heart bench poppy tiled steps slide 2 9th Ave and Irving Reliable library
A Grassroots Response

Inner Sunset Neighborhood San Francisco

This website is dedicated to making the Inner Sunset a vibrant neighborhood for people of all walks of life in a truly democratic way.

Neighborhood Watch

Inner Sunset Homeless People Project

The Inner Sunset Homeless People Project's aim is to identify the homeless people living in the Inner Sunset and help them live better lives and help them get off the street. At the least, it will make Inner Sunset neighbors know who is living on our streets. It will humanize and make them more approachable. It is an experiment.


Tips for Approaching Homeless People

Small Items that a Homeless Person May Need

A little about Project Homeless Connect (PHC)

Project Homeless Connect (PHC) Volunteer Opportunities

San Francisco Free Help Charts

I Just want to Donate to a Worthwhile Homeless Organizations in San Francisco

Experimental Inner Sunset Homeless People Project

Tips for Approaching Homeless People

These tips are from Project Homeless Connect (PHC) Outreach Walk and have been modified to be for more general use. These modifications are not from PHC. The outreach walk is a good way to get experience outreaching to a variety homeless people with support. You can sign up here.

Be safe, be aware, and notice!


1.      Meet Homeless People at their Level.
o      If they are sitting, crouch down. If they are standing, stand next to them. If they are performing, respect their audience space and stand to the side if you would like to reach out.
2.       Listen to the Homeless Person.
o      If they say 'no', thank them for their time.
3.       Offer Resources.
o      You can offer resources. At PHC they offer kits. On this website we will suggest things to offer. One favorite thing is new socks.
4.      Stay in Groups of Two.
o      One person "engaging" with the homeless person, one person on "lookout" and staying aware. You may switch roles between interactions. This depends on the situation around you. PHC outreach walks are conducted in the Tenderloin neighborhood where the buddy system is beneficial.
5.      Say Who You Are.
o      Explain that you are a Project Homeless Connect volunteer (if you are). Ask the individual if they would be interested in learning more about PHC. PHC cards can be printed from this website.


1.      Offer Housing.
o      There is limited availability in San Francisco. PHC is open Monday through Friday. People may know about our events but may not be aware of our every day program.
o      Drop In Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30am - 12:30pm (the earlier people arrive the better). Appointments are possible outside of these hours too.
2.      Wake People.
o      Sleep is a very precious commodity when you are experiencing homelessness. Please do not disturb people if they appear to be asleep.
3.      Offer Personal Information, Belongings, or Money to Homeless persons.
o      During the outreach walks, you are volunteers of PHC, and we have a strict policy accepting or giving gifts to homeless people. Offering money outside of PHC volunteering is up to you.
4.      Accept Gifts or Money from a Homeless Person.
5.      Attempt to Assess the Homeless Person’s Needs.
o      Refer a homeless person to PHC and our services. Our team of specialists are equipped to assess and assist people experiencing homelessness.
6.      Touch Individuals or Their Belongings.
o      When approaching a homeless person, imagine sitting in your living room and having a stranger walk in your front door and attempting to engage you, that is what you are doing with the homeless persons you are meeting today. Be kind, polite, and aware of everyone's personal space.
7.      Push lt.
o      If someone isn't interested in talking with you, thank them for their time and walk away.

Other Tips...

   If you feel uncomfortable approaching anyone, trust your instincts and do not approach them.
   Treat everyone with respect and dignity. You can make someone's day simply by being polite and friendly (remember the last time someone treated you nicely in public?).

A pdf of Tips for Approaching Homeless People can be download by clicking here.

