California currently has an estimated 200,000 homeless children which accounts for 4% of the overall public-school population. The vast majority lack the basic necessities to flourish in school and are unable to participate in life enriching activities such as sports, traveling, and artistic endeavors.
Take a moment and explore local children’s charities who are providing essential services such as transitional housing, education, food, and youth development programs to children with the most need.
My New Red Shoes works to improve the quality of life and well-being for children and youth experiencing economic hardship by ensuring access to basic needs such as shoes and clothing while cultivating a sense of belonging.
Beyond filling an unmet need, My New Red Shoes also boosts school participation, promotes dignity, and helps to strengthen families.
The Children’s Book Project gives free high-quality books to underserved children of all ages to provide literacy, learning, and essential skills.
Since 1992, Children’s Book Project has provided over 2.5 million books to children in shelters, schools, day cares, and community centers throughout the Bay Area.
The Princess Project promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school teens who cannot otherwise afford them.
Since 2002, The Princess Project has helped provide prom dresses for more than 20,000 teens in the San Francisco Bay Area.
DrawBridge provides art programs for homeless and other underserved children in an environment that inspires creativity, joy, self-confidence and hope.
Self-expression during and immediately after homelessness helps relieve the negative impact of the experience and can free the child to heal and have positive life experiences.
Cake4Kids bakes and delivers birthday cakes for foster children and at risk youth.
Since 2010, Cake4Kids has aimed to raise children’s self-esteem and confidence by delivering thousands of cakes which have made endless children smile and feel special.
Huckleberry Youth's mission is to educate, inspire, and support underserved youth to develop healthy life choices, maximize potential, and to realize their dreams.
Since 1967, Huckleberry Youth has provided over 200,000 San Francisco and Marin youth and their families with a network of services and opportunities by caring peers and adults.
Fred Finch Youth & Family Services seeks to provide innovative, effective services supporting children, young adults, and families to heal from trauma and lead healthier, productive lives.
Starting out as an orphanage in 1891, Fred Finch continues to help young people overcome challenges including homelessness, economic disadvantage, mental health and cognitive disabilities, and histories of significant trauma and loss.
First Place for Youth helps foster children build the skills they need to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency and responsible adulthood by providing a safe place to live, job opportunities, and educational guidance.
Founded in 1998, First Place is a national leader in providing evidence-based direct support which steers foster youth away from homelessness, unemployment, and poverty.
Project Night Night’s mission is to provide free packages to homeless children from birth to pre-teen containing a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag.
Since 2005, Project Night Night has donated over 30,000 gift packages each year.
BayKids mission is to empower children who have serious illnesses by expressing themselves through the power of filmmaking.
Since 2000, BayKids has been turning young patients into proud filmmakers and has helped over 6,500 children experience the joy of creative expression through filmmaking.
Since 1994, Home Away has enriched the lives of thousands of children and youth impacted by homelessness by providing emotional, social, recreational and educational support.
Home Away provides multi-faceted programs that create supportive environments in which homeless youth can attain their full potential, live healthy lives, and break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
GirlVentures combines outdoor adventure with social emotional learning for adolescent girls in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since 1997, GirlVentures has provided young girls’ with confidence, skills, and leadership as they backpack, hike, kayak and rock climb in the Northern California wilderness.
Children of Shelters provides tutoring, music lessons, art supplies, and summer camps for children in transitional housing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Children of Shelters has served over 400 children every year since 1995. With over 2,500 homeless children currently living in San Francisco, Children of Shelters delivers a hands-on approach for helping these youngsters.
United Playaz is a San Francisco based violence prevention and youth development organization.
United Playaz provides a comprehensive range of services to prepare vulnerable youth for higher education, employment, and healthy living within a safe, nurturing, and collaborative environment.
City of Dreams mission is to help the youth living in San Francisco’s underserved communities build brighter futures through mentorship and youth development.
Since 2004, City of Dreams has provided time-tested approaches of experiential learning and mentorship throughout their various programs.
Family House serves as a home away from home for families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by providing physical comfort and emotional support, free from financial concerns.
Founded in 1981, Family House provides temporary housing to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Over the course of a year Family House serves more than 4,000 families.
Girls on the Run inspires girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Trained coaches lead small teams through research-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games.
During the course of a ten-week program, girls develop essential skills to help navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.
Youth UpRising seeks to transform East Oakland into a healthy and economically robust community by developing the leadership of youth and young adults and improving the systems that impact them.
Youth UpRising is a neighborhood hub offering youth services and programs to increase physical and mental well-being, community connection, educational attainment, and career achievement.
Aim High is committed to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps in Northern California through their transformative summer learning program.
Founded in 1986, Aim High’s summer enrichment program has empowered thousands of middle schoolers from low-income neighborhoods, igniting their love of learning and yielding real results—97% of Aim High alumni graduate high school and go on to college.
Since 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services has given more than 75,000 young people a safe place to rebuild their lives.
As San Francisco’s largest nonprofit provider for young people experiencing homelessness, Larkin Street Youth provides housing, education, employment training, and health and wellness support to help these young people get off the street for good.
The East Bay Children’s Book Project helps build literacy by putting books into the hands of children who have little or no access to them. Too many children in the Bay Area live in homes without books, and attend schools and programs where books are in short supply.
Working through individuals and organizations who help children in need, East Bay Children’s Book Project has given out more than two million free books since opening their doors in May 2005.
New Door aims to guide disconnected youth ages 16-24 in a new direction. Without connecting to school and work, these young people are at high risk to be poor, unemployed, homeless or incarcerated throughout their adult lives.
Since 1981, New Door has provided skills training, meaningful jobs, education assistance and personal support to help disconnected youth get ready for work and life.
