Swords to Plowshares

Rating: 4.85 stars   48 reviews


1060 Howard Street San Francisco CA 94103 USA


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.


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


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

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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(415) 252-4788

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Reviews for Swords to Plowshares

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have worked with Swords to Plowshares as a pro bono attorney and Swords has continued to support my efforts in a rural area to bring free legal advice and referrals to veterans. They are unstinting in their support of Veterans and those who assist Veterans, even outside the Bay Area. I am very grateful for their existence and their support.

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Role: Board Member
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Swords to Plowshares body of Programs and work across shelter, health & mental, and legal services is amazing. With over 500 beds in the SF Bay Area and a number of programs, Swords to Plowshares helps veterans recover, stabilize, and adjust to civilian life.

I personally see the positive impact whenever I meet a veteran who has benefitted from these services - they are simply in a better place. The leadership is completely committed to making a difference.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Swords to Plows helps veterans break the cycle of homelessness with a combination of services and housing that gets vets back on track. This is an exceptional organization with exceptional people across the board.

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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Swords To Plowshares is a non-profit organization that take pride in veterans and recognize the service veterans have provided for their country. As a return of such courage our veteran's have put forth in and out of battle, Swords To Plowshares honor their effort through consistent support and advocacy around providing housing, mental health services, one on one intervention, and a variety of resources in order for veterans to maintain stability.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Swords has been assisting Veterans in need since the 1970's in the San Francisco Bay area. To really evaluate a non-profit organization all you have to do is go to the men and women who are receiving the benefits from the organization. Having served 24 plus years with the U.S. Army and being a combat Vietnam veteran, I can relate to our veterans in need. Since volunteering with Swords I have had the opportunity to interview several of the veterans that have received care, treatment, training and schooling, and placement back into society as productive citizens. The stories have been remarkable and very moving, which provides those of us who are honored to be associated with Swords with real pride. Swords works with men and women who have faithfully served our country and suffered some real tragic after effects that put them in tough scenarios where they were unable to come back out without the help of an organization with strong resolve and resources. I have found that there is no better non-profit to spend my valuable volunteer time with then Swords to Plowshares.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My personal interviews of their clients.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The results I see first hand from their care and treatment of the veterans they have worked with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Highly motivated and dedicated to assisting veterans in need.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Assist a larger number of veterans that are in need of treatment and housing.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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