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2009 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 5,000 parents and children

Geographic areas served: San Francisco, CA

Programs: Compass Family Services creates a strong safety net for homeless and at-risk families by providing a broad continuum of services that help our clients find and maintain stable housing and build strong families. Compass' six programs for families are: **Compass Connecting Point (CCP)** is the entry point for services for any San Francisco family facing a housing crisis. CCP manages the waiting list for the San Francisco family shelter system and serves as a clearinghouse for eviction prevention and rental assistance, with the goals of stabilizing at-risk families and rapidly rehousing families that are already homeless. Additionally CCP is a family resource center in which each family is immediately paired with a case manager who partners with them to address the issues that precipitated their housing crisis and to identify and achieve goals related to housing stability, family well-being, and self-sufficiency. **Compass Family Shelter** provides homeless families with a safe, temporary place to stay. An intensive array of support services enable families to secure and maintain housing, improve their employment prospects and address the underlying issues that contributed to their homelessness. **Compass Clara House** is a service-enriched transitional housing program for homeless families. Families live for up to two years in private apartments during which time parents engage in educational and vocational programs which lays the framework for a living wage career. The program provides licensed on-site childcare and afterschool programs as well as an array of intensive support services. **Compass SF HOME** helps homeless and at-risk families find, stabilize, and maintain their housing. Depending on their need, families may receive one-time assistance to prevent eviction or cover move-in costs, and/or an ongoing rental subsidy. All families in the program are provided with long-term case management to support them in becoming economically self-sufficient and maintaining their housing. **Compass Children’s Center** is a nationally accredited enriched early childhood education center with a curriculum tailored to meet the specific needs of children living in extreme poverty and homelessness. The Center serves 70 children, ages 0-5, and their families each day, and addresses the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of the children, as well as the well-being of the families. **Compass Clinical Services** provides crisis intervention and trauma informed therapy to families engaged in any of the other Compass Family Services programs. Our services reflect our understanding of the complexities of trauma as well as the range of traumatic experiences. Compass Family Services has created systems to train and support the staff on providing these trauma sensitive services to the families. Our approach involves training and education, supervision and support, attention to self-care for both the individual and the organization, attention to creating a welcoming and safe environment, and development of policies and procedures that reflect our understanding of how trauma has impacted our families.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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.