Swords To Plowshares

Rating: 4.75 stars   24 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  

6 people found this review helpful

I was a Marine Platoon Commander in Vietnam and lost 11 young Marines and two Navy Corpsmen over a 14 month period in 1965 and 1966. I was bitter and avoided anything to do with the military until the late 1990s, when I heard about Swords to Plowshares and the work they were doing with homeless veterans in San Francisco. After learning about veterans who had been helped by Swords and meeting Executive Director Michael Blecker and his staff at Swords, my wife and I began contributing to Swords' work, I joined the Board and my wife became active in Swords' Annual Veterans Day Dinner. We have watched Swords grow from a smaller, locally known agency to a nationally recognized veterans' organization that helps Vietnam and older veterans deal with homelessness and benefits issues, and, more currently, helps recent Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with legal, education, training and housing issues before they sink into or near homelessness. Swords works. Vets in need benefit. We're proud to be a part of Swords' continuing work. Jon Paulson

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

helping veterans become part of society again.

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

I would not run this organization...I am not qualified.

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

Swords' staff.

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

dedicated and devoted to Swords' mission...vets helping vets since 74.

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

expand its activities throughout the whole San Francisco Bay Area.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time and money.

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

visibility to and awareness by San Francisco's "Opera Crowd", those who could and should better support Swords' work.

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

Michael Blecker, Swords' Executive Director, has devoted over 30 years' of his life to helping veterans get better treatment than they would if it were left up to the U.S. government and citizens alone.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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