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.
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.
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 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.
I was a Marine Platoon Commander in Vietnam and lost 11 young Marines and two Navy Corpsmen over a 14 month period in 1965 and 1966. I was bitter and avoided anything to do with the military until the late 1990s, when I heard about Swords to Plowshares and the work they were doing with homeless veterans in San Francisco. After learning about veterans who had been helped by Swords and meeting Executive Director Michael Blecker and his staff at Swords, my wife and I began contributing to Swords' work, I joined the Board and my wife became active in Swords' Annual Veterans Day Dinner. We have watched Swords grow from a smaller, locally known agency to a nationally recognized veterans' organization that helps Vietnam and older veterans deal with homelessness and benefits issues, and, more currently, helps recent Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with legal, education, training and housing issues before they sink into or near homelessness. Swords works. Vets in need benefit. We're proud to be a part of Swords' continuing work. Jon Paulson