Mission Graduates provides a wide range of afterschool, in-school, and summer programs helping to establish college education as an expectation and goal for every child.
Each year, Mission Graduates reaches over 3,100 low-income children, youth, and families from San Francisco’s Mission District, emphasizing college as a means to achieve economic equity and strengthen the fabric of our community.
Girls Inc. of Alameda County provides long-lasting mentoring relationships and research-based programming that equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers to grow up healthy, educated and independent.
The vision of Girls Inc. is for all girls to feel valued, safe, and prepared to achieve their dreams of college, career, and leadership.
KEEN provides free recreational opportunities to children and young adults with disabilities by pairing them with trained volunteers for fun, noncompetitive activities.
Since 1992, KEEN has raised the confidence of thousands of disabled youth in the San Francisco Bay Area by offering a wide range of programs and activities.
The mission of HOMEY is to transform the lives of high-risk youth and inspire them to not only choose a path of education, self-sufficiency and non-violence, but also strive towards physical, mental and emotional health.
HOMEY does this through youth development practices of cultural and artistic expression, skill building, relationship building, and youth participation in decision-making and community involvement.
The Village Project has been bringing economic, educational, and social resources to children of San Francisco since 2006.
Starting as a lunch program, the Village Project has expanded to include academic and summer enrichment programs for the public youth. They focus on family oriented projects to strengthen the bonds of the community it supports.
Edgewood is a premier provider of a full continuum of behavioral health services that transform the lives and restore the hope of children, youth, and families in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since 1851, Edgewood has come to the rescue for thousands of abused, neglected, and traumatized children by providing residential, community-based, and school-based programs to make it easier for children to overcome their challenges and transform their lives.
Black Girls CODE empowers young women of color, ages 7 to 17, to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their community, and builders of their own future through exposure to computer science and technology.
Since 2011, Black Girls CODE has reached over 3,000 students and has helped young women pursue their passions, find stability, and self-confidence that comes from understanding the greatest tools of the 21st century.
At The Crossroads provides valuable services to homeless youth by handing out basic necessities such as food, socks, and hygiene supplies.
Since 1998, At The Crossroads has helped over 7,500 homeless youth and has partnered with other organizations, connecting the youth with resources such as jobs, housing, education, health care, and mental health services.
Homeless Youth Alliance provides accessible, non-judgmental outreach, one-on-one counseling, medical and mental health care, creative and educational workshops, syringe access and disposal, and accurate up-to-date referrals and information.
Homeless Youth Alliance strives to empower young homeless people to protect themselves, educate each other, reduce harm within the community, and transition off the streets.
Variety’s mission is to serve children in San Francisco and Northern California who live and grow up with a serious illness, disability or disadvantage.
Since 1947, Variety has evolved into a leader of programs to support the needs of disabled, critically ill and disadvantaged children without proper access or coverage by insurance, hospital services or government agencies.
Kids & Art Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cancer care by focusing on the whole child in treatment by including healing through arts in their protocol.
Founded in 2008, Kids & Art seeks to improve well-being during treatment, as survivors, and in bereavement. Together they use art for healing, to empower, encourage, and create memorable experiences.
For over forty years, Safe & Sound has partnered with local nonprofits to pioneer programs to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact.
Safe & Sound offers a coordinated system of care which builds on the strengths of a family and supports them with educational workshops, community events, parenting classes, counseling, and basic needs like groceries and bus tokens.
Since 1992, Homeless Children’s Network has empowered families to become more stable and confident, raise healthy and independent children, and develop skills and training that will help lift them out of homelessness.
HCN offers consultation support, case management, family education, mental health & violence prevention services, and youth leadership to homeless and formerly homeless children ages 0-25 years old.
Sunday Friends empowers families to break the generational cycle of poverty by fostering positive development in children while educating and guiding parents to support their children's life success.
Sunday Friends offers an integrated economic environment filled with opportunities in which families work together and earn basic necessities, discover new skills, and develop inner strength leading toward self-sufficiency.
For over 20 years, Pivotal has focused on creating better life outcomes for foster youth in Silicon Valley by helping hundreds of youth graduate from high school and go on to college.
Pivotal makes a long-term commitment to the student’s success by having expert coaches working with youth one-on-one to reach their academic and employment goals. Pivotal also offers scholarships, professional development workshops, summer internships, and job placement.
Child Advocates of Silicon Valley serves children aged birth to 21 years old who are placed in the Santa Clara County foster care system for having experienced trauma in the form of abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment.
Child Advocates ensures every child has a caring and stable adult in their life, an Advocate, while navigating the system, and influences local policies and decisions that affect the children they serve.
Today’s Youth Matters provides year-round programming and mentoring for at-risk youth by guiding students through a transformational journey that instills resilience and helps fulfill their God given potential.
TYM offers a reliable and unique blend of mentorship, life skills and tools to help students build up character and leadership qualities in order to thrive and discover their true potential.
Oasis for Girls partners with young girls of color, aged 14-18, from under-resourced communities in San Francisco to cultivate the skills, knowledge, and confidence to discover their dreams and build strong futures.
Oasis for Girls provides culturally relevant and gender-specific programs which span academic and career exploration, creative arts, and social justice. The programs empower girls and build sisterhood throughout their high-school years and beyond.
CASA of San Mateo County seeks to ensure that all abused and neglected children under the protection of the court have a consistent, caring adult who speaks on their behalf and helps them reach their full potential.
CASA of San Mateo pairs children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems with community volunteers who provide one-on-one support, mentoring and advocacy in the courtroom and beyond. CASA volunteers help children heal from trauma and access the services they need to thrive.