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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

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great resource for veterans. Great resource for the community. Swords to Plowshares generate comprehensive report brining attention to a vulnerable community. Great work. Y great people. Thank you.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Sword To Plowshares since 2007 when I saw an add on Craigslist for a Substance Abuse Counselor. I had never hear of this organization, even when I was a Homeless Veteran living on the streets of San Francisco, with mental health and substance abuse issues. I applied for the job, and was quickly won over with what I saw that they were doing in the lives of homeless Veterans. I was assigned as a Program Counselor at their Treasure Island Transitional Housing Program where I worked for 4 years helping Veterans change their lives. You see, not only was I a Vietnam Veteran, I had also recovered from a life of substance abuse issues as well as mental health issues. The attention to what has caused a Vet to become homeless. and what could possibly help them find the life that they always wanted, or productive and healthy is their mission. I have seen this organization grow from about 60 employees to over 150 since joining their staff. I have found my purpose in life, and not only that, have found a career that Im can be proud of. They not only help Veterans with their issues, they also help their employees as well, When I found that I was suffering from PTSD, they not only allowed me time to be treated, but the legal team is helping with my Service Connected Disability claim. I can only say that while working for Swords, I noy only helped other Veterans change their lives, but the work I am doing has also helped me changed my life as well. This organization is the best Veterans Service Organization I have found. A lot of people want to help Veterans because Vets are the new thing going and are in it for the money. Swords has been doing this work for over 40 years and are not in it for the money, they are in it because they save lives.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Swords to Plowshares provides excellent wrap-around care and services to bay area veterans. Veterans are one of the most under-served segments of our population and Swords is doing everything it can to help remedy that. Swords provides the highest quality health and social services, supportive housing, employment and training, and legal assistance to veterans.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a VA social worker and a veteran, I first heard about the work that Swords to Plowshares does when I worked across the San Francisco Bay from them, at a VA not connected with their services. I heard word-of-mouth details about how helpful they'd been to veterans on our side of the bay, and I even used them as a resource when I needed info from their legal team. Those legal services weren't available anywhere else, that I knew of. Then, when I started working at the San Francisco VAMC 5 years ago, I was able to refer veterans there myself, and was regularly impressed by the high quality of the supportive services they offered to our enrolled veterans. They're simply an unmatched non-profit: Hi quality services; key-staffers who are veterans; a long, consistent history of service and growth; and in-touch with, if not leading the charge for, addressing the latest concerns in the veteran community.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This is a well run non-profit that truly makes a difference in the lives of veterans. Housing, legal services, employment and job placement, and counseling-- all to help the lives of our servicemembers.

3 szollman

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It truly is a veterans helping other veterans organization. They completely understand the need to achieve holistic care for their clients through actively collaborating with similar organization, social media outreach, etc. Come and check them out!

3 VisualAnarchy

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first came across Swords when doing research for a documentary film about homelessness in America. Several organizations in the Bay Area mentioned they were very progressive in their approach and were doing a lot of good. Over the course of interviewing their director Michael, and several veterans, I got a chance to see the organization. But it wasn't until I filmed at other Veteran facilities around the US that I realized how unique and special STP is. Many orgs for example refuse to take veterans with bad paper (things like dishonorable discharges), while Swords not only doesn't discriminate, but also helps legally to try and get bad paper turned "good" (therefore allowing for medical, college, loan benefits, etc...). This example is just one of the mindset of a place like Swords that really strives to help as many people as they can.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I didn't know what to expect when I arrived in San Francisco to work with Swords to Plowshares. What I did know was that they were a leading organization helping veterans to access their benefits, overcome addiction, deal with health issues and even get them into permanent housing. What I didn't know was that Swords to Plowshares is so much more than all of that. I didn't know about the amazing legal team and all they really do for veterans. They have created a community among the people who go through their program and those who volunteer and work with them become a part of this community as well. I appreciated their rules that created respect among the people in their community regardless of their individual differences. I appreciated the humanity with which they treated every person.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hello, I have worked with Sword for the 10 years. Everyone their has aways been very helpful. The work that they do is amazing. David T. and David P. are aways helpful, understanding,compassionate and always willing to do what they can to help a Vet. Thank you Swords Barbara Y

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

S2S offers veteran's an opportunity to regain their dignity while providing a wholesome and supportive environment. THeir approacht is empathetic, but realistic. S2S provides a very needed service in our community, and more of this type of services are needed through out california.