San Francisco, California, May 17, 2019 -- The Welcome Home Project, an initiative of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®’ Foundation, is proud to mark its four-year anniversary by crossing a milestone in having provided more than 3,200 formerly homeless adults and children in San Francisco with brand-new housewares and personal hygiene items as they transitioned into permanent housing.
Nina Dosanjh, President of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®’ Board of Directors, explained, “Formerly homeless individuals and families who are transitioning into permanent housing often do not have the basic essentials they need to get off to a good start. Small items like toiletries and bedding are cost-prohibitive and can be hard to come by. We learned about this need in 2015, and the REALTOR® community jumped right in to help. We have been touched by the growth of this program, the passion our REALTOR® members show to this cause, and we are incredibly humbled by the response from the people we serve.”
The latest package of items was prepared for a formerly homeless family transitioning into permanent housing through the UCSF Citywide Case Management Forensic Team. Robert Robles, a Clinical Social Worker with the organization remarked, “Every time I help my clients pick up goods from the Welcome Home Project to stock their new apartments, I am impressed by the quality of the goods and the cordiality of the staff. Many of my clients are moving into housing after years on the street, and the bundles of goods they get through the Welcome Home Project increase the comfort and dignity they feel in their new homes. Today’s pickup is no exception.”
After reaching out to social services and homeless support organizations in 2015 about how to help, Mary Jung, Executive Director of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®’ Foundation, identified the opportunity to provide formerly homeless individuals and families who are transitioning into permanent housing with the basic items to create a home. From then on, the Welcome Home Project began purchasing and managing an extensive inventory of brand-new home goods including linens, toiletries, cleaning supplies, cookware, dishes, and small appliances such as toasters and microwave ovens. Today, it also stocks items for children including toys and school supplies, as well as essentials including first-aid and hygiene kits. The Welcome Home Project maintains an easy-to-use online request portal for non-profit organizations and city agencies. Details of which items an individual or family may especially need are requested so kits can be customized. The requesting organization is notified when an order is ready to be picked up within 72 hours.
“Our more than 4,000 REALTOR® members and staff are dedicated to making the transition to a new home a positive experience for all families in our community,” said Walter Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®. “The Welcome Home Project helps us to realize this mission with some of the most vulnerable in our community.”
Since April 2015, the Welcome Home Project has:
- Provided new home essentials to more than 3,200 formerly homeless adults and children in over 2,200 households
- Partnered with 46 non-profit homeless service organizations across San Francisco, including the Hospitality House, San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team, Episcopal Community Services, and the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, to reach individuals and families transitioning into permanent housing; and
- Experienced a significant increase in requests. So far in 2019, the organization has been receiving 15-20 requests per week.
Private donations and contributions from the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®’ members have funded the Welcome Home Project thus far. Additional sources of funding are now needed to meet the continually increasing demand from the City’s growing homeless population as it transitions into permanent housing locations.
Watch a video of some of the individuals served by the Welcome Home Project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Oz_roxl7Jo&t=2s.
About the Welcome Home Project
The Welcome Home Project was started in April 2015 and operates as part of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. Since its founding, the Welcome Home Project has helped more than 3,200 formerly homeless individuals and children across 2,200 households settle into permanent housing by providing fresh bedding, cookware, dining ware, cleaning and hygiene products, small appliances, and other essentials. For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation, visit https://www.welcomehomesf.org.
About the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®
The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® (SFAR) is part of a network of local and state associations of REALTORS®, all of which are affiliated with, and chartered by, the National Association of REALTORS®. SFAR provides services to REALTORS® doing business in San Francisco and the Northern Peninsula. The Association operates the SFAR Multiple Listing Service (SFARMLS) in addition to providing services for members including publications, education, programs, and legislative representation. For more information, visit http://my.sfrealtors.com/.
Robert Robles, a Clinical Social Worker with the UCSF Citywide Case Management Forensic Team, picks up supplies for a family transitioning into permanent housing on April 24, 2019 from Yumi Nguyen, a San Francisco Association of REALTORS®’s Welcome Home Project staff member.