Small Items that a Homeless Person May Need

- Socks
- Food (especially portable like bars, unless they are hungery at the time.)
- Water Bottle
- Antibiotic ointment for cuts and scrapes.
- Bandaids
- Comb or Pick
- Toothbrush/Toothpaste
- Hand Sanitizer Gel
- Information on Project Homeless Connect

If you have any ideas to add to this list, please share: homelessproject@innersunsetsf.org

Download, print, cut Project Homeless Connect (PHC) business cards that can be given to homeless people. Click here for the pdf. It is fine to print them on regular paper to give out. You can print only one side, but if you print both side on a single paper, the back and front of the business cards should line up.

Project Homeless Connect (PHC) business card frontProject Homeless Connect (PHC) business card back

A little about Project Homeless Connect (PHC)

PHC uses a unique approach to service delivery to meet the needs of homeless San Franciscans. We are serving more than 6,000 people every year through Community Day of Service events and in-house weekly services. In one day at a Community Day of Service event, a person experiencing homelessness can find services that would otherwise take months to secure. Volunteers, nonprofits, and government agencies provide participants with services through PHC. These services include dental care, eyeglasses, HIV testing, HepA Vaccines, housing information, groceries, hygiene products, medical care, mental health services, SSI benefits, legal advice, California identification cards, voice mail accounts, employment counseling/job placement, wheelchair repair, addiction services, and more.

In 2012, we launched Every Day Connect, our weekly in-office program. Every Day Connect is a program within PHC that builds on the success of our large-scale service events. Every Day Connect works to connect people experiencing homelessness with social and medical services and resources on a daily basis.

PHC is a program of the San Francisco Public Health Foundation, a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.


Project Homeless Connect (PHC) Volunteer Opportunities

In-Office Volunteers

We often have volunteer opportunities supporting . Whether providing extra in-office support to our resource specialists, or answering our Resource Line, our volunteers help PHC run efficiently. To learn more about ongoing roles, please inquire at https://www.projecthomelessconnect.org/volunteer/ or e-mail volunteer@projecthomelessconnect.org.

Outreach Walks

Come connect to our neighbors on the street through our Open House Outreach Walks! You’ll get to know each other through a compassion building training on homelessness in the Bay Area, and then raise awareness about homeless services in the course of offering resources such as fresh socks and snacks directly. Bring your friends and family, 18 years old and up, every First Friday of the Month from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Project Homeless Connect (PHC) Volunteer Webpage for all opportunities: https://www.projecthomelessconnect.org/volunteer/

San Francisco Free Help Charts


You can download six charts in English or Spanish) to help people in need find free food, shelter, medical aid, mental aid and help with neighborhood problems in San Francisco. The charts are updated on a quarterly basis.

I Just want to Donate to a Worthwhile Homeless Organizations in San Francisco

Handup.org https://handup.org/members#category/spotlight
Lava Mae https://lavamae.org/
Project Homeless Connect https://www.projecthomelessconnect.org/donate/donate-now/

Experimental Inner Sunset Homeless People Project

A larger approach to this is Handup.org: https://handup.org/members#category/spotlight

After asking a homeless person if they want to participate, people can send in details of what they know or find out about the homeless people living in the Inner Sunset. If it is OK with them, we can do small bio pages here. If people, a city agency, or non-profit are actively helping a homeless person, we can list that here. We will see what happens.
Details like:

• Name
• Picture if it is OK with them
• How long have they been homeless?
• Their history.
o How did they become homeless?
o Where did they come from?
o Family members?
• What would they like to happen?

People will have to e-mail me details as they find them out: homelessproject@innersunsetsf.org

It is helpful if the information comes in a form that can be copied and pasted.

While it is encouraged that people discuss the homeless people and homeless problem on forums like NextDoor, I will not publish information from a forum. It is important that people e-mail me with what they want published to the project. By e-mailing me, you acknowledge what you want to share. Your e-mail and name will not be published unless you want them to be. InnerSunsetSF.org is not a commercial entity so no data sharing with anyone.

If you have any suggestions for the homeless people project, Please Share.

David- Older gentleman who sits around Lincoln and 9th Ave Golden Gate Park entrance. He has been in the neighborhood a number of years. Non-aggressive.