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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Swords to Plowshares were the ONLY ones that responded to my pleas for help when my soldier son was suffering from Combat PTSD and was on the verge of losing his life. They saved him with a two hour phone conversation. I don't know what was said but I DID see an immediate change in his stance and attitude afterwards. They've been in his corner since. The wheels of justice turn slowly but it's bearable when Swords to Plowshares has your back! God Bless S to P!
Laureen Frederick...a soldiers mom.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

2 Eric75

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1 DF

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.