building stronger community using church real estate for affordable housing

Spread the Word: 5 Nonprofits Helping Bay Area Communities Succeed with Affordable Housing

DCG Strategies is proud to serve the nonprofits and faith-based communities that are making a difference in the lives of Bay Area residents, especially when it comes to affordable housing and emergency shelter needs.

Our team of experts gives real-world solutions to property needs. These organizations, in turn, do the work of helping families, meeting needs and building a stronger community for us all. 

While these five agencies are by no means the only ones doing great work in our region, they are exemplars of the kind of forward-thinking work being done every day by the talented and caring servants working among us.

churches and other faith based institutes providing affordable housing


Catholic Charities of San Francisco Offer Affordable Housing

Human needs almost never fit nicely into one category. They spill over. They overlap. Which is what makes the wide range of services of Catholic Charities of San Francisco so valuable. Their scope of service is broad enough that they can meet community members wherever their needs lie, including with affordable housing solutions.

Through the first eight months of 2019, Catholic Charities, with offices in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin, has operated 35 programs that have served more than 33,000 people. Their programs focus on older adults, children and youth, immigrants and people who are homeless. 

Their work building six new apartments for residents of their Star Community Home emergency shelter earned coverage last month on ABC7. Six mothers and 10 children were able to move out of the shelter and into stable, affordable housing of their own. 


Community Housing Partnership

Listen to the language Community Housing Partnership uses to describe what it does, and you’ll hear a phrase keep popping up: recovering from homelessness. 

Whether a person is sleeping on the streets or in temporary shelters, going for a period without a place to call home is a traumatic experience. It’s not something you can wipe off on the welcome mat when you finally get your own front door again. 

That’s why Community Housing Partnership offers a suite of services to the 1,400 San Francisco residents who live in its 17 buildings. Offerings include case management, career help, and health services. And time.

A former resident, Neal, became homeless in 2012 as a domino effect of his wife’s advanced dementia. He spent two years in shelters before finding Community Housing Partnership. They gave him the time and help he needed to grieve, heal and get back on his feet. In 2018, he moved into his own apartment. Rather than needing to recover from his four years with the housing partnership, he says he will go back and visit. “They have done so much for me.”


La Casa de las Madras

The effects of domestic violence go far beyond the physical. Such abuse can have long-lasting consequences for victims — including the children who witness it. La Casa de las Madras takes a three-pronged approach to short-circuit the abuse, treat its effects and help prevent it from happening again.

The first prong is to give people a place to go to remove themselves from an abusive situation. The shelter is available to those in imminent danger from domestic violence. The agency also has trained staff and volunteers who can be reached by phone around the clock. 

The second prong seeks restoration. La Casa helps women, teens, and children rebuild their lives free of violence by assisting with restraining orders, safety planning, housing assistance, counseling and economic empowerment.  

Finally, the agency offers public education outreach to help victims and allies recognize the signs of abuse and take proactive steps to protect themselves and others. A special program for teens teaches young people, in age-appropriate ways, about dating violence and healthy relationships. 


engaging community building affordable housing

Larkin Street Youth Services

In San Francisco County, 4.2 percent of public school children are homeless and grappling with a lack of affordable housing options. Larkin Street Youth Services is aiming directly at that population with a proactive approach to finding, serving and supporting these vulnerable young people.

A child in need doesn’t always know where to go for help. Larkin goes to them with a roving street outreach team that offers food, everyday items such as socks, and service referrals. They also operate two drop-in centers that provide additional services.

Because the needs of homeless children are as diverse as the community, Larkin operates eight different types of housing assistance programs, including shelters, short-term housing, and specialty housing programs for young people who were in the foster system, are HIV-positive or identify as LGBTQ. 

Once in the Larkin system, youth have access to medical and mental health programs as well as education and employment programs that help young people find internships, jobs, study for the GED or apply for college.


Raphael House 

Homelessness is about more than lacking your own roof and bed. Raphael House, a San Francisco nonprofit, recognizes the greater context that causes homelessness and the greater goals families have beyond securing shelter. 

Perhaps the best example of this was the seven high school–age students who went on Raphael House’s annual college tour earlier this year. The students’ families were in the house’s Bridge Program, which allows families that have found their own home to still access Raphael House services. Because finding a home is different than keeping one. And living in a home is different than thriving in one.

Raphael House organized tours of three universities in Southern California. For some of the students, it was their first time on a college campus. The students also learned about the college application and financial aid process — a daunting obstacle that keeps many would-be college students from even starting their college journey.

Tackling issues like affordable housing and emergency shelter are a daunting goal. Unlike other commercial real estate companies in the Bay Area, DCG Strategies comes to the table with a background in non-profit, government, school and charitable real estate projects. Contact DCG Strategies today; the health and well-being of your community can’t wait.