As a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization, Dolores Street has tremendous opportunities to both improve people’s lives on an individual level as well as affect broader social change by engaging in advocacy and community organizing efforts to address the root causes of suffering and injustice.
We work on a wide range of issues—from homelessness to housing to immigration to employment. We believe that by being involved in the multitude of issues that affect our communities, we are stronger and better able to do all of the work that we do. We believe deeply that these issues are interconnected, and that there are tremendous benefits to having a diversity of programs and services under one roof. Not only can community members meet multiple needs through different programs, but we all have the opportunity to learn about current issues in our different areas of work and to reflect upon how programs or constituencies can support one another in their struggles.
Solidarity and the linking of issues is core to our work because we understand that none of us live in a world in which we need housing but not a job or legal services but not education. Our communities, and we as a part of them, need all of these things, and Dolores Street recognizes this interconnection.
We envision a vibrant and diverse San Francisco where multiple cultures, life experiences and contributions are honored, and all people live with dignity and hope. Our vision is of a just and sustainable community where all residents – regardless of income, immigration or health status – have equal rights and access to resources, and are empowered to fully participate in shaping the City’s future.
Dolores Street Community Services nurtures individual wellness and cultivates collective power among low-income and immigrant communities to create a more just society.
The Dolores Shelter Program provides emergency shelter and meal service to approximately 85 individuals every night. The majority of shelter guests are recent immigrants from Latin America, and many work as day-laborers. One of the primary goals of the program is to prevent newly-homeless individuals from falling into the cycle of long-term homelessness. Our case management services, combined with the small size and community-based nature of the shelters help us to meet that goal. The program opened Jazzie’s Place in June of 2015, 24 additional beds specifically targeted as a safe space for LGBT people who are homeless.
The Richard M. Cohen Residence, a 10-unit residential care facility for formerly homeless men and women with disabling HIV/AIDS, provides an array of services including nursing and social work case management, 24-hour attendant care, meal services, and social activities designed to stabilize the health and enhance the well-being of residents.
Casa Quezada is a 52-unit supportive housing site for formerly homeless individuals with special needs, many of whom have transitioned from our shelter program and who are monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants with limited access to other subsidized housing in San Francisco. In partnership with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, the program provides on-site clinical and case management services, daily meal service, and community-building activities to all residents. This building is part of the City and County of San Francisco’s Direct Access to Housing (DAH) program, and is named in honor of Eric Quezada, Dolores Street’s former Executive Director who passed away from cancer in 2011.
The Mission SRO Collaborative (MSROC), a partnership with Causa Justa::Just Cause, the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, and the Women’s Community Clinic, organizes with SRO (Single Room Occupancy) hotel tenants throughout the Mission. The purpose of the program is to protect SRO housing stock, improve living conditions, and fight for housing justice.
The Community Planning and Development program engages in advocacy and organizing to support land uses that minimize displacement and facilitate the development of affordable housing in the Mission District. The goal of the program is to maintain an economically and culturally diverse neighborhood that continues to be accessible to low-income and immigrant communities. The program also works to expand low-income housing opportunities through acquisition and rehabilitation of existing sites, or by partnering with other organizations to create new housing opportunities.
The San Francisco Immigrant Legal & Education Network (SFILEN) is a collaboration of 13 organizations throughout the city that provide outreach, community education, and free or low-cost legal services to immigrants from many diverse countries and regions of the world. Dolores Street was one of the original founders of this collaboration and, as the lead and fiscal agent, continues to manage and facilitate the work of the Network.
The Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program provides legal services to immigrants in San Francisco, with a specialty in complex removal defense cases. Initiated in April 2008, the program grew out of Dolores Street’s work in the SFILEN collaboration. Currently, the program has three full time attorneys, and has become one of the leading deportation defense providers in the Bay Area.
The African Advocacy Network (AAN) focuses exclusively on serving African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants and offers legal services, case management, and social integration services based on a unique Cultural Brokering model. The program also provides policy-related education in its target communities. After getting connected with Dolores Street through SFILEN, AAN became a fiscally sponsored project in 2009, and in 2013 became a fully incorporated program of the organization.
The San Francisco Day Labor Program & Women’s Collective joined Dolores Street in July 2012. It is a membership-based program comprised of day laborers and domestic workers. Through the program, these workers defend their rights to dignified, fair paying jobs and provide a positive and reputable hiring environment for employers.
The Valencia Community Center, located at our main administrative office, provides low cost and free meeting space to a wide variety of groups working on issues ranging from tenant rights to land use advocacy to immigrant legal services. The space is also utilized regularly by a number of support groups that are open to broader community.