Month: December 2015

Stories of Hope from Marin

Everyday, and particularly this holiday season, Downtown Streets Team is proud of our Team Member’s successes. These stories give us hope as we work towards our mission to end homelessness in Marin. In Marin Downtown Streets Team currently has 56 graduates who have moved onto long-term employment opportunities including Isaac, Kevin and Sondra.

Sondra, recent DST graduate.

Sondra, recent DST graduate.

Sondra was homeless and struggling to maintain her two months of sobriety when she decided to join DST. Sondra reflects on her decision to join DST, “That started to change everything… I got to rebuild my life.” Once Sondra made the decision to change her life she immediately began to thrive on the Team. After four months of hard work and collaboration with our Employment Specialist in San Rafael we are proud to report that Sondra is now sober, working full-time at Goodwill, and no longer homeless. Although each Team Member’s success is unique Sondra’s achievements with Downtown Streets Team are not unlike Kevin or Isaac’s.

Isaac became homeless when he lost his job and couldn’t pay his rent. Another Team Member encouraged Isaac to join Downtown Streets Team and Isaac became a leader on the Team and flourished. Recently, as a direct result of DST’s program, he accepted a full-time position at PG&E in Marin! When asked how he felt about his new job Isaac said, “I am so happy, I hope it turns into a career.” Along with Isaac, our Team Member Kevin also found a job at PG&E. Although Kevin is now working full-time he explains, “DST has given me a sense of what it is to give back to the world,” and he wants to continue volunteer work to improve the community.

Together, Sondra, Isaac, and Kevin represent three of the many successes Downtown Streets Team has had in Marin that continue to give us hope in our mission to end homelessness. Sondra reminds us, “All homeless people want is an opportunity to prove themselves. DST gives them that opportunity to show up and work.”

Kevin, another successful DST graduate

Kevin, another successful DST graduate

Isaac works full time at PG&E in Marin!

Isaac works full time at PG&E in Marin!

Nexenta and Supermicro Sponsor San Jose Gateways


CONTACT: Maureen Damrel

San Jose Project Manager, Downtown Streets Team        

PH: (408) 571-9140| Email:



SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Nexenta, the global leader in Open Source-driven Software-Defined Storage (OpenSDS) and Supermicro are proud to announce their sponsorship of a San Jose Gateway to help not only beautify and take care of the environment, but to also help end homelessness. The project is led by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and strives to make San Jose a welcoming city, one gateