing life-threatening illnesses in San Francisco. I support Shanti because their team is experienced and effective at training volunteers to meet this need, while always demonstrating compassion toward clients and appreciation toward volunteers and supporters. I look forward to a bright future for the organization as it continues to grow and serve our community.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a part of Shanti for over 5 years and each year gets better and better. I was honored to serve as a Board of Directors member and when I needed to step down; I was thankful to be able to continue to be a part of the the planning committee for Shanti's Swim-for-LIFE event.

Shanti contineus at 40 years strong - serving the Breast Cancer and HIV Communities of the SF Bay area and I am proud to be a part of this strong history.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Shanti has been a place to where I am routinly in awe...from the staff, volunteers and clients. As a BOD member, I hear often how Shanti has had a positive impact on the lives of those we provide services to but also for the larger SF community. It has been an honor to be a part of Shanti and glad I can make a contribution to the work we all do together.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a building we could own vs. rent.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

In this age of technology and rushing, Shanti is a place where those who need support can find the human touch. Over the years it has impressed me the number of people I have met that speak of Shanti as the place they or someone dear to them received a support unlike anywhere else. No matter the age, race, income, background, sexual orientation -- if someone comes to Shanti they will be treated and cared for with compassion and care.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I moved to SF a few years back and sought out great non-profits that I could volunteer at, primarily to give back, and to meet new people. After having done research, I landed on Shanti--they had some wonderful reviews out there. I went through the volunteering orientation sessions and was *thrilled* to see that such care went into their programs. It truly is staffed by people that genuinely care about the causes. This was refreshing! Ultimately, I was unable to make a long-term commitment to their caregiving volunteer program; however, I volunteer each year for their Swim-for-Life program--it's my small way of still being connected to a fantastic organization and a fantastic cause.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Enable them with more equipment and budgets! They're doing fantastic, necessary work, have been around for decades, and deserve to operate on more than they actually do.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?