2022 Annual Report
The past year was a time for renewal, investment, and connection. We reflected on how we overcame obstacles and moved forward with a sharper focus and new energy. We made progress on investing in the team and resident community. We prioritized the health of our workers and residents by bringing people together to rebuild connections that are essential for all of us. We made space for gathering, creativity, sharing meals, collaboration, grief, and, most importantly—love and joy.
We expanded to The Margot, a home for 120 adults and 39 families. The Margot is deeply important to us as it is an opportunity to include families in a beautiful building with a dream team of support services collaborators. In addition, it allowed us to honor supportive housing trailblazer and dear friend Margot Antonetty. Margot had high standards, and we think she would have been proud of the quality of housing at her namesake.
The year was also tragic as we lost too many to the fentanyl crisis. While we mourned the passing of beloved residents, we found hope in the successes of the pilot of the peer responder program. We set a higher standard for overdose prevention that puts tools like Naloxone in the hands of neighbors to keep each other safe. As noted by resident leader Susan, “Having all those resources readily available and accessible, we really do help save lives; it should just be a standard thing.”
That is always our guide—ensuring that prioritizing resident needs is a “standard thing.” We believe our residents and staff deserve a higher standard. Thank you for all you have done to support us to keep building upon what works at DISH.
Co-Founder & Executive Director
This report is a love letter to Jane Levikow, who guided DISH over the last 17 years from a dream to who we are today. Her spirit of compassion, grit, and joyfulness drives our successes, and lifts us up when we need it. Her love for DISH will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
Neighbors Saving Lives
We believe that the most effective way to address the overdose crisis in San Francisco is to put the life-saving tools in the hands of residents – the real experts. In partnership with the DOPE Project, staff and Peer Overdose Specialists at the Minna Lee were trained to respond to emergency alerts, educate their neighbors, and disseminate Nasal Naloxone throughout the community. This life-saving program will be expanding to more DISH sites in 2023.
Investing in Quality of Life
Thanks to our successful City budget advocacy, we secured additional funding to upgrade the amenities at our sites. Per resident feedback, we focused on safety and building improvements by renovating shared restrooms, showers, and community kitchens and upgrading security systems. In addition, to bridge the digital divide, all residents now have access to free Wi-Fi and Digital Literacy classes which include free tablets.
On-site support services are an essential component of supportive housing. As the housing operator, we focus on supporting residents’ holistic needs in their recovery from trauma. In 2022, we expanded our Community Development team, brought in additional programs, including weekly walks and art classes, and partnered with the Healing Well, 18 Reasons’ Cooking Matters, and Community Tech Network for specialized workshops. As a result, residents have been inspired to stay active, express their creativity, and make meaningful connections in their community.
Addressing Hunger at Home
Residents enjoyed more than 15,000 delicious homestyle meals prepared with love by the fantastic chefs at Centro Latino and La Cocina. Most residents report running out of food each month due to insufficient money. We aim to address this tremendous need in supportive housing by raising awareness and pushing for a sustainable funding plan for food security across the sector. Unfortunately, our meal program relies on a patchwork of funding, and residents are at risk of going hungry every month.
“Our home is extraordinarily special because this is where our family is being reunited. It was such a blessing because we were waiting for housing for over a year and a half. Two of my kids – 8 and 22 months old – are already here with me and my partner, and then my two older kids will join us this spring. It has been great so far. We like the security that the building has. All the staff are really friendly, and I like how they do wellness checks and make us feel welcome.”– Anastassia
This spring, we welcomed a new site to the DISH community! The Margot, located in the South of Market District, embodies “supportive housing done right.” This beautiful building, consisting of 120 studios and 40 suites, opened its doors as a Permanent Supportive Housing site for adults and families. It offers a safe, joyful, inclusive, and welcoming home with DISH property management services, on-site support services provided by UCSF Citywide Case Management, and dedicated family support through Compass Family Services. As our portfolio’s largest and most modern site, each unit has a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen to promote total autonomy and self-agency. The space also includes free Wi-Fi, lounges and laundry on every floor, and a rooftop garden for all residents.
This is a big step for DISH as we expanded our focus to include families and increased our portfolio by a third. But, like her namesake, The Margot challenges us to stay focused on providing high-quality service as we grow. Our growth is exciting but dramatically increases the need for resources to serve our community.
“When I moved in, I only had my clothes and a blanket. DISH had set up a TV in my room for me, so my name showed when I turned it on! Now I can watch the news and comedy shows. I can stay home and relax. After experiencing homelessness, it’s really special to me. They also gave me food, a crockpot and a microwave. For the first time in years, I can cook so I’m eating healthier. I already lost weight! It helps with dignity, I feel lifted off the ground, I wouldn’t be able to get all these things myself with my small income. I’m so happy here, I don’t want to go anywhere!”– Elizabeth
After ten years of living in and out of shelters, Elizabeth was finally referred to housing at DISH. She came to visit the Star, and within a week, she moved in! Moving into housing is an exciting and challenging time. Settling into a new building and assuming the financial responsibilities of paying rent and living expenses can be daunting. To ease the transition into her new home, we partnered with Tipping Point to provide groceries, a smart TV, a crockpot, an air fryer, a dish set, and pots and pans to get her started. As a result, Elizabeth felt immediately welcomed in her new community, and the opportunity was “finally a positive after all this negative.” Shortly after joining the Star, Elizabeth was elected by her peers to be a Community Advisory Board member, where she offered the wisdom of her lived experience to guide DISH. Within months, Elizabeth went from living in shelters to living in her own home and representing her community as an elected leader. EVERYONE deserves the same chance to grow to their full potential in a safe, stable environment.
