How We're
Transforming Care for Under-Resourced Veterans

Swords to Plowshares is committed to serving under-resourced veterans. Our evolving programs empower us to make a greater impact in our communities, focusing on preventing and ending veteran homelessness.

We are deeply committed to addressing the urgent needs of senior veterans, finding new solutions to housing veterans, and ensuring that all veterans have access to community-based mental health services.

Expand Access to Community-Based Care

Formerly homeless senior veterans, unhoused veterans, and other traditionally underserved veterans confront a crisis marked by complex physical and mental health issues, limited finances, and inadequate family support. For some veterans, accessing VA care is not an option. Expanding access to community-based care will help to alleviate veterans’ challenges and enhance well-being.

Ensure the success of our 3-year statewide pilot program, Veterans Support to Self-Reliance, to improve housing stability and wellness among senior and high acuity veteran participants.
Secure distinct recognition of veterans in state planning and resource allocation and advocate for expanding VA-funded programming to bridge the gaps in services for aging veterans and that help lower the barriers to ongoing mental health care.
Champion funding, licensure, and service delivery flexibility to address the needs of high-acuity and senior veterans and bridge the gap created by the shortage of licensed mental health providers.

Seniors are the fastest growing homeless population.

Hear from our Executive Director

"COVID opened a lot of wounds, and in its wake, more people were suffering with isolation at a time of increased housing instability and a crisis level-level shortage of social workers and mental health professionals. Seniors, veterans and unhoused folks with no family support were hit the hardest."

Michael Blecker, Executive Director, U.S. Army 1967-1970


of all senior veterans are living in poverty


of our clients are seniors


of veterans feel socially isolated

Innovate Housing and Homelessness Solutions

Housing providers and advocates continue to struggle to keep pace with the demand for services. Complicated by a lack of affordable housing, a shortage of treatment and shelter beds, and a dramatic increase in acuity, progress toward meaningful solutions may seem insurmountable, but we are hopeful at Swords to Plowshares.

Minimally, achieve San Francisco’s goal to reduce the general unhoused population by 50% and work toward “functional zero” among homeless veterans by 2028.
Work with veterans with lived experience to develop/enhance prevention strategies and ensure veterans succeed in remaining housed.
Innovate solutions from statewide senior pilot program findings to ensure that senior and high acuity veterans retain housing and can age in place in community.
Hear from a veteran

“If somebody tells you housing is not the foundation, they are lying. Once you’ve got stable housing, you can keep moving forward. Without it, you're stuck, trying to get out. You can’t build your foundation without a home.”

Greg Parler, U.S. Army

We operate and place nearly 1,000 veterans in permanent housing each year.

Re-Imagine Wrap-Around Care

Swords has doubled in budget, staff, and has significantly expanded programs and services over the past 10 years. With 200 staff across eight sites, ensuring that veterans are connected to the breadth of services we offer can be challenging for both staff and veteran clients.

Secure the future of the Veterans Community Center to provide ongoing opportunities for veterans to engage in services.
Establish a centralized intake process to improve the client experience, centralize data, and enhance our capacity to analyze data.
Develop a cohesive agency-wide plan to respond to the emerging mental health needs of veterans that integrates suicide prevention and ensures ongoing culturally appropriate training for staff.

More than half of clients use multiple Swords to Plowshares programs.


of clients are impoverished


of clients reported a disability


are unhoused when they reach out