Month: November 2015

Class Rock Sock Drive

A Classic Rock Christmas



We would like to thank Campbell’s Heritage Theatre and the December People for hosting a sock drive for our Team Members!  Socks are the most needed and least donated item for people who are homeless.

See the press release below for more information about this fantastic partnership and chance for you to hear an awesome Class Rock Christmas, while also helping people who are in need of clean, dry socks.



PRESS RELEASE - Heritage Theatre Campbell_CLASSIC ROCK CHRISTMAS & SOCK DRIVE[2] Classic Rock Sock Drive_Poster

Holly is Unstoppable



Meet Holly. 

Holly is a recent graduate of our program who is now housed, employed and one year sober.  She has reached incredible goals and she’s not stopping!

I was sitting there in jail thinking, ‘Give yourself one year and see what happens,” said Holly, a recent graduate of our program.  “I can’t believe I will be one year sober from three addictions.”

This is just one of the life-changing goals Holly met after joining Downtown Streets Team over a year ago.  Now sober, reunited with her daughters, housed and employed, Holly is unstoppable with her upbeat attitude and drive to move forward.

Now a graduate of our program, she is continuing to work hard to achieve personal and professional goals.  She’s fighting for what’s important to her.

“It’s possible for your life to turn around.  If you go after what you want, you can obtain it. I’m making more money than I ever have before and I’m living in my own place – that I obtained myself.” She adds, smiling, “I rearranged my bedroom the other day.”  A simple, yet satisfying pleasure.

She credits her accomplishments to one thing: believing in herself.

“I didn’t believe in myself before – I had such low self-esteem.”  She set goals too big to obtain, so now she’s starting small. “I’ve set a goal to lose five pounds. And maybe that will turn into five pounds a month. I walked 7.3 miles today.  If I can do all these other things, I can lose weight.”

Recently someone said to her, “I like the old Holly.”

And she replied, “Well, she isn’t coming back, so you can forget about her.”

We can’t wait to see what Holly does next, and neither can she.

“I could end up anywhere.  I’m not going to limit myself.”
Share Holly’s Unstoppable story and join the conversation: #HollyHoliday

Take action and donate today!

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We Partnered with High School Students to Clean Up Marin



Last Friday 36 students and 4 parents from Sir Francis Drake High School volunteered alongside 21 Team Members to cleanup a particularly littered stretch of Anderson Drive and Bellam Blvd. in San Rafael. The neighborhood is not only cleaner, it is safer – our Team safely disposed of 15 syringes in addition to several truckloads of trash. Thank you to our volunteers for making this possible!  A special thanks goes out to leadership teacher Kendall Galli who organized the event with Downtown Streets Team (DST) Staff. As always, DST loved the opportunity to engage the community and make it a better place.  Please contact Alena Nelson at  if you’d like to get involved with future events!



Group shot after the three hour volunteer event!

Group shot after the three hour volunteer event!

One of our Team Members, Nelson, working with a student and parent volunteer from Drake High School

One of our Team Members, Nelson, working with a student and parent volunteer from Drake High School

Another Team Member picking up trash with two student volunteers

Another Team Member picking up trash with two student volunteers


Full Circle Farm Project Launches

We have launched a new project with Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale – an amazing garden providing produce for low-income families and local restaurants.  But they need more manpower to keep up with demand, so our Team Members will be gardening there three days a week.  It’s a great collaboration between our Team Members and Full Circle Farm and you are invited to join us!




We had a great first day.  Melissa gave the Team a tour, let them pet and hold the chickens, and gave them small bags of tomatoes and peppers to take home.  We worked on clearing out the field we will be working in: field “B.” Melissa was thrilled with all that we got done in just a few hours.



As we close our second week, the Team can’t help but be filled with a sense of hope for the seeds we’re planting and the harvest yet to come.  Along with walla walla onions, leeks and kale, we’ve been hard at work sewing seeds that will one day blossom into sustainable lifestyles of dignity and purpose.  Our backs are sore from pulling weeds left by the last crop and our hands are dirty from digging trenches and mixing compost in preparation for this season.  We can’t wait to see what grows!

This is the first post of our Growing Hope Farm Journal.  Please check back to our news section often to see our weekly posts about our Full Circle Farm Project.

Post #3: Yavneh 8th Graders Reflect on Volunteering With Our Homeless Team Members

Yavneh Day School 8th grade students are volunteering with our homeless and low-income Team Members on our San Jose Team, every Friday for just over a month.  After volunteering they write about their experiences and share their photos.  Their reflections are below. #StudentsInService

Yavneh Day School 8th Grader

When I was younger I used to go to place called Happy Hollow. Little did I know that behind Happy Hollow lay a camp littered with graffiti and trash – and that was home to hundreds of people. As I was playing with my friends at the zoo, people were suffering literally right behind us. On Friday
October 9, 2015 our class visited Kelly Park, not to go to the zoo, but to pick up trash. We were also told that some big trucks had come by recently and spilled a lot of ink into the creek. The creek was so polluted with ink that it actually was purple and red. Also, there was so much trash around the creek and under the overpass – I was stunned. The creek smelled bad, too.

As we walked through part of the creek I saw a lot of graffiti. It was a beautiful contrast to see the colorful graffiti against a scene that was otherwise so sad and ugly. This visit and clean up work was a life changing experience. Remembering that I went to Happy Hollow more than once a month when I was little and never realized all of this was going on; this trip opened my eyes to what
is happening in our community.

Ben and Aaron
Yavneh Day School 8th Grader

We just spent another morning with DST members, this time working at the creek behind Happy Hollow.  The most interesting part was hearing the stories of the Team Members while we worked. One Team Member told us that she finally got a housing voucher and was going to have her own home that she could stay in – forever.  She explained to us about the vouchers and how she only has to pay a portion of her income to get to live in this apartment.  It was great to see how excited she was!   We also talked to a DST member who had experienced a lot of stress in her life. She used to be a drug addict like her husband, but now she’s divorced and living on the streets.  She has three daughters, some still in school and others not.  We hope she finds something that will help her life become less stressful.  Finally, we talked to a man about his experience in jail. He was released and is now getting his life back on track. He loves working with the Streets Team and told us that this organization is a big part of his being able to get his life back on track.  He likes giving back to the community.  All the people working for Downtown Streets loves their jobs and are grateful that DST is helping them get their lives back on track.

Read more reflections here: Students In Service