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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Job Training, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Our mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans.

Results: Swords to Plowshares has helped thousands of veterans since its founding in 1974 with getting a job and/or job training; help with VA benefits; long-term case management; emergency, transitional and permanent housing; more veteran friendly local, state and federal policies (various policy changes made over the years; a “seat at the table” on a dozen local, state and federal committees, commissions).

Target demographics: all veterans regardless of era of service or discharge status

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3000+ veterans per year

Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Founded in 1974, Swords to Plowshares is a community-based not-for-profit organization that provides case management, mental health assessment and referral, rapid re-housing and eviction prevention services, employment and training, supportive housing, and legal benefits assistance for low-income, homeless and at-risk veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Swords to Plowshares promotes and protects the rights of veterans through advocacy, public education, and partnerships with local, state and national entities. HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES / FRONTLINE DROP-IN CENTER in San Francisco helps homeless and at-risk veterans with: crisis intervention, mental health assessment and referral, emergency shelter assistance; housing placement assistance, eviction prevention, money management and representative-payee services, ancillary support, referrals to our in-house programs and coordinated referrals for needed services. EMPLOYMENT & JOB TRAINING services offered in San Francisco and Oakland help veterans by working one-on-one with them to identify and mitigate barriers to employment; become job-ready through pre-employment preparation, career counseling, and vocational training; and obtain and retain employment with job placement and follow-up services. We work with employers and vocational training partners to facilitate job brokering, job placement, and veteran cohort vocational trainings. LEGAL SERVICES TO OBTAIN VA BENEFITS including representation by an attorney, help disabled low-income and homeless veterans each year obtain healthcare, disability, pension, and other available VA benefits earned through their service. SUPPORTIVE TEMPORARY & PERMANENT HOUSING sites house more than 500 veterans each year at two transitional and three permanent housing sites, including one dedicated to veterans with families. POLICY ADVOCACY initiatives are informed by our direct services. Our Institute for Veteran Policy (IVP) staff educates the public, service providers, and policy makers on veteran-friendly policies and best service practices

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mom (20 yr vet) and I were 1 day away from being homeless. My dad who died, was also in the military. So was just me and my mom. We had only one day left in our hotel room, no money, no food. I was crying from being so hungry, but we looked online with our last day, trying to find help.

My mom is the hardest worker you'll ever meet, but couldn't find a job. I had to see her work from 8am till sometimes come home at 2am and do it the next day..anyways, we found this place and they immediately helped us with several months for accommodations. We encountered severe bed bugs staying in bad hotels and they got us new clothes. My mom got a new job and can't imagine what would have happened in another life, if they were not there.

..thank you anyone that donates to them. (or helps in any way) :)

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working on pro bono cases for Swords for years. They do invaluable work for vets, helping them to get benefits and housing. It is a superb organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do excellent work for and under-served but highly deserving set of clients. The work they do for Veterans is unparalleled, and I am proud to be associated with their organization as an attorney volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about this organization through its legal services for veterans. I soon learned that Swords helps our vets with so much more than just their legal needs (which are huge in and of themselves). Swords provides services to help with housing, education, job training, mental health and getting veterans the benefits to which they are entitled. It is run by some of the most energetic and thoughtful folks I know. I am proud to be involved and so impressed with all of the wonderful things they do. Thank you Swords to Plowshares!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

In Home Care Turlock - http://www.homecareassistancetracy.com/live-in-or-24-hour-home-care/

Hospice Care Modesto - http://www.homecareassistancetracy.com/home-hospice-support/

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Swords to Plowshares helped me more than any other veteran service organization in San Francisco. They helped me to secure stable housing and get caught up on utilities. They even helped me with some food and appliances while I was getting back on my feet. Thanks to their help I was able to get a great job, and I'm back on the right track. Thank you Swords!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Swords to Plowshares provides amazing wrap around care for veterans from housing and job support to healthcare and legal services. They provide critical support for our woefully underserved veteran community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is always a wait list of volunteers for the Swords to Plowshares clinics. There is just not enough space for all the folks who want to volunteer at these clinics. What a wonderful problem to have.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer to provide Pro Bono services to veterans in need through Swords. As a direct result of Sword's focus, organization, and dedication, the volunteer activities are always successful and help many, many people. Swords is a compassionate, caring and effective group.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Swords is THE leading non-profit addressing verterans' issues in the Bay Area. From housing, to job support and training, to legal representation, Swords is doing the hard work that needs to get done. Michael Blecher has led the organization as well as any E.D. of any organization I have been involved with. Swords would not be what it is without him. Great leader.