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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Arc of San Francisco

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Homeless & Housing, Housing Support, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Job Training

Mission: The mission of The Arc of San Francisco is to serve people with developmental and similar disabilities, and their families, by providing access to a full range of services that advance self-determination, dignity and quality of life. The Arc of San Francisco was founded in 1951 by parents who were alarmed by the lack of services and educational opportunities available for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities. Since those early days, much has changed. With education and training, most persons with developmental disabilities can lead fuller, more independent lives than ever thought possible. They can communicate their needs, make responsible decisions and work in jobs in the community, as long as they are given a chance. Today, each person who comes to The Arc receives personally-tailored services, based upon his or her own needs. More than 550 adults are currently served by The Arc, including persons with multiple disabilities and seniors. The Arc has also been a long-standing champion for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. Our organization has advocated for important political, social and economic changes which lead to the expansion of opportunities for persons with disabilities. We believe all persons are inherently valuable, have potential to learn, and are entitled to services and supports that foster their growth.

Target demographics: Adults with Developmental Disabilities such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, and other cognitive disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Programs: For over 57 years The Arc of San Francisco has filled a vital need in the community. We offer a broad menu of services and supports in San Francisco and San Mateo counties that provide people with developmental disabilities with the opportunity to learn valuable skills that will enable them to become productive and valued members of society, enriching the quality of life for all in our community. Services include: - Job development and placement.

- Employment retention services.

- Instruction in basic social skills and independent living.

- Senior Services - Medical Health Advocacy - Nutrition & Fitness Classes - Housing Advocacy & Placement - Residential support services.

- Artistic Development, professional & recreational - Recreational services & socoal activities

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

We have donated to ARC for many years now because if does a great job for a worthwhile cause. We need more helping hands for adults with developmental disabilities, so that they can be the best that they can be.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

In the year 2007 I was asked by the Director of the San Francisco Museums of Fine Art, to attend a fund raising breakfast of ARC as a representative of the Museums, on whose Board I had served for 9 years.
I had never heard of the ARC before, but listening to the "clients" of the ARC speak about how that organization helped people with disabilities live their lives independently and secure jobs in leading companies of the Bay Area, I was moved to personally donate to their cause.
After the breakfast I told the ARC's Executive Director that if 100% of the members of their Board donated something, and the total met or exceeded my challenge grant of $25,000, within a year, I would donate $25,000
I was elated to hear at the 2008 breakfast that not only did 100% give something, but the combined total far exceeded my challenge. I turned over my check at that breakfast gladly.
Since that time I have become a close friend of their Director, who is a dedicated individual adored by the "clients" and staff and all who come in contact with him.
I'm proud to have the opportunity of knowing about the good work this organization does.
R. Essey

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Arc is a passionate and supportive community of educators and advocates! My brother James, a 54 year old man with autism now has the independent life he has dreamed of. For six years, his instructors and loyal friends have encouraged his unique strengths and a confidence in himself has grown. He enjoys good health and has access to quality dental and healthcare services, thanks to The Senior Wellness Program.
My brother continues to go to the Friday night dances at The Arc where he spends the evening with many of his friends. He loves it!

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

My company employs two Arc clients and I am their manager. The clients are fantastic -- reliable and good workers. I attribute this to the job coaching staff of The Arc. They are dedicated people who do their jobs well and are of a tremendous help to employers. I also sit on an advisory council. I have learned that the managers, staff and board members of The Arc are intelligent people who are so diligent in their efforts on behalf of the clients. In my opinion, The Arc is a very supportive and necessary organization.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to several of the fundraisers. I am so impressed with the organization, the clients and the staff

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ARC's Senior Program has been a life-saver for my 57-year-old Down Syndrome brother. He came to live with me 10 years ago after our parents died. Without this program, he would be alone at home watching TV all day long. Now he gets to go on outings, exercise, create art, help at other senior centers, and do a host of other activities that keep his mind engaged while I am at work. I am so grateful to the ARC for providing quality care to my brother.

