Swords to Plowshares

Rating: 4.82 stars   39 reviews

Address:

1060 Howard Street San Francisco CA 94103 USA

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:

For 40 years, Swords to Plowshares has provided direct services for low-income, homeless, and at-risk San Francisco Bay Area veterans regardless of era of service or discharge status. Our services include: behavioral health and substance abuse counseling, case management, crisis intervention, money management assistance, employment and vocational training, supportive housing, housing placement assistance, and benefits advocacy. HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES / FRONTLINE DROP-IN CENTER in San Francisco helps homeless and at-risk veterans with: crisis intervention, mental health and substance abuse counseling, 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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More Info

(415) 252-4788
www.swords-to-plowshares.org

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Reviews for Swords to Plowshares

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

After my active duty ended in 2013, I was in desperate need of a job. After months of watching my savings disappear, I was only a rent check away from losing my apartment when I heard about Swords to Plowshares. They didn't just find me a job. They gave me a job that was tailor-made for me. For that I'll always be grateful. Their quality of care and ability to work with veterans of all stripes makes them a truly heroic organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a transitioning veteran who was down on my luck, I somehow found myself in Swords' Employment and Training program.
The great people I worked with, found a job that really opened up doors for me. I have regained my purpose, direction, and motivation, and now I'm in a position to help fellow veterans.
Thank you, Swords!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was chronically unemployed after separation. Work in the San Francisco area was underpaid and spotty at best. I lived in a friend's garage. Swords To Plowshares helped me find work at the Oakland Naval Supply Center as an inventory clerk. The job paid well, was stable and allowed me the funds I needed to make it through a couple very tough years. I understand they do advocacy for people trying to file for PTSD and Non-service connected disabilities. These folks walk the walk.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

In December of 2011 I relocated to the Bay Area. I had no job waiting and no prospects. I sent out resumes, and applications for weeks for every job I could find all the way down to fast food but had no luck. I have college, military experience, no criminal record, and a professional appearance. I figured security would be the easy job to land given my experience and 6'3" 270 pound frame. So, I got some interviews that went well. "You're just what we're looking for" they would say! Then that was followed by "We're gonna put you on the ON CALL list" HUH??? I'm sorry but I can't put my bills on the on call list!!! Enter S2P - once they got involved with helping me look for a job and I had access to the employers they worked with, things finally started moving. I landed a good job with decent pay, a good schedule, paid vacation and full - I say again FULL benefits! I've been there ever since - just had my 2 year anniversary this week in fact.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Swords to Plowshares is a wonderful organization that helps veterans in need and I am forever great full to have been a client. I lived in the transitional housing program on Treasure Island for approximately 1 year, and I really enjoyed it there. I miss all of the Vets that I lived with and still run into them occasionally at the bank or Fort Miley. I find myself spreading the good word on the streets of San Francisco, B.A.R.T. or where ever I may come across a homeless veteran holding a sign, or asking for food or money. I make sure that I take a moment of my time to talk with them and ask them if they have heard of "Swords to Plowshares".

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 2 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Overall this is a good agency trying to help veteran's in their times of need. I was a client at the Treasure Island transitional housing program. I was forced to leave the program because of a comment I made in the privacy of my own quarters. Fortunately I had the means and was in a good enough state to find my own place without help. The staff at the time were manipulated by clients who had agendas that were not about recovery. One thing that was uncomfortable for me was that I am Bi-polar and they put pressure on me to leave within a prescribed amount of time. That caused me quite a bit of anxiety but I managed. Others have been driven out and fall back to unhealthy behaviours.

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

Providing a safe atmosphere to heal. They were instrumental in helping me to obtain social security disability years ago.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-1-01

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Swords has been a good organization for me over the last few years. They were instrumental in helping me navigate through some personal difficulties. The organization helped me with housing in San Francisco. they have competent and passionate administration and staff. Trust is key to the organization in many ways. you have to trust that they know what they are requiring and suggesting. they also need to trust that you are committed to improving your life, not just flopping some were. I give this organization 4 stars out of 5. i leave out one star only because i would like to see them create a transitional housing unit that is not based only on substance abuse, homelessness, or psychological issues. The best thing about the veterans only housing was the "break" from the stresses of life, while being able to "focus", if even for just a couple months, on personal, professional, financial and educational goals moving forward after the "break". Having veterans my age living together to bounce ideas off, helped tremendously.

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

housing assistance.

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

add a working/study house for vets working and/or going to school.

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

friendships

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

open minded, trusting and easy to talk to .

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

open more needed housing for veterans

Ways to make it better...

nothing

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

$$$

One thing I'd also say is that...

every one is awesome.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Swords To Plowshares, wow waht a group. I was suffering from PTSD sleeping on my sisters couch. They took me in put a roof over my head. Set me up with a Therapist on the island that not only helped me with mental health issues from my days as a Marine, yet, even ones from childhood.They use varies levels of treatment to help cope with anxiety, depression and PTSD. I have since reconnected with my family and still reframe from using acholol and drugs. They helped with school which I am still continuing my education. Their legal team is the best I have ever seen. They have help me with my servce-connection disablities and even in the search of my Birth parents. I have and will continue to support Swords To Plowshares and recommend them to any veteran that can use their help. Thank GOD for them.

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

Continuing my education plans.

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

the way they detail the program to fit the person and not the overall group.

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

are caring and extremely helpful.

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

bulid a larger complex to house more Veterans, put a in house education and benefit center.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Swords to Plowshares totally turned my life around. I was homeless, had an impacted wisdom tooth and suffering from PTSD. I had been trying to get the wisdom tooth pulled way back in 2004 while I was still serving in the military but had no success. They deployed me to Iraq shortly after, and I could not get the dental services that I needed. Swords hooked my up with dental at Ft. Miley and had the tooth extracted free of charge. They are also helping me with my service-connected disability claim with the VA and are going to provide me with legal assistance. If it wasn't for Swords, I would still be living on the streets. Thank You, Swords to Plowshares!

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

medical and legal help.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The folks at Swords to Plowshares are AMAZING! I could not believe that I was able to receive the financial assistance I needed to complete my training as a paramedic. The whole process was done in a way that I felt supported and dignified. There was very little waiting and I was never left wondering if I was going to be able to do it. Dave, my contact, was particularly understanding, compassionate, and helpful in my being able to achieve my goals. As a Desert Storm Era Veteran whose GI Bill already expired, I was particularly thankful to have this service provided by this GREAT NONPROFIT. Thank you!!!

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

how I could achieve my education and career goals through financial support that I received from Swords.

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

make sure I told the employees that they were appreciated and value them in as many ways as I could (financially, perks, fun, etc).

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

not having to worry.

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

AMAZING, compassionate, giving, supportive, helpful and great communicators.

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

help pick up the slack of the VA, expand its services outside the Bay Area, advertise in more venues so more veterans could benefit, have financial viability guaranteed into the future when more Iraq/Afghanistan/War on Terror Veterans come home.

Ways to make it better...

I would have known about them earlier in my educational process.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, high cost of living in San Francisco, VA system that is overburdened and often poorly run.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I appreciate how easy it was to get my needs met. Thank you!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

 
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