Due to the death of my parents I had to travel from alameda to Medford Oregon two to three times a month since January 2019. I applied for assistance to pay my past due rent. I was told by Oakland office they would pay it for me. They told me to assure my landlord it would be paid. This was on 10/2/19 ... I’ve made calls that have never been returned three or four times a week. My hud vash counselor have also emailed and called multiple times. I’m extremely stressed and facing being homeless by eviction after loosing my parents this month. Swords to Plowshares needs better people working for veteran and they need to answer calls and stop making fails promises!!!! Mental breakdown !!!
Review from Guidestar
Great experience! We enjoyed everyone we met, loved the opportunity to work outside, and felt it was a wonderful way to support our veterans.
What a tremendous experience it was working with Swords to Plowshares. It was such a special experience and hope to work with this group in the future!
Swords to Plowshares was a great opportunity to volunteer with. The staff is phenomenal and breakfast was delicious. You can tell how much the veterans value and appreciate the impact.
Worked with Soo and her team to serve breakfast to Veterans at their new Otis street location. They were just getting settled in the new location and hitting the ground running to support the residents. They had not only great rapport with the Veterans, but were also incredibly lovely to volunteer with. Looking forward to my next opportunity to work with the team!
Great to get involved with such a great effort. I had a great time meeting the people in the community we helped and the people from Swords to Plowshares. A great group and although the work was easy, we know it goes a long way in helping the nonprofit. I look forward to participating in another event again soon.
To gather with your colleagues in a different setting, giving back, stepping out of your own reality...it's truly a blessing. We're lucky that Verizon Media gives us corporate volunteer days to do just that! We absolutely loved engaging with the facilities coordinator and helping Swords to Plowshares with their needs for the day! We took on painting three separate housing stair railings, sorting/organizing three giant storage garages and picking up scattered and concentrated litter on the premises. We had a crew of about 25 working together. There's no offsite or corp event that connects you with your colleagues and your local communities in need the way volunteering does it. Gratitude to all.
I have a deep love and appreciation for the veterans of our country and applaud the work that Swords to Plowshares is doing. It is my honor to contribute, in whatever small way I can, to helping them carry out their mission. They put thought and care into serving our veterans and providing them with much needed services and resources. I look forward to coming back and getting to spend more time with the veterans!
This group is aimed to improve the quality of life for veterans by hosting social events and bringing everyone together.
As a veteran myself, I find this to be a unique opportunity and group where I can help out my own.
I volunteered with Swords to Plowshares through my office earlier this year and had a great experience. We helped prepare and serve breakfast to homeless / low income veterans and the entire process was smooth-sailing.
Soo was very kind and explained in great detail the mission of their organization and was getting involved in the volunteering herself as well!
Our team really appreciated the ease of knowing exactly what to do, how to do it, what to expect, etc. It's clear Swords to Plowshares has a ton of knowledge and education for newcomers like us to be able to help provide a small help in a very large and impressive cause.
We helped Swords to Plowshares serve a luncheon for at-risk and homeless veterans in November, 2018. The staff was excellent and gave us all the assistance we needed to help serve out luncheon and reach out to the veteran community in a big way. Soo Kim and Colleen Corliss were fantastic at communicating with us and keeping us abreast of all the pertinent information we needed to make this possible.
Swords to Plowshares have been awesome partners in providing the bridge between tech sector veteran employee resource groups and our homeless veterans in our SOMA community.
It has been an amazing opportunity to volunteer with Swords to Plowshares these last two years to help my fellow veterans. This is awesome organization with dedicated and hardworking staff. I feel very honored to work with this organization and the great work they do for our brothers and sisters in need.
When I moved to San Francisco I had to start from the absolute bottom after facing a divorce following my military service. Since I was a realtor prior, I didn’t have consistent income and couldn’t even qualify for an apartment. I had no job or degree, I didn’t know exactly what do. After meeting with Sword to Plowshares, I was able to rent a home in Oakland which paved the way for me starting and finishing my Bachelors Degree from Academy of Art, I also landed a job as a software engineer at a major corporation and now have custody of one of sons. If Swords would have never given me that initial support, I’m not sure how I would have made it here to see all the great opportunities that were to come. Very thankful to Randall Flagg and Swords to Plowshares for this great support!!
I had help filing for Service Connected Disability from the Military, and Swords Legal Department did a great job. Although it took 3 years, I was first denied, they filed an appeal, and in November 2017 I received 100% Disability from the Military. It was a great help to me and my family. They also have housing services, employment and training. They are a great organization who helps any veteran who walks through their doors. They have offices in San Francisco, as well as Oakland.
