Swords To Plowshares

Rating: 4.74 stars   27 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Job Training, Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Veterans

Location: 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
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EIN 94-2260626
(415) 252-4788
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

For many afternoons, I would pass Lt Benjamin on my way to school. LT Benjamin is a Vietnam veteran who sits, in his wheelchair, outside Bloomingdales in San Francisco. As the summer approached, I noticed he had not been around for a while. Upon his return, I learned that he had cancer and had been hospitalized for a bit. I was concerned that he had been living on the streets and may die out there. It seemed so wrong that he may die on the streets. When I reached out to veterans' organizations, I was referred to Swords to Plowshares. I was shocked to hear that homeless outreach was part of their mission. I thought they only had employment services. They accepted my information and within 24 hours they were on Mission St looking for him. Within three days, he was located, his living arrangements were determined, and he was referred for medical care which he needed desperately. I am ever so grateful for their response. It was timely and effective.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Its actually embarrassing that organizations like Swords to Plowshares even have to exist. But thank god they do. They have a comprehensive social services program that is aimed at rehabilitating veterans through mental health, legal, housing, and employment services. This organization should be on everyone's christmas donation list.

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Swords is one of the first places I send veterans and servicemebers in need of resources. If they cannot help with disability, benefit, financial, counseling, educationalal job/employment information, they find a resource that can. Committed, dedicated professional, down to earth, men and women who have walked the walk..been in the military, etc.

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

advocating for our veterans

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

not change a thing

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

they love and care about our veterans

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

Caring, compassionate, committed, profesional dedicated, outspoken, knowledgeable

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

change the paradigm of veteran services.

Ways to make it better...

they had more funding

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

lack of funding

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

keep doing what you are doing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

My relationship with Swords goes back to 1992 when I volunteered for the Stand Down for homeless veterans. Since that time I have watched Swords grow and change to meet the needs of the veterans it serves, whether it be homeless veterans or veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Swords not only provides services to veterans but also works on the policy side, advocating for veterans' benefits.

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

the success stories of formerly homeless veterans.

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

Make better use of the Internet to reach out to younger veterans.

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

the dedication of the staff to those they serve.

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

veterans and non-veterans, but all dedicated to helping those in need.

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

expand transitional housing for homeless veterans.

Ways to make it better...

Swords had more staff to stay open throughout the day.

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

The changing dynamics of the veterans population. Swords has traditionally served Viet Nam-era veterans, but now it is serving younger veterans who have different issues and needs.

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

Swords is a great organiztion.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-5-01

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