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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Compass Family Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Services, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Housing Search Assistance, Human Services

Mission: Compass Family Services helps homeless families and those at imminent risk to achieve housing stability, economic self-sufficiency, and well-being.

Results: Compass Family Services, known until 1995 as Travelers Aid San Francisco, was established in 1914 to provide assistance to newcomers to the city in preparation for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Since that time, Compass has served a wide range of populations from stranded travelers to refugees to homeless families, but a common denominator among the various groups has been a need for help in an often unfriendly urban environment. Today, Compass leads the way in helping San Francisco families facing homelessness secure stable housing and attain economic self-sufficiency and family well-being. We have been service innovators for more than 100 years and over 90% of the families we house achieve lasting success. When you invest in Compass Family Services and our comprehensive, personalized, and proven, goal-driven programs, you're making a vital, positive, and profound impact by helping homeless families in our community transition from the streets to self-sufficiency.

Target demographics: Low-income and homeless families

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 6,000 parents and children

Geographic areas served: San Francisco, CA

Programs: Compass Family Services leads the way in helping San Francisco families facing homelessness secure stable housing and attain economic self-sufficiency and family well-being. We have been service innovators for over 100 years, and more than 90% of the families who complete our housing programs achieve lasting success. OUR MISSION STATEMENT: We help homeless families and those at imminent risk to achieve housing stability, economic self-sufficiency, and well-being. Compass has 9 programs that provide temporary shelter, long-term housing solutions, childcare, mental health services, and educational and employment assistance: Central City Access Point Central City Access Point is an entry point for families experiencing or at risk of homelessness to connect with SF Family Coordinated Entry. Compass Family Resource Center Compass Family Resource Center is a comprehensive set of trauma-informed services that support family well-being. Compass Family Shelter Compass Family Shelter offers families facing homelessness a safe, temporary place to stay and offers services designed to help families secure and maintain permanent housing. Compass Clara House Compass Clara House is a 18–24 month transitional housing program where families live in private apartments and receive intensive wrap-around support. Compass Children's Center Compass Children’s Center is a full-day early education and childcare with a curriculum that focuses on social and emotional development for children, ages 0–5, from homeless and extremely low-income families. Compass Childcare Support Services Compass Childcare Support Services helps parents to access early care and education programs for their children. Compass Behavioral Health Services Compass Behavioral Health offers confidential emotional support and therapy for families who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, newly housed, or engaged in any Compass program. Compass SF HOME Compass SF HOME promotes long-term housing stability through rental subsidies, case management, and one-time financial assistance to help cover security deposits and first month’s rent for families at risk of eviction. NeighborNest Twitter NeighborNest is a family-friendly learning center that provides access to technology for homeless and at-risk families in the Mid-Market, Tenderloin and SOMA areas. OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION Compass Family Services boasts a strong passion for social justice. We embrace the idea that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion contribute to our success and strive to look at everything we do through this lens. We are committed to the pursuit of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in all aspects and areas of our work, in both internal and external relationships – as they impact our clients, our staff, our stakeholders and our place in the community. We believe that we can empower families to achieve housing stability, self-sufficiency and well-being by creating a system that is equitable and a culture of inclusion that leverages diversity. We understand that that this work is a continuous process while at the same time recognizing that it is absolutely critical to our success and integrity as an organization.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Compass Family Services for the last six years, I cannot say enough good things about the important work they do for families experiencing homelessness. Compass staff approaches every situation with kindness, empathy and dignity, working towards a solution that will work for that specific family. Compass works towards solutions that not only help families but address the root causes of poverty and homelessness. It is such important work, and Compass continues to lead while bringing us all with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at Compass Family Services cares deeply about their clients. They bring positivity, creativity, and a sense of optimism to the people they serve. This organization continues to refine the way they meet their client's needs, so that they can continue to learn as an organization and be as effective as possible. I am volunteer at Compass, and I appreciate how welcoming they are to their funders and volunteers, setting a tone of respect across all members of their community. In a city where disparities of wealth and opportunity are a severe and growing challenge, Compass is a place where folks roll up their sleeves and work together to create a more positive, equitable, and joyful environment for all of us in the Bay Area.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered for several non profits, all with great missions, but none with the level of awareness and passion the CFS team has for the work they do. In standing out, CFS staff and leadership hold a refreshing sense of putting themselves in the shoes they serve, meaning - I’ve never had the honor of working with a team who tries as hard as they do to fully understand what it’s like to be underserved and at risk in leading a safe, healthy, and fulfilled life, raising a family without resources, and in need of assistance. In volunteering, I’ve been included with the utmost transparency enabling me with the same passion they have, and working with intent in line with their mission. I just feel good when I’m volunteering and able to contribute while deepening my understanding of the at risk human condition to better how I can serve, every time... I plan to serve for as long as they will have me, in whatever capacity I can.

