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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

12 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) :)

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4 Brian92

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2 Jonny L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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".

2

Client Served

Rating: 2

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 4

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.