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.
Swords to Plowshares does a number of things that set it apart from other non-profits. Among these include: establishing an excellent network of attorneys, local leaders, and veterans to help aid in the efforts of veteran's advocacy; developing and providing excellent educational and training opportunities to advance veteran's advocacy; and raising awareness that promotes outstanding volunteer support. It has been an honor to be involved with them and the success stories they are responsible for.
I have volunteered at Swords to Plowshares' legal clinic on several occasions and have been impressed with the great work this organization does. In my former capacity as a law firm pro bono coordinator, I also helped place full scope cases with my colleagues. Swords was always very supportive. They go above and beyond to help vulnerable veteran populations and are all around a fantastic group.
I have worked with Swords as a volunteer for three years, and they provide significant programs to at-risk veterans in the SF Bay area. They are compassionate, caring and effective, and always strive to improve their programs.
I volunteer to provide Pro Bono services to veterans in need through Swords. As a direct result of Sword's focus, organization, and dedication, the volunteer activities are always successful and help many, many people. Swords is a compassionate, caring and effective group.
Swords to Plowshares is a fabulous organization that I've had the pleasure of working with for the past 5 years. They contribute an incredible amount of hard work to the Bay Area veteran community. I can't recommend them highly enough.
I am a OEF Marine Veteran (04-05') with an OTH discharge.. Currently I am fighting for clemency on this matter as it's been a 3 step fwd. 5 steps back kind of battle! I believe in the things this organization is doing for others as well as how it could possibly help me! Thank you so much for your contributions to our veterans!
I have worked as a volunteer lawyer at Swords' clinics, and I now serve on its Pro Bono Advisory Board. I have been involved in many nonprofits over the years, and I can easily say that Swords is among the most dynamic, dedicated, and consistently successful organizations I have seen. They are pillars of the community, and I am proud of the work they do on behalf of the Bay Area's veterans.
I have had the privilege and honor of 25 years as a Swords to Plowshares Board member. I was on active duty for 5 years and spent 1966 in Vietnam, so I am keenly aware of the plight of veterans in need. That sensitivity lead to me to Swords. At Swords I came into contact with vets who have had the courage to overcome their physical and emotional injuries and create or recreate successful lives. Through their stories and guidance, I came to fully and truly understand the meaning of courage. I thought I had some understanding of courage as soldiers displayed that quality in combat. Now I understand the same intensity and comitment to courage is necessary for damaged vets who manage to find a positive way forward. I am in awe of these men and women who have earned the hard won title of hero through overcoming their injuries and despair. My time with Swords has allowed me to know the best of best.
Swords helped pay my deposit for my apartment in my early sobriety and gave me the opportunity to work on recovery in a safe place. They housed me in a respectable transitional living environment prior to that. I have stayed sober since still working hard and will be forever grateful to the support Swords had given me. An absolutely great organization who help countles vets daily.
Swords has helped me on more than one occasion, first they helped me with obtaining my social security, they helped me with overcoming substance abuse and alcoholism. They placed me in housing, have given me computer skills , I took computer training at the Veterans academy all for free. They referred me to treatment services at the Day hospital at Fort Miley which I attended and graduated from. The helped me get a job at the VA hospital under the CWT Program where I successfully completed in 9 months. Also has helped me with many things. Got me permanent housing in the Presidio where I lived for 5 years. I Rarely Swords a 10 for excellence.
My mom (20 yr vet) and I were 1 day away from being homeless. My dad who died, was also in the military. So was just me and my mom. We had only one day left in our hotel room, no money, no food. I was crying from being so hungry, but we looked online with our last day, trying to find help.
My mom is the hardest worker you'll ever meet, but couldn't find a job. I had to see her work from 8am till sometimes come home at 2am and do it the next day..anyways, we found this place and they immediately helped us with several months for accommodations. We encountered severe bed bugs staying in bad hotels and they got us new clothes. My mom got a new job and can't imagine what would have happened in another life, if they were not there.
..thank you anyone that donates to them. (or helps in any way) :)
I have been working on pro bono cases for Swords for years. They do invaluable work for vets, helping them to get benefits and housing. It is a superb organization.
They do excellent work for and under-served but highly deserving set of clients. The work they do for Veterans is unparalleled, and I am proud to be associated with their organization as an attorney volunteer.