1 AprilVeeDub

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered weekly with Compass for over a year. They're a great organization with tremendous heart, passion for what they do, and a tireless drive to improve the lives of the families they serve. They do a lot but it's clear that there is no such thing as too much support for families facing homeless. I had opportunities to volunteer across administrative tasks, sorting items for various drives like school supplies, and to help with the distribution of gifts during their huge Adopt-a-Family program. I'm so grateful that Compass Family Services allows me to help however I can and continue to makes the lives better of those that depend on them. I almost always enjoy myself and have fun while helping community in the Bay Area, so I'd say its a win-win.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a Compass Board member for 10 years and currently serve as Board Chair (2nd term). I've also served as Treasurer and am currently on the Finance, Building and Executive Committees. I've seen first hand the tremendous dedication of the Compass staff during "normal times" and have been humbled and deeply impressed by the current extraordinary work the staff is doing in the face of a pandemic. It has been a real privilege to serve with my fellow Board members and the incredible hard working and dedicated Compass staff. Most importantly, I have witnessed how the Compass programs are very successful in providing critical support to at risk and homeless families and consistently producing successful outcomes . After all, an organization is only as good as the results it can produce. For all the challenges we face as a society today, Compass Family Services stands out as a Beacon of Hope for San Francisco's at risk and homeless families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Compass for almost 2 years now. When I move to San Francisco, I could not do nothing for the homelessness problem that the area is facing fueled by the tech industry that my household is part of. Compass is tackling this issue with amazing efficiency: their approach is proving success with their clients. Not only do Compass programs lead to financial and housing stability, but they also build the long-lasting foundation for stability through mental health and childcare solutions. The commitment of every one that works at Compass is incredible and it is an honor to volunteer with such an organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with and followed this organization for over 4 years. They are a truly compassionate and caring group of people working hard to fight homelessness amongst SF families. This is a multi-faceted problem and that’s how they attack it- working across the spectrum from filling everyday needs of families with babies to championing for changes in city policy.

3 Eric Z.

Advisor

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that is working diligently to eradicate homelessness in the San Francisco Bay area, Compass lives up to their mission helping homeless families become stably housed. Their team of professionals, and an army of dedicated volunteers, make sure that everyone that walks through the doors is valued and respected. There is no hidden agenda - it truly is all for the good of the community and to help or fellow human's lead healthy, productive lives.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For almost five years, I have worked with Compass family services as a volunteer: fundraising, attending volunteer events and serving for a few years on their leadership council. What keeps me coming back is Compass's continued commitment and tangible/visible impact on our community. Please consider supporting their important work through a donation or volunteering!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked at Compass Family Services for the past 7 years and continue to be amazed at our group of dedicated, passionate, and hard-working staff who give of themselves day in and day out to support homeless families. The work that we do is incredibly emotionally, mentally and physically taxing and yet my colleagues push harder with each interaction they have with a family to do their best to be present, engaged and thoughtful. I feel grateful to support parents and children who are struggling and need help, many of whom have taught me invaluable lessons about strength and resiliency as a professional and a person. I can honestly say that I LOVE my job, something I hoped for as a kid and something that keeps me going now in my 30's.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I started with Compass Family Services 41 years ago. I started as a preschool teacher and have had many other positions. I currently work with our "Aftercare" Families who have achieved permanent housing. We focus on housing stability, health, education, budgeting and family well being. I promote resources that help families and they in turn can do it themselves. Some of my clients help others in the community because they have experienced the helping arts. Compass offers support, confidentiality, recreation and celebration. Our goal is to reverse homelessness and ensure healthy generations. Can I tell you how much I enjoy my work? I retired and came back.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a Residential Counselor Case Manager at Compass Family Shelter and during Covid-19 I couldn't imagine working anywhere else to help families in need of so much more then just shelter, that's what we are! So much more then just a family shelter! We provide sanctuary, food. clothing, employment assistance with our main goal of doing our part to get families housed, working in collaboration with other Compass programs and subsidy programs to improve the overall quality of life for any family we serve. Please get involved and do your part to help families in need, we need you!!!!