Residents Who Moved on to Independent Housing
“I’ve unfortunately lost quite a few friends due to overdose. Being involved with the overdose prevention in my community, I am able to provide a support to people who do drugs and make Narcan available for them and save somebody’s life, if need be – and there’s been several lives that have been saved in the building because of that program. To offer a service in which your own community comes to you and depends on you, that’s a really good feeling to have.”-Susan
With the fentanyl crisis continuing to take lives, DISH has enhanced our overdose prevention initiatives to protect at-risk residents. Given the stigma of substance use, residents who use drugs are more comfortable reaching out to their neighbors than to staff. Investing in peer-based responses acknowledges that residents are the experts and know what is best for themselves and their community.
Susan moved to the Minna Lee 3 years ago and became a part of DISH’s Community Advisory Board. This past year, she stepped up to be a Peer Overdose Specialist. This team of residents is supported by the National Harm Reduction Coalition’s SRO Project, which trains residents
on preventing, recognizing, and responding to overdose.
At the Minna Lee, Susan and the other specialists have saved several lives by administering Narcan to reverse overdoses. Susan has an open-door policy so her neighbors can come by to get support with safer use. Susan has raised critical awareness on this issue by sharing her experience on KQED and in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Overdose Response Trainings
Led by Peer Responders
“When a resident tells me ‘Good job Adolfo’ it makes me happy to know the resident is satisfied with the work I’m doing. I want residents to feel comfortable in their home and it’s my responsibility to maintain it.”-Adolfo Silva
Adolfo has been a dedicated worker since we started, joining our team when we assumed management of the Star in 2007. Adolfo has grown from a Janitor to a senior Maintenance team member, serving as a role model to newer DISHers. He encompasses DISH’s commitment to making a house a home for residents. Adolfo is best known for his “can-do” attitude, sharing, “I’m here for 8 hours a day. Just tell me what you need, and I’ll get it done.”
Adolfo brings his wisdom, positivity, and reliability to the team, and DISH is proud he recruited his daughter to join the DISH family!
Adolfo is one of 21 DISH staff who qualify for sabbatical leave – a newly instituted 6-week paid leave program for all DISHers of 10+ years (22% of staff!). Shout out to our long-time team members for their invaluable contributions to DISH and their deep commitment to serving the community.
Providing Service 24-7
DISH’s Minimum Hourly Rate
for Frontline Workers Increased from $19.42
“DISH feels like a family environment, so I don’t just feel like I’m coming to work, and I give off that familiar environment for folks living in the building. From the start, I wanted to connect with residents and didn’t want to wait for others to plan activities, so I did it myself. I’ve held cooking classes and card-making and hosted movie-nights, carnivals, parties, bingo – everything you can imagine. Even now, since I have more responsibilities, I still make time to host a full, warm breakfast for residents once a month and encourage my team to get more involved in the community.”-Deje Silas
When Deje first came to DISH as a temporary worker, her energy and compassion fit what we looked for on our team. She started as an Assistant General Manager before moving up to General Manager and is now Senior General Manager at the Auburn and Minna Lee. Deje does beautiful work uplifting the community, supporting and hiring staff, and collaborating with DISH’s support services partners. In addition, Deje brings fun and creativity to her work, addressing housing retention challenges and celebrating the successes at her sites.
Average Tenure of DISH Staff
Welcomed to the Team
“The state of homelessness in San Francisco is intense and volunteering can help the organizations that want to help those who are experiencing homelessness. DISH is an amazing community that brings people from all walks of life together to share their stories and help each other. They are doing important work!”– Isa, St. Thomas Episcopal Church Volunteer
As DISH increases its portfolio – adding 159 units for individuals and families in 2022 – so does our need for support. DISH is focused on expanding our Community Development Program in 2023 to provide more opportunities for connection and creativity across the sites. We will continue to invest in programs addressing basic needs such as food security and overdose prevention that are not adequately funded by government grants and contracts. We need your help to raise the bar for what is standard in supportive housing.
DISH Would Like to Thank Our 2022 Volunteer Partners:
Traction on Demand
Hands on Bay Area
St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church
Chan Zuckerberg Inititiative
for Frontline Workers Increased from $19.42
Here Are Ways You Can Support the DISH Community:
- Join us as a recurring donor by donating at dishsf.org. A recurring donation of $50 will cover the stipend of one Community Advisory Board member to support their advocacy work and improve DISH’s services.
- Volunteer to pitch in on projects ranging from garden plantings to holiday gift wrapping.
- Join the DISH BASH Host Committee: a great party for a great cause.
- Host a “friend-raiser” to highlight DISH’s work.
- Donate supplies for community programs and new items for residents.
- Follow @DISHinSF on social media and share with your networks.
2022 Total Revenue
77% Public Support
14.2% Private Support
8.4% Tenant Rent
.4% Earned Revenue
2022 Total Expenses
*These figures represent unaudited financials for January-December, 2022. DISH is a project of Tides and Tides will soon make available its 2022 audited financial statements.