The Coalition on Homelessness was formed in 1987 to foster the active participation of homeless and low-income San Francisco residents and front-line staff in the struggle for economic and social justice. Through an integrated approach that combines outreach, peer support, leadership development, public education, advocacy, and community organizing, the COH works to defend homeless and low-income people from attacks on their rights and their persons, while advocating for permanent solutions to homelessness that take into account not only poverty's devastating effects, but also its root causes.
Extensive peer outreach is at the heart of everything we do: We do not bring our agendas to poor and homeless people; they bring their agendas to us, and our efforts on their behalf (on both personal and political fronts) are shaped by their input and active involvement.
The Coalition encompasses the following four workgroups:
These workgroups foster collaboration among homeless people, concerned community members, and providers of social, healthcare, housing, employment, and legal services, to address the needs identified in the outreach systematically and effectively. Coalition workgroups are de facto educational as well as social communities: members can act as teacher, learner, or both by turn, sharing individual strengths to increase their combined capabilities. Homeless and low-income people seeking to advance their office skills can enjoy on-the-job training while working at the Coalition office, and additional educational and leadership development opportunities are available through affiliated courses and organizations.