A Letter from Michael

Michael Blecker
February 22, 2023

2022 was a busy year for Swords to Plowshares. At all levels of our organization, we made strides to expand care to Bay Area veterans who need essential services. While serving locally, we made ripples in state and national conversations around veteran suicide prevention, care for aging veterans, and permanent supportive housing. The work we undertook in 2022 emboldens our commitment to enhancing the lives of all veterans.

Our community of care grows stronger as we prepare to open our newest housing site, the Maceo May Apartments, on Treasure Island. The apartments will house 104 formerly homeless veterans and include family units. We are excited to welcome more veterans into our housing programs and advance toward our goal of ending veteran homelessness in San Francisco.

This year, we will embark on significant program expansions to provide more accessible mental healthcare, and to address the urgent needs of seniors.  

We are beginning a suicide prevention program this year to connect more veterans to ongoing care and do more to screen for veterans at risk. Suicide prevention happens in places where veterans are seeking care, community, camaraderie, and accessible services.

We are also very proud of our fierce advocacy for our most vulnerable senior veterans. This year, we will launch a pilot program with CalVet to enhance on-site support to 600 formerly homeless, senior veterans who live in supportive housing communities throughout California to improve their wellness and stability.  

And finally, we are reimagining our decades-old Drop-in Center and will be opening the Veterans Community Center that will offer expanded hours, including weekends, and extended services targeting unhoused and senior veterans.  

These exciting new programs will play a key role in preventing suicide and increasing wellness among seniors. Our mission remains focused on ensuring all veterans, regardless of military discharge status, eligibility, or personal identities, receive the essential care they deserve. We cannot do this alone – I thank our network of care providers, advocates, and donors who have joined us in our mission, and I encourage you to support Bay Area veterans with us in the new year.

Article by
Michael Blecker

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