I first learned about this organization through its legal services for veterans. I soon learned that Swords helps our vets with so much more than just their legal needs (which are huge in and of themselves). Swords provides services to help with housing, education, job training, mental health and getting veterans the benefits to which they are entitled. It is run by some of the most energetic and thoughtful folks I know. I am proud to be involved and so impressed with all of the wonderful things they do. Thank you Swords to Plowshares!!!
Swords to Plowshares helped me more than any other veteran service organization in San Francisco. They helped me to secure stable housing and get caught up on utilities. They even helped me with some food and appliances while I was getting back on my feet. Thanks to their help I was able to get a great job, and I'm back on the right track. Thank you Swords!
Swords to Plowshares provides amazing wrap around care for veterans from housing and job support to healthcare and legal services. They provide critical support for our woefully underserved veteran community.
There is always a wait list of volunteers for the Swords to Plowshares clinics. There is just not enough space for all the folks who want to volunteer at these clinics. What a wonderful problem to have.
Swords is THE leading non-profit addressing verterans' issues in the Bay Area. From housing, to job support and training, to legal representation, Swords is doing the hard work that needs to get done. Michael Blecher has led the organization as well as any E.D. of any organization I have been involved with. Swords would not be what it is without him. Great leader.
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.
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.
for forty years Swords has been providing much needed services to our most needy veterans. Their multifaceted approach is unique, but has proven to be very successful. Providing a drop in facility, legal assistance, employment and training services and nearly 500 apartment units to accommodate chronically homeless vets; Swords also has a strong advocacy role that, even though they are a community based organization, they have a national voice.
Swords is a phenomenal organization providing multi-faceted support to those very people who have put their lives on the line for their country. Over the last several years a lot of media attention has been focused on our veterans and still so many are looking for work, looking for housing, suffering from PTSD and other maladies or living on the streets. Swords , as a community based non-profit, has, for that last 40 years, been there for our vets, providing a drop in facility were they can get a variety of services to include a mental health assessment, legal council to help them receive their earned benefits from the VA and help with job hunting and housing. Swords also provides housing for nearly 500 formerly homeless or at risk veterans. Swords to Plowshares is a dynamic and very important organization that actually provides a real service for our veterans.
Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, Swords to Plowshares body of Programs and work across shelter, health & mental, and legal services is amazing. With over 500 beds in the SF Bay Area and a number of programs, Swords to Plowshares helps veterans recover, stabilize, and adjust to civilian life.
I personally see the positive impact whenever I meet a veteran who has benefitted from these services - they are simply in a better place. The leadership is completely committed to making a difference.
Swords to Plows helps veterans break the cycle of homelessness with a combination of services and housing that gets vets back on track. This is an exceptional organization with exceptional people across the board.
I have worked with Swords to Plowshares as a pro bono attorney and Swords has continued to support my efforts in a rural area to bring free legal advice and referrals to veterans. They are unstinting in their support of Veterans and those who assist Veterans, even outside the Bay Area. I am very grateful for their existence and their support.
Goes into the community and repairs lives of vets in need and has been doing so since the mid 1970's. I became a swords volunteer after I saw swords do for veterans what I was unable to do for my only brother, a (mentally and physically) disabled vietnam veteran (Marine Corps) who lived homeless on the streets of los angeles for years while his pleas for help from the VA went unanswered. Today's swords staff -- many of whom who have lived this experience themselves -- goes onto the streets and, hands on, restores the lives of veterans with these needs by not only obtaining quick action on VA claims but by restoring personal dignity -- obtaining housing, job training and placement, psychological counseling and providing needed community support. steve snyder
I have been involved with Swords since 2008. First as an employee, then as a client, and now as a board member. I have seen this organization grow, thrive, and impact hundreds of lives in the short time I have been involved with it. Currently the organization houses upwards of 500 veterans, is expanding, and is known and recognized as an excellent resource and advocate for veterans in the Bay Area and on a national level.
This non-profit has exceptional staff that is completely devoted to helping Veterans in all the ways necessary to ensure their success in life.
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.
Swords to Plowshares is doing amazing work not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but across the country in terms of thought leadership when it comes to how best to serve our veterans. Swords has made substantial strides toward ending veteran homelessness in San Francisco, one of the organization's core missions. Swords takes a holistic approach to serving veterans, focusing not only on ending homelessness, but also on prevention, on employment and training, and health and human services. The dedicated staff at Swords constantly amaze me by how much they truly care about the veterans they serve. My experience working with Swords has far exceeded my expectations.
