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The average length of a stay at the Cohen Residence has extended from about nine months in 1995 to its current average of four years thanks to advances in HIV therapy.

What We Do: Cohen Residence
Richard M. Cohen Residence

The Richard M. Cohen Residence opened in 1995 as a residential care facility for homeless men and women living with disabling HIV or AIDS. The residence is named for Richard Cohen, a San Franciscan who died of AIDS in 1991 and whose estate provided a significant portion of the funds needed to renovate and open the residence.

The Cohen Residence provides care for formerly homeless individuals who are coping with AIDS-related disabilities. Services include 24-hour staffing, meals, medication assistance, nurse and attendant care supports, case management, referrals to mental health and substance abuse services, and community building activities.

The Residence itself is a restored landmark cottage, originally built in the 1850s.  Residents have their own bedrooms and share a sunny kitchen and dining room, as well as a living room, two kitchenettes, five bathrooms, laundry room, a deck and patio, and extensive outdoor gardens.


Types of Services Provided

  • R.N. Case Management (coordinating care, acting as liaison between residents & health providers, providing support and health-related education to residents, scheduling appointments, ordering medication & filling medi-sets weekly)
  • Social Work Case Management (coordinating care, providing mental health support, providing & bringing in alternative therapies such as meditation & massage, assistance with benefits, transportation, and referrals to other services as needed)
  • Attendant Care (support with Activities of Daily Living provided by Certified Nursing Assistants who are on duty 24/7-including administering medications, providing reminders for mealtimes, providing reminders and paperwork needed for appointments, scheduling transportation for appointments, light housekeeping duties, monitoring visitors)
  • Food Services (planning and provision of 3 healthy meals per day for residents, as well as snacks that are available at all times)
  • Activities (both in-house and out-of-house activities including Bingo, movie nights, birthday and holiday celebrations, concerts, cultural performances, baseball games, meals at restaurants, etc)
  • Property Management (oversees and ensures ongoing maintenance and upkeep of property)

Accomplishments of 2009:

  • Hiring of Social Worker in March after not having an on-site Social Worker on staff for 4 years. This additional staffing has greatly enhanced our capacity to provide a broader array of services to the residents, as well as increased our capacity to handle complex mental health situations that arise.
  • Strengthening of Clinical Services by adding monthly Clinical Supervision for the R.N. and Social Worker. Over the past few months, we have implemented systems for both the Nurse and Social Worker to receive clinical supervision. The Nursing Supervision is provided by Bill Cox, our former full-time Nurse at Cohen, who has over 15 years experience in HIV Nursing. He comes in approximately 4 hours per month and is also available on an as-needed basis to answer questions for Bonnie. The Social Worker (Becca) receives her Clinical Supervision as part of a group supervision provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who formerly worked for the Harm Reduction Therapy Center. Although the Program Director is the supervisor of these two staff members, she is not able to provide clinical supervision, so the addition of these systems has been an important improvement to our ability to provide quality clinical services.
  • Completion of several facility projects to ensure long-term viability of property, including Implementing recommendations of Capital Needs Assessment/ Asset Reserve Analysis completed in 2008

o   Repaired rotting wood on front stairs and porch

o   Completed installation of power flush toilets in all 5 bathrooms of the residence

o   Re-design of storage room to create Nurses station in the main residence

o   Installed new ducting, thermostat, and noise mitigation for boilers

o   Refinishing and replacement of hardwood and linoleum floors

o   Painted 4 resident rooms

o   Creation of .5 FTE Property Management position


In general, our experience providing property management and services at the Cohen Residence has been a tremendous asset in enabling Dolores Street to expand into other housing development projects such as the Dolores Hotel and Marty's Place over the past year.



Dolores Street Community Services, 938 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-282-6209, info(AT)