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36,500 Beds A Year

Dolores Street offers shelter to over 100 men in the city each night. The shelters open their doors at 7 pm and fill to capacity within hours. .

Dolores Shelter Program

The Dolores Shelter Program (formerly known as Dolores Housing Program) began in 1982 as a sanctuary for refugees. Today, DSP provides support and emergency housing for up to 100 working homeless men every night.

DSP is the only shelter for men in the area, and our programs are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the Latino working homeless. We provide shelter, hot meals, on-site medical care, English classes, help finding work, and other support services.

The goal of DSP is to support our guests in moving to more permanent housing; our guests can stay at DSP for four months.  After four months, most of our guests are working steadily, and we provide them with assistance to find permanent housing.

Our overall goal at DSP is to prevent newly-arrived immigrants from falling into the cycle of homelessness.  Our array of services combine with the friendly, community-based nature of our shelters to do exactly that.

We work closely with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, located at 165 Capp Street, for both making shelter reservations and helping our guests access other services.


Accomplishments of 2009:

  • We made available 31,025 (85 x 365) beds during the year.
  • We averaged 80 people (with shelter reservations) per night for a 94% official occupancy rate.
  • We averaged 86 people per night (with reservations as well as unreserved emergency mats) per night for a 100% occupancy rate.
  • We have seen a steady increase in occupancy over the past 3 years (reserved and emergency mats), even as we have increased from 65 beds to 85 beds.
  • 32,850 meals were provided (90x365) to shelter participants.
  • In January 2009, we had an annual Winter Celebration event.
    • We served meals and provided gifts to estimated 65 people.
    • Each person got two articles of clothing as well as socks and underwear, and a backpack.
    • The majority of the gifts came from a staff and participant led clothing donation drive and a collaboration with a local church
  • 117 new participants accessed case management services
  • 50 participants moved into housing, residential treatment, moved in with family or friends, or had another positive outcome or placement. (Includes case managed participants from fiscal year 08-09)
  • Participant satisfaction with our program: 91%
  • Residents were engaged in civic activities related to: shelter access, budget cuts to city services, and immigrant rights
  • As of December 2009, Spanish is listed as a first language by 45% of our program participants. Throughout the year, it sometimes accounts for over 50% of our participants.
  • As of December 2010, we have had 55 unique participants in our support group at the Santa Maria & Santa Martha shelter. Groups have been offered in English and in Spanish since October, and facilitated by one of our Case Managers.

  Challenges of 2009:

  • New extension policy: Our program model changed drastically when H.S.A. implemented a shelter extension policy in July 2009. Through advocacy efforts, the length of stay provided by the policy was increased from a maximum of 90 days to a maximum of 111 days. This is still a big difference from the 6 months we had been providing until then, but system wide, it actually represents a gain. Just as important, advocates pushed to relax a rule that would have limited people to one no-show. This policy is still being debated by a number of policy-making bodies, so improvement is still possible.
  • Budget cuts: The shelter program did not face any direct cuts, but went through a challenging RFP process which would have reduced the amount of funding per bed unit. Through advocacy efforts, this limit was lifted and we successfully obtained multiple-year funding again. Homeless services in general faced some serious cuts, and we as a program, and as an organization, participated in advocacy efforts.
Dolores Street Community Services, 938 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-282-6209, info(AT)