Happy Holidays from Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing!

 This Thanksgiving we were especially grateful as we reflected on our first 5 years in operations and our successful Anniversary Bash. Your support of DISH is at the top of our list of things for which we are thankful. We are gearing up for December holiday celebrations at all of our sites, and the generous donations we have received this year allowed us to plan for exciting events. This year we will have live music to accompany the hearty holiday feasts as well as a generous bag of gifts for each tenant. While we are in good shape for the holidays, your financial support remains critical to our ability to achieve our mission of ending homelessness in San Francisco. There are a number of options for you to consider to find the one that is the perfect fit!

Have a loved one that is impossible to shop for?  Consider making a donation to DISH in their name. DISH will send out a personalized greeting card to the recipient informing them of your generous gift towards ending homelessness. Include your donation in the envelope provided, and just make sure to indicate that you would like a card mailed to notify the recipient of your gift and include their mailing address.

Buying gifts online this year?  Use Good Search and Good Shop!  Good Shop is a website that allows you to link directly to many online retailers so that your online shopping can support our organization.  Simply select DISH as the organization you support, get to your desired webstore through GoodShop, and a portion of your purchase will be donated to us at no additional cost to you. http://www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx

Looking to get a donation in before the end of the year to help out with taxes? You can make a year-end contribution by sending a check in the enclosed envelope or on line at https://dishsf.org/get-involved/.

Short on cash but big on love for DISH?  We can help! You can sign up to make a contribution each month or quarter to DISH automatically on your credit card. While you may not even notice the expense each month, we will greatly benefit from having a predictable source of income that we can count on to help us do more for our tenants. To become a DISH Sustainer, simply go to https://dishsf.org/get-involved/ and you will be directed to the Tides donation page through Network for Good. Select DISH as the project you wish to support and note the amount and frequency of your contribution.

Additional support for DISH at this time will assist us in our continuing efforts to build community and improve our buildings and services. As the holiday season races by, we are humbled to pause and reflect upon the fact that over our 5 years, we have been able to say “Welcome home!” to 762 individual tenants who have left the chaos of the streets behind for the comfort of a room in one of our properties. Here are some of our greatest hits of the last few months to keep our supporters connected with the latest at DISH.

Our tenants: Achieving stability in housing after being homeless is a challenge that all of our residents face. We are amazed by our tenants and their incredible resiliency and strength. We continue to take pride in the high rates of housing stability and low eviction rates across our sites: 84% of our tenants have remained successfully housed for at least one year and the rate of eviction at our sites is 2%. Both of these results exceeded our contractual obligations with the Department of Public Health, and are a sign of the effectiveness of supportive housing as a solution for ending homelessness. Everyday DISH staff is inspired by how much our tenants value their housing as we watch them make meaningful changes in their lives.

Our team: Our staff continues to thrive and we enjoy a very low rate of staff turnover. This year we were able to add a part time Community Builder to our team through the support of the Yahoo! Employee Foundation. This is an exciting addition for us as we strive to create more opportunities for our tenants to get connected to each other and to the larger community. Our tenants can look forward to more opportunities to come together in the coming year including a tenant appreciation party and a wellness fair this spring.

In addition to expanding our team, we have been fortunate to partner with the Los Angeles office of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (www.csh.org) to provide training and share experiences and best practices with property management providers. It has been a great experience for us as we worked with over 26 organizations over the course of the year in Los Angeles. We were able to share our expertise, learn from our colleagues, and provide staff development opportunities for our General Managers who participated in the trainings and knowledge exchange sessions. We look forward to continuing to pursue opportunities for training and capacity building with other supportive housing providers in the coming year.

Our buildings: We made great progress this year in upgrading our facilities thanks to the hard work of our staff and the investments of  our building owners and the Department of Public Health. With the partnership of our owners, we are in the final stages of completing a major elevator modernization project at the Windsor which will result in a great improvement for living conditions at the property. We were also able to secure a major upgrade to other building systems across our portfolio including new security cameras, phone systems, and plumbing upgrades. To help us achieve our lofty goals for improving our sites, we continue to partner with Hands On Bay Area who recently sent us a couple of amazing crews from Johnson Controls to spruce up the Star and Le Nain hotels. We are also continuing to make strides in improving the energy efficiency at our sites through the LIHEAP program of the Economic Opportunity Council. Through this program, we have been able to provide upgraded energy efficient appliances and heating systems at the Pacific Bay Inn and Camelot Hotel. The remaining DISH buildings are in the queue for this incredible program which also provides a cash benefit to our tenants.

While we are incredibly grateful for our successes and the support we receive from the Department of Public Health and our fiscal sponsor the Tides Center, we need you so we can do more!  We hope that we can count on your continued support to be part of our efforts to end homelessness.


With gratitude,

Lauren Hall and Doug Gary, Directors

Published on December 13, 2011