SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mayor Ed Lee and Dolby Laboratories will officially kick off the San
Francisco branch of Downtown Streets Team, a Bay Area nonprofit
restoring hope and rebuilding the lives of unhoused community members
through work experience and neighborhood beautification. Downtown
Streets Team’s San Francisco launch will be marked by an event on
Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the east end of Civic Center
Downtown Streets Team will host guests following the ribbon cutting at
its Weekly Success Team Meeting, held for unhoused community members
interested in joining the Team. All are invited to attend the meeting at
the Friends of SF (Quaker) Meeting House, 65 Ninth St. SF, CA. 94103 at
“Having the City behind us and innovative tech companies like Dolby
supporting us, we really couldn’t ask for a more thrilling and more
supportive partnership to join us in the fight to end homelessness in
San Francisco,” said Eileen Richardson, Executive Director and founder
of Downtown Streets Team. “We’re ready to rebuild lives and restore
“The Downtown Streets Team program will help change the lives of some
our most in need residents through innovation, compassion and dignity,”
said Mayor Ed Lee. “The Downtown Streets Team shows how people coming
together from the business and nonprofit sectors with government can
help find new ways to lift people up out of poverty, provide them with
skills to succeed and improve the conditions of our City’s most
important public spaces, like Civic Center Plaza.”
“Dolby is proud to partner with Downtown Streets Team and the Mayor’s
Office,” said Kevin Yeaman, President and CEO, Dolby Laboratories.
“Downtown Streets’ ‘work first’ approach has transformed hundreds of
lives throughout the Bay Area. We are excited to work together and
support them as they empower people and improve our neighborhood.”
“This is a program that has benefitted individuals and public spaces in
several cities,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager.
“We’re proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office and Downtown Streets
Team at Civic Center Plaza to affect change and find solutions that work
for all of our communities.”
Unhoused and unemployed volunteers (aka Team Members) can be spotted
wearing bright yellow shirts as they beautify streets around San
Francisco’s Civic Center, focusing on the public area that stretches
from Civic Center Plaza to United Nations Plaza, as well as around Bill
Graham Civic Auditorium. They’re on the job Monday through Friday, 8
a.m. to 12 noon, sweeping up debris as well as safely disposing of
hazardous materials, including discarded needles. In addition to
beautification efforts, Team Members engage with other unhoused
community members, inviting them to join the Team and take advantage of
housing and employment services.
Since hitting the ground in February, three people already have gained
employment through Downtown Streets Team’s work-first model in San
Francisco. To date, the organization has helped 413 people find
employment, and more than 489 people find housing across the Bay Area.
Downtown Streets Team’s primary objective is to end homelessness, but
the additional benefits include the reactivation of public spaces,
increased awareness of homeless and poverty issues and fostering safe
places for everyone to thrive.
Homelessness is a major issue facing San Francisco and was recently
cited by residents in a Chamber of Commerce poll as their No. 1 concern.
According to the 2015 Point-In-Time Count, homelessness increased 7
percent between 2005 and 2013 and there are more than 6,600 people
experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Downtown Streets Team was
founded in 2005 in Palo Alto after the same concern was raised, where
there has since been a significant decrease in homelessness. Downtown
Streets Team was recently recognized by the Silicon Valley Chamber of
Commerce as Nonprofit of the Year, bringing attention to the
organization’s strategic and unique approach to ending homelessness.
About Downtown Streets Team: In 2005 the Palo Alto Business
Improvement District conducted a survey of local business owners to
determine the biggest issues facing downtown businesses. The group
identified cleanliness and homelessness as the most pressing challenges.
Downtown Streets Team (DST) emerged as result of the collaboration of
local businesses, law enforcement and community leaders striving to make
Palo Alto a better place to live and work. DST does three things
uniquely: 1) is a low-barrier “gateway” to jobs, housing and other
services using work experience as the way to rebuild a person’s dignity
and hope; 2) puts the person at the center to drive their unique path
out of homelessness and 3) brings the community and businesses to
understand there is a solution and they can be part of it too. The model
is simple: provide unhoused and low-income people with the resources
they need to rebuild their lives so they are no longer in survival mode.
First, they join one of our teams and begin working collaboratively on
beautification projects. Meanwhile Team Members work together with our
case management and employment services to find housing and employment.
In 2011, DST expanded to serve the Coyote Creek corridor in San Jose and
in 2012, launched a new project in collaboration with the City of
Sunnyvale and Sunnyvale Community Services. In 2013, DST expanded to San
Rafael. With franchisees elsewhere in California and Florida, and
inquiries from all over the country, DST is positioned to become a
national solution to help end homelessness and restore dignity for those
most in need. DST kicked off 2016 with two honors: “Nonprofit of the
Year” from Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and “Outstanding
Accomplishment in Human Compassion, Dignity and Innovative Leadership”
from Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce. It was also recognized as one of the
Top 50 Innovations in Government by the Ash Center for Democratic
Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
University in 2010. To learn more about the Downtown Streets Team
or to make a donation, please visit www.streetsteam.org.
About Dolby Laboratories
Dolby Laboratories (NYSE:DLB) creates audio, video, and voice
technologies that transform entertainment and communications in mobile
devices, at the cinema, at home, and at work. For 50 years, sight and
sound experiences have become more vibrant, clear, and powerful in
Dolby. For more information, please visit www.dolby.com.
About Dolby Cares
Dolby Cares strives to inspire the next generation of innovators in
science and art, by actively engaging with our neighbors to address the
most critical needs in our community.