I have served on the board of Swords to Plowshares (STP) since 2005. STP has experienced tremendous growth in the past 10 years, expanding its offices and services from San Francisco to the East Bay Area. It has become a California state and national leader in the dual arenas of veterans services and policy/advocacy work on behalf of veterans. STP has partnered with other nonprofits and the Veterans Administration to greatly expand its supportive housing programs for veterans. It has created a vibrant pro bono legal services program and programs to educate first responders and mental health professionals on the special attributes and needs of veterans. It has convened conferences for smaller nonprofits who also serve veterans while creating programs tailored for women veterans and families and expanding its employment services for veterans. It is a well-governed and well-managed nonprofit with dedicated staff and board members.
Swords to Plowshares has more than 40 years' experience helping homeless and low income vets obtain shelter, mental health and substance counseling, job training and placement, and legal assistance. I know of n o other organization that provides such a broad spectrum of services for vets in need. A high percentage of Swords' staff and Board members are themselves vets, including many former Swords clients, so they bring a unique depth of knowledge, compassion and passion to their work.
I have seen first hand how Swords to Plowshares touches the lives of veterans who are in desperate need of a helping hand. Within a matter of hours a homeless veteran can receive a roof over their head, legal advice and at times medical attention. I am a firm believer that Swords to Plowshares has saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of veterans who had exhausted all other lifelines. What makes this organization even better is the level of dedication of their employees when they come to work every day to fulfill the organization's mission by serving those that have served.
Swords To Plowshares is a non-profit organization that take pride in veterans and recognize the service veterans have provided for their country. As a return of such courage our veteran's have put forth in and out of battle, Swords To Plowshares honor their effort through consistent support and advocacy around providing housing, mental health services, one on one intervention, and a variety of resources in order for veterans to maintain stability.
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.
After my active duty ended in 2013, I was in desperate need of a job. After months of watching my savings disappear, I was only a rent check away from losing my apartment when I heard about Swords to Plowshares. They didn't just find me a job. They gave me a job that was tailor-made for me. For that I'll always be grateful. Their quality of care and ability to work with veterans of all stripes makes them a truly heroic organization.
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.
As a transitioning veteran who was down on my luck, I somehow found myself in Swords' Employment and Training program.
The great people I worked with, found a job that really opened up doors for me. I have regained my purpose, direction, and motivation, and now I'm in a position to help fellow veterans.
Thank you, Swords!
I was chronically unemployed after separation. Work in the San Francisco area was underpaid and spotty at best. I lived in a friend's garage. Swords To Plowshares helped me find work at the Oakland Naval Supply Center as an inventory clerk. The job paid well, was stable and allowed me the funds I needed to make it through a couple very tough years. I understand they do advocacy for people trying to file for PTSD and Non-service connected disabilities. These folks walk the walk.
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.
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!
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.
In December of 2011 I relocated to the Bay Area. I had no job waiting and no prospects. I sent out resumes, and applications for weeks for every job I could find all the way down to fast food but had no luck. I have college, military experience, no criminal record, and a professional appearance. I figured security would be the easy job to land given my experience and 6'3" 270 pound frame. So, I got some interviews that went well. "You're just what we're looking for" they would say! Then that was followed by "We're gonna put you on the ON CALL list" HUH??? I'm sorry but I can't put my bills on the on call list!!! Enter S2P - once they got involved with helping me look for a job and I had access to the employers they worked with, things finally started moving. I landed a good job with decent pay, a good schedule, paid vacation and full - I say again FULL benefits! I've been there ever since - just had my 2 year anniversary this week in fact.
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.
Swords to Plowshares is a wonderful organization that helps veterans in need and I am forever great full to have been a client. I lived in the transitional housing program on Treasure Island for approximately 1 year, and I really enjoyed it there. I miss all of the Vets that I lived with and still run into them occasionally at the bank or Fort Miley. I find myself spreading the good word on the streets of San Francisco, B.A.R.T. or where ever I may come across a homeless veteran holding a sign, or asking for food or money. I make sure that I take a moment of my time to talk with them and ask them if they have heard of "Swords to Plowshares".
Overall this is a good agency trying to help veteran's in their times of need. I was a client at the Treasure Island transitional housing program. I was forced to leave the program because of a comment I made in the privacy of my own quarters. Fortunately I had the means and was in a good enough state to find my own place without help. The staff at the time were manipulated by clients who had agendas that were not about recovery. One thing that was uncomfortable for me was that I am Bi-polar and they put pressure on me to leave within a prescribed amount of time. That caused me quite a bit of anxiety but I managed. Others have been driven out and fall back to unhealthy behaviours.
Exactly the type of organization that deserves more funding. Known of them and supported them for years. As a member of Veterans For Peace, this is the type of veterans organizations we need more of.
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.