Review from Guidestar

Victoria T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am pleased to give my time and resources to the Arc of San Francisco. I have worked with a numbernof non-profits in the San Francisco Bay Area, and am really impressed with the leadership of the Arc and the breadth of care offer to their clients. It is truly an amazing organization serving our friends with disabilities.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Last year I attended a special breakfast that celebrated the ongoing success of The Arc in helping people with challenges to lead fulfilling, independent lives. I was deeply impressed by the care, nurturing and dedication that I sensed from The Arc's staff and its Board of Directors. The quality and extent of it's programs seem to be exceptional. I felt so inspired by the way in which the organization empowers people with challenges, and their families, that I made a donation.

I think very highly of The Arc, its top-notch services, and its genuine desire to contribute happiness and well-being to the community. I support their endeavors wholeheartedly.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Arc of San Francisco trained and helped my son Alex get well-paying jobs with benefits like Starbucks and now Salesforce.com. Without their care and help, my son would still be dependent on the government. Thank you Arc for your excellent work.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Arc has shown leadership in developing health care for adults with disabilities and they are tireless advocates.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My son, Gerry, was a client of the Arc from the time of his transition from High School until the day he passed away from a stroke three weeks before his 28th birthday. He loved the program, his job coaches and the independence the Arc afforded him. He had classes at City College which totally fit his interests and abilities. As a parent, I appreciated the safe environment and the growth Gerry achieved day by day and year by year. As a classroom aide in elementary grades in Special Education for twenty-six years, I was thrilled to see many of my former students achieve similar growth and happiness under the aegis of the Arc as adults. That is why I continue to support the Arc.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 3

The Arc is the primary resource for the often overlooked and most under-served members of our community. They strive to fulfill not just the needs, but the dreams of the clients they serve.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The Arc serves a very vulnerable population and fills a gap between families and the state. The Arc of SF really does a good thing and their staff is tremendously helpful and responsive to all requests. I plan on supporting the organization for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I really like the ARC. The ARC has good teachers. I'm there to learn and I enjoy the classes that I take. I'm learning how to cook and I take an art class.The staff is very supportive.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

as a past president of the Board I can attest to the good work this agency does bringing the needs of people with developmental disabilities to the fore. They are active advocates and provide much needed services and supports to people who have problems articulating their needs. The Arc of San Francisco enables people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives as tax paying citizens by supporting them in their work and enabling them to live independently.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Arc of San Francisco is setting the pace for innovative programing. With an emphasis on providing dignified and meaningful support to their clients, they have a long history of creative programs that are sensitively designed to empower and nurture. The Special Hope Foundation has provided funding for several of these projects and looks forward to future partnerships.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I serve as a member of the Senate Select Task Force on Autism, a committee that is looking at ways to address various aspects of autism. Alan Fox is on that committee, and is sought out for his expertise and the inroads the ARC has made to the business world. When I visited the ARC, I was impressed with the "buzz" of engaged clients and staff. It's a good place doing good work.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

My son has multiple disabilities. He is not presently a client of the Ark, however is and has been warmly welcomed there as if he were another son of the family. I as well have been welcomed. The Ark's vision is one where all persons are equal, worthy of respect, heard and responded to. This is no namby-pamby do-gooder group, this is a well connected unit where people have one goal, and that is to bring to light and to life that which has been hidden in the past: the worthiness, the contribution, the value of what in the past has been our most neglected population. The Ark truly personifies the phrase "speaking for those who are unable to speak for themselves" and they are enabling their clients to speak for themselves.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I worked with The Arc to provide access for clients and all people to the City's cultural organizations. The Arc is firm, but not dogmatic. Clients and staff are wonderful to have as partners in a collaborative effort. They make San Francisco a better city for everyone.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

It's so heart warming to see how supportive and nurturing the members of The ARK are for its clients. They empower clients by teaching them how to be as self sufficient as possible by showing them how to use public transportation, care for themselves, and get jobs. This is a great group to support.

Review from Guidestar