Mission: To heal the wounds of war; restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need; and prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans.
About the Organization: Founded in 1974 by six Vietnam War veterans, Swords to Plowshares works to ensure that all veterans have access to the care and services they need to rebuild their lives. Recognizing that the obstacles veterans face — including homelessness, unemployment, and disability — are interrelated and require an integrated network of support, the organization provides needs assessment and case management, employment and training, housing assistance, and legal advice to about three thousand veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Current Programs: Swords to Plowshares' model of care includes the provision of health and social services, from crisis intervention, to mental health assessments and treatment referrals, to assistance with MediCal; supportive housing, which includes transitional and stabilization housing programs as well as permanent housing; employment and training services; support services for families of veterans ranging from help with searches for affordable housing to assistance with rent, childcare expenses, and transportation; legal services; peer support for women veterans, including support groups, mentoring, and career skills-building workshops; and income support services such as help with money management and Social Security benefits applications.
Through its Institute for Veteran Policy, the organization also supports policy research and advocacy and community education efforts aimed at strengthening systems of care for veterans and their families. The organization's Combat to Community® training is a series of accredited cultural competency curricula developed to help law enforcement, first-responders, and mental health and service professionals address the challenges veterans face in re-integrating into civilian society using their unique skill sets.
Website: Visitors to the Swords to Plowshares website can learn more about the organization's programs and services, browse research papers and resources, and/or keep abreast of developments through the organization's blog. Veterans and their families can learn about upcoming workshops and webinars or check out the events calendar, while those interested in supporting the organization and veterans can learn more about volunteering, providing pro bono legal services, sponsoring an event, hiring a veteran, and/or making a donation.
Funding: Swords to Plowshares is funded by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government grants.