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Swords to Plowshares

When their service ends, ours begins.

Swords to Plowshares is a community-based nonprofit that provides social services, employment and training, housing and legal assistance to homeless and low-income veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Why should I support your work?

Thousands of men and women who served our country return from service in need of supportive services to transition from combat to community.  When you donate money, resources or time, you ensure that these veterans can turn their lives around and restore dignity, hope and self-sufficiency.

Swords to Plowshares relies on the generous support of individuals like you to sustain our critical services to homeless and low-income veterans.  All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Why does your charity exist?

Swords to Plowshares exists to provide critical services to homeless and low-income veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Swords to Plowshares is a unique organization because it is a model organization which is recognized nationally for its exemplary services and dedication to helping veterans regain dignity, hope and self-sufficiency.  Swords provides a continuum of care and addresses the comprehensive needs of veterans with a focus on: transitional and permanent supportive housing, employment and training, health and social services, and legal counsel.  Swords to Plowshares is one of the only organizations in the country that provides free legal advice to veterans seeking benefits compensation and military discharge reviews.  With thirty five years of experience, Swords to Plowshares, is meeting the varying needs of veterans from all walks of life.

What have you accomplished?

The staff of Swords to Plowshares holds leadership positions in local, state and national coalitions and networks that serve veterans and the indigent. Swords to Plowshares has worked in collaboration with the VA for more than 20 years, was a founder of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans which promotes the advocacy of more than 200 community-based veterans’ service providers and was a co-founder of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a coalition of sixty Gulf War veterans’ groups. Locally, Swords to Plowshares is active with the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, the San Francisco Homeless Advocacy Project, San Francisco Homeless Service Providers Association, San Francisco Human Services Network, Season of Sharing, Services for Elders Coalition, Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative, Treatment on Demand Council and the local Workforce Investment Board, among others.

Meet one of our clients, Sean McKeen
Sean McKeen joined the US Army at the young age of 17. He saw the Army as an opportunity to explore beyond rural Washington State.  Sean spent 15 months in Iraq as a combat engineer, specializing in explosives and urban tactics.

When Sean left the Army he returned to Washington State where there were few options for employment that could support his family.  The life he returned to was difficult and battling PTSD didn’t help him stay on track and out of trouble.  He decided to move to San Francisco to get a fresh start, but he found the reality of life in a shelter.  With no job and no money Sean was living at a shelter for homeless men, which he described as “an out of control place to be.”While Sean was living in the shelter he met another homeless man who told him about Swords to Plowshares. 

When Sean arrived to Swords to Plowshares it was the day of Swords’ first Veteran Job Fair.  He attended the job fair where he learned about some job opportunities and met with staff members who helped him find housing.  “There was an opening in the [Swords] Treasure Island Program so I moved there.  I’ve been working with counselors there on my PTSD,” Sean said.

In addition to obtaining housing and counseling with Swords, Sean worked with the Employment and Training department, where he sought help enrolling in classes and finding a job. “Swords is helping me pay for classes in motorcycle repair so that I can have a job that I actually love.” He is also working with the Swords legal department to file a benefits claim for his PTSD. “I’m not here for anybody else, I’m here for myself,” Sean explained.

When asked what his plans are for the future Sean said, “I plan on going back to Washington once I finish school.  Really I’m just trying to be a regular guy who can take care of my kids and ride motorcycles.”
--Sean McKeen, Iraq veteran and Swords to Plowshares client

How can I be sure you’ll use my money wisely?

96 cents of every dollar you contribute to Swords to Plowshares goes directly to veterans in need.