We have many dedicated supporters who make our work possible. Here are some notable ones to highlight in 2021.
This year, we worked closely with our allies at NextGen Policy on a very exciting initiative. In partnership, we developed and advocated for a $25 million California budget request to fund a three-year pilot program to provide additional support services for veterans. After months of hard work with NextGen, Governor Newsom accepted the proposal and added it to his budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The funds will be distributed through competitive
CalVet grants and will enhance on-site direct care and services to senior veterans living in permanent supportive housing communities across California. The goal of the pilot program is to create a “middle ground” veterans service program that does not currently exist, prevent the premature needs for nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities, increase housing retention, and improve quality of life for formerly homeless aging veterans, including preventing premature death. The pilot will be the first of its kind in the nation, and we are so grateful to NextGen for working with us to make it happen. Check out their wonderful work at www.nextgenpolicy.org
May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust has been a tremendous and steadfast partner over the years. With funding directed to our critical Legal Services program, which relies mainly on private funds to operate, the Trust has been instrumental in allowing our Legal team to represent hundreds of veterans with disabilities. During the COVID pandemic, the Trust also supported us with emergency grants, flexibility, and moral support. Beyond financial support, the Trust has always been a uniquely thoughtful partner deeply engaged in the veteran space. Learn more about their impactful grantmaking at smithct.org
Brian hiked the 22 miles of Mt. Whitney in honor of his son, James, an Army veteran, who did two tours in Iraq and is now serving as a sergeant with the Oakland Police Department. By sharing his hike with his family and friends, Brian not only raised $2,500 but also an awareness for veterans overcoming obstacles in transitioning to civilian life. We are thankful for Brian for being an ambassador for veterans in need.
Stephen Heller and Therese Hickey
Stephen got to know Swords to Plowshares as a driver for Food Runners, which delivered meals for veteran clients to our San Francisco Service Center. He saw that our unhoused veterans needed more than just food. He and his wife, Therese, a Navy veteran, decided to donate new items of clothing whenever possible. Over the years, they have donated about $5,000 worth of items to hand out to unhoused veterans. “I just buy extra things on sale or from Costco to donate to Swords’ veterans,” said Stephen, as he showed up wearing a shirt identical to the ones he donated. Supporters like Stephen and Therese help keep our veterans warm with their generosity.