During the 2020 summer, Levi’s® and the Giants teamed up to highlight and honor six nonprofits in our community who took action and made a difference for those most in need. While our world has changed in ways we could have never imagined, there remained one constant and that is the work so many in our communities did and are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The six organizations support and are a resource for veterans, homeless, victims of domestic violence, and those that need an extra hand. Each organization received a grant and reusable masks from Levi's. We thank all of these groups, and the individuals volunteering, for their perseverance and selflessness.
Larkin Street Youth Services is a nonprofit devoted to supporting young people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1984, they’ve helped over 75,000 young adults, ages 12-24, move from crisis to stability. Larkin Street provides a continuum of services including: healthcare, housing, employment, and education services. Three out of four youth who complete their programs exit street life.
The primary focus of Larkin Street Youth Services is on the health and safety of the youth they serve and their staff. Larkin Street is committed to continuing to provide critical, life-saving services that young people need to come inside, get housed, and rebuild their lives, which is now more critical than ever. As San Francisco’s largest and most comprehensive service provider for youth experiencing homelessness, Larkin Street works at the intersection of housing, healthcare, education, and employment. All of Larkin Street’s programs have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but continue to provide life-changing services uninterrupted. Levi’s® and the Giants commend Larkin Street for their tireless efforts to assist youth experiencing homelessness, who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, Larkin Street has been able to continue operating all services, ensuring that youth continue to have a strong community of support and make strides towards exiting homelessness permanently.
- Have continued to offer two safe drop-in centers for youth experiencing homelessness and remain safe by restricting the number of youth in the spaces and offering boxed lunches in place of cafeteria services.
- Provide over 400 beds of emergency, congregate, and scattered housing throughout San Francisco.
- Continue to provide healthcare and behavioral health services to youth in their programs.
- Focus on still offering educational and employment services to young people uninterrupted.
Larkin Street's mission is to create a continuum of services that inspires youth to move beyond the street. They nurture potential, promote dignity, and support bold steps by all. To learn more about Larkin Street, visit www.larkinstreetyouth.org
As someone who’s recovering from past substance use, it’s been difficult not being able to go to my support group meetings. I’ve been sober for a year and a half now and I intend to work very hard not to let COVID-19’s impact get in the way of my recovery. That’s not to say it hasn’t been a struggle. Even though I’m able to attend my meetings online, it simply doesn’t achieve the same emotional support as an in-person interaction would. I enjoyed getting to know the people in my recovery meetings, being able to hug them after a particularly difficult session and bask in our togetherness.
I’m grateful to still be able to talk to my therapist at Larkin Street through the phone and still receive support from my case manager whenever I need them. I’m continuing to do my public speaking classes online through CCSF which is also tough given that it requires in-person experience to effectively learn the material. I haven’t been able to do any drag shows which was a special way for me to express myself and build self-esteem. Unlike some of my peers, I’m fortunate to be able to keep my job at Community Housing Partnership. Through all this, I’m learning how to be patient and understanding even as I struggle with these changes that the pandemic has brought."
I was looking forward to visiting New York City in May in hopes of someday moving there but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve had to cancel my plans. As a HR Specialist at Salesforce, I’m able to work from home while also continuing to take a class through Arizona State University’s online program. Even though it’s sometimes difficult to find a quiet workspace in the house, I consider myself lucky since I don’t have to worry about not having a safe place to sleep during this pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak has created so much panic everywhere and it’s hard not to wonder what the next few months will bring for me. My two-year contract with my housing at Larkin Street ends soon which means I will need to find a new place. I’m currently working with my case manager to find new housing in the east bay but that’s been difficult since I haven’t been able to meet with potential landlords in person let alone check out potential accommodations. I can only hope that this doesn’t hinder my impending move.
It’s been a challenging experience learning to adapt to these changes but I’m staying at home and taking these necessary precautions to protect myself and others. I’m very much looking forward to seeing my friends and coworkers again.