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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shanti Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: AIDS, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Health, Health Care

Mission: Shanti is dedicated to closing the gap between people who receive comprehensive medical care and those who do not, and provides the information, skills and support clients need to make informed decisions about their treatment, improve their health and wellness, and enjoy good health outcomes and a high quality of life. Originally founded in 1974 to help people dying of cancer, Shanti was one of the first organizations to respond to San Francisco s AIDS crisis.  Today the organization provides a variety of emotional and practical support services that help people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other disabilities. Services include a drop-in center, peer and treatment advocacy, case management, health counseling, patient navigation, and activities. Shanti also shares its expertise in volunteer management and HIV/AIDS peer education with other local and national organizations interested in starting or improving their programs.

Target demographics: Our clients are all underserved individuals with life-threatening illnesses & often come from challenged, at-risk & underserved communities including women & those of trans experience, communities of color, seniors, the homeless and marginally housed & those with a dual or triple diagnosis with mental health &/or substance use issues in addition to their positive HIV or breast cancer diagnosis.

Geographic areas served: San Francisco

Programs: Shanti serves over 2,000 men and women every year through the following programs: The Women's Cancer Program reduces the obstacles faced by women with cancer by providing a continuum of tailored services that address their physical, emotional, psychosocial, educational and support needs. Clients are primarily low-income, uninsured and medically underserved San Franciscans, the majority of whom are women of color and who are living in poverty. HIV Services Program provides care navigation, peer advocacy, a drop-in center, activities and events, support groups, women's services and encourages a continuity of HIV treatment and care through the provision of culturally competent support to at-risk, underserved HIV positive communities. Volunteer Services Program trains volunteers to provide emotional support and practical assistance to individuals living with life-threatening illnesses, using the internationally recognized Shanti Model of Peer SupportTM. Volunteers serve clients through one-on-one client/volunteer matches, short-term or one-time only support, our drop-in center, our activities program and by offering workshops and classes. L.I.F.E. Program® is a health-enhancement program based on the latest medical research in mind-body medicine. “L.I.F.E.” stands for Learning Immune Function Enhancement. Evaluation research shows that L.I.F.E. reduces risk behavior, improves quality of life, increases medication adherence and reduces health problems. Our programs have the potential to increase the health of individuals with HIV, Hepatitis C, breast cancer and other immune related illnesses. Community Support Program provides management, administrative support and training to council members of the San Francisco EMA (Eligible Metropolitan Area) HIV Health Services Planning Council. This body is mandated by the U.S. Congress to determine the size and demographics of the population of individuals with HIV in the three county area and the needs of this population.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From the very beginning, Shanti has always been there for San Francisco's HIV+ Community! I know so many people who are so grateful for the help and support they received from Shanti and their Shanti volunteers, and as volunteer, I know it made a huge difference in my life!