What's a good SF charity that helps the homeless?
December 19, 2005 11:30 AM   Subscribe

What are the effective non-religious charities that help homeless people in San Francisco?

It's my time of year to make charitable donations and I'd like to give some money to a local organization that's helping homeless people. I would prefer to give to a group that actively works to get homeless folks on their feet with counselling and support services that changes their lives for the better. The Delancey Street Foundation is one group whose results I admire. But they seem part of a larger foundation and I'm motivated by smaller and more local groups. What are some other effective charities?
posted by Nelson to Society & Culture (9 answers total)
I feel you on wanting to stay secular, but my experience is that "religious" in San Francisco doesn't mean quite what it means in other places (like Arizona, where I grew up).

I've therefore always felt extremely comfortable giving to the St. Anthony Foundation, a truly amazing organization by any definition, including my own agnostic one.
posted by padraigin at 11:43 AM on December 19, 2005

United Way of the Bay Area

From their website:

We do not contract with any agency that engages in discrimination, defined as denying service to a potential client or member on the basis of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion or presence of a disability.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:54 PM on December 19, 2005

The Homeless Children's Network provides counseling and support services to homeless children, and their families. They also help them find and use services from other non-profits and government organizations.
(Full disclosure: my girlfriend works for them.)
posted by mistersix at 12:59 PM on December 19, 2005

San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness and the San Francisco Food Bank are two of my favorite local non-sectarian organizations, and though they are not as focused on the specifics you've mentioned, they may be useful for others reading the thread.
posted by judith at 2:33 PM on December 19, 2005

Don't overlook the idea of giving to UCSF, which among other things runs San Francisco General Hospital. If you are homeless and ill, you can come to SFGH and get patched up. Here is the SFGH Foundation website, where you can donate directly.

I know a social worker at SFGH; he works hard to get folks back on their feet.

Full disclosure: I work for UCSF. I still think they're a worthy cause, though.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2005

Bah, you said "smaller" groups. Sorry, obviously my suggestions don't qualify.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:46 PM on December 19, 2005

posted by warbaby at 8:31 PM on December 19, 2005

If you want to go slightly north of SF, consider Homeward Bound of Marin. They run a bunch of shelters in Marin and have really good programs (such as a culinary training school) to help people get out of homelessness. I used to volunteer there and it's a good, solid organization in need of dough.
posted by radioamy at 1:01 AM on December 20, 2005

Thanks for the help, everyone. One other resource I found useful in my research: Charity Navigator.
posted by Nelson at 12:48 PM on December 26, 2005

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