Best Hyperlocal Charity--Bay Area!
December 6, 2017 6:48 AM   Subscribe

A friend from grad school made a generous donation in my honor to a very-local-to-me charity and I'd like to reciprocate with something specific to San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland that's focused on relief from homelessness or something more general (and progressive and hopefully not religious in anyway) related toward improving income-disparity-related misery. I can use a search engine but would prefer a recommendation from a local who can direct me to somewhere local, doing meaningful work to address the needs of its own community.
posted by LeeloDallasMultiSocks to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Alameda County Community Food Bank comes to mind.
posted by The Toad at 6:59 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

At the Crossroads provides services to young homeless people in San Francisco, on the street and without conditions. It's a small organization, focused on non-judgmental support (no-one is kicked out of their programs, for example).
posted by cushie at 7:01 AM on December 6, 2017 [6 favorites]

I'm a huge fan of the East Bay Food Not Bombs out that way and have donated to them myself. They don't have much of a web presence but you can contact them via their website or by phone.
posted by jessamyn at 8:20 AM on December 6, 2017

The Toad beat me to it: Alameda County Community Food Bank supplies food to 25% of the households in Alameda County.
posted by suelac at 8:24 AM on December 6, 2017

Maybe it’s worth sending a MeMail to YouCantTipABuick, who is active in the East Bay, and also busy with grad school and may not regularly browse Ask.
posted by notyou at 8:34 AM on December 6, 2017

We regularly donate to the Alameda County Community Food Bank but also the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, which provides food, housing, and services to those in need in the area.
posted by kendrak at 8:38 AM on December 6, 2017

Otherwise, I’ve donated books to the Prison Literature Project, which has its Berkeley office in Grassroots House, which hosts several local (and a couple National/International) non-profits. You and your friend can support the House, or one of the groups, if you like.
posted by notyou at 8:39 AM on December 6, 2017

TNDC builds supportive housing for the homeless in SF’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
posted by kelseyq at 8:47 AM on December 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

As a social worker, I used to refer clients to this place. There's some religious component, which is not my favorite either, but they seemed to be really reliable for getting people off the streets in a city where space and shelter are a huge problem.
posted by Smearcase at 9:08 AM on December 6, 2017

I'm in San Francisco, and I donate monthly to Lava Mae, which provides mobile showers & hygiene services to homeless populations in the city. Their work is world-changing to those who need it.
posted by gyusan at 9:21 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I work with homeless people in Oakland. Along with those suggested above,I recommend these effective local orgs. Sorry no links, I'm on phone.

BACS is effective, responsible and serves a wide group of clients who are homeless and or have mental health needs. They run one of the most important transitional housing settings here.

Saint Mary's center in Oakland is a hub for Oakland homeless seniors. They provide a ton of services and links to permanent housing and have an activist bent. Obviously Catholic but of the radical flavor

EOCP provides a high quality shelter and transitional housing services. I work with them frequently and they are essential.

Coalition on Homelessness are long time activists and advocates on homeless policy in SF.

Asians For Black Lives have been building living spaces for homeless people here.

Thanks for giving locally.
posted by latkes at 9:26 AM on December 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm also a big fan of Lava Mae. So simple, so basic, so necessary.
posted by danny the boy at 9:35 AM on December 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I thought of one more I work with a lot: Project Open Hand started during the peak of the AIDS crisis to serve meals to people with HIV. They have expanded their mission to include lots of other chronic illness. As a nurse I see how income disparity has a huge impact on health, and Project Open Hand is doing the good work of addressing that with nutritious food. They have a food pantry and also make homemade, healthy frozen meals that they deliver. A lot of my clients use their services - they serve lots of different people but I have seen them be a really helpful resource for people transitioning out of homelessness but without good skills or capacity for cooking. They are convenient, provide a choice of meals, and have an atmosphere & vibe of solidarity not charity.
posted by latkes at 11:51 AM on December 6, 2017

It's North Bay, but I'm a huge fan of COTS, as much for their immediate shelter programs as for their work in building stability after the immediate need for housing is past. We've done some volunteering with them, and kept in touch with some of the clients we met while volunteering for them so we've seen the difference they make.
posted by straw at 1:22 PM on December 6, 2017

Glide Memorial Church's Glide Foundation
posted by at at 2:47 PM on December 6, 2017

Mission for the Homeless is another good organization - they buy and give out blankets, clothing, and food to homeless folks in Oakland every night.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 9:00 PM on December 6, 2017

A friend started the non-profit Community Education Partnerships, which focuses on tutoring homeless children in Oakland and the greater Bay Area. They work in some of the places mentioned above. Your money goes direct to supplies, tutoring and other services.
posted by waitangi at 4:22 PM on December 9, 2017

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