1 Tatia_Sidez95

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I believe it's absolutely imperative to help out families that's in need! I put myself in their shoes and imagine what life is like without enough clothes,shoes,water,shelter,or maybe even a good conversation without it always being about needing and I wish I had. Children are my TOP priority. This cannot go unnoticed. Ifor we are able then let's do it. Let's do it right.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard about the adopt a family for Christmas through my daughter Carrie who works there. Every year I look forward to seeing who my new family is and head right out the door to shop. The lists are great, so complete and helpful. Everyone involved has been very sweet in answering all my questions. The new method of delivery is a lot better. All on one day at one place and having help from people to get all the gifts from your car to the building. I've been involved with the program ever since Erica started it. Each year I look forward to buying for the little ones especially. It is the highlight of the Christmas season.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and now board member, I can attest to the determined and effective efforts of the Compass staff. Compass's strategy to help families who may become homeless, before they become homeless is essential to helping the working poor of San Francisco. It is telling that people assisted in this situation follow through in giving back to Compass. All of the programs offered interconnect to make Compass a strong antidote to the cycle of poverty. Examples are: Teachers at the Tenderloin childcare center use state of the art methods to help children in difficult situation; including occupational therapy. Families struggling with addiction issues are assisted in comprehensive and holistic manner to get their lives on track. It is difficult to cover all of the beneficial elements of Compass's umbrella offers in a short format.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have volunteered over the past 6 years for various events. As community members, we support the work that Compass is doing and tell our friends about the compassionate staff and important services that they provide. We feel that Compass needs more visibility in order to be able to maintain and increase its very critical work.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Compass on a number of levels over the past twenty years. I originally worked alongside them advocating for homeless families and youth in San Francisco when I worked at another agency. When I began a non-profit consulting business, I helped them on a grant to secure federal funding for Clara House, their transitional housing facility for homeless families. I've adopted families during their holiday season and most recently I've been involved volunteering to secure donated furniture deliver it to the homes of newly housed families.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

until this past year, my experience with compass has primarily been that of a contributor.....however, with a group of "compass" supporters, we found a way to continue the help that compass provides...after compass doing the "hard" work of finding appropriate housing for families that are homeless, we have decided to furnish houses for those most needy.....this is done through donations of gently used household items and/or financial contributions. we hope our efforts support the incredible ongoing efforts of compass to make life more comfortable to those families in need.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a client in the transitional program of COMPASS. My family survived here in San Francisco because of the help and support of COMPASS Community Services. The staff was very supportive, very patient and understood my situation. COMPASS supported me financially and materially. I received school supplies and guidance during my trainings. Compass staff especially the Transitional Program helped me turn my life around. Today I am self sufficient because of the assistance of COMPASS. Thank you so much COMPASS!!!

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a client, I have recieved so many helpful resources and services from CCS. The staff is very friendly and helpful The PPP is wonderful and essential to all families.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for several non-profits in the past and after seeing what Compass does for underprivileged families in San Francisco I was inspired to do more. This organization provides the kind of opportunities and resources that families need to raise healthy, happy children; reduce homelessness; provide housing options; and ensure a bright future for inner City families. Programs like Connecting Point, The Positive Parenthood Project, and the annual Adopt-a-Family program make these missions possible. Compass is one organization making the world a better place in which to live. I applaud their significant and on-going efforts and contributions to the City of San Francisco.

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

Compass is a well-run, efficient, and effective organization with a loyal staff (many of whom have been with the agency over ten years--unheard of in social services). It treats its clients with respect and dignity, and goes above and beyond to help them avoid homelessness or gain permanent housing, while addressing their core needs. I have been on the board of directors for about 20 years and at one point when I thought I would look into getting involved in another nonprofit, I couldn't find one that does its job as well as Compass, so I stayed on!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only had positive experiences at the Tenderloin Childcare Center. I have visited to volunteer and to shadow the Administrative Coordinator Diana Johnson. Everyone on staff was warm and professional. The day care and class rooms were filled with nothing but smiling faces, and happy (if not rambunctious) children. The center provides a much needed service to our most vulnerable residences in one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in San Francisco.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a holiday volunteer for the past 3 years, Compass never ceases to amaze me. A fine example of professionals working collaborativley to assist homeless families. great work!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization it's an example of Community support gear towards supporting families who are less fortunate. Their wraparound services ensure that clients have the tools and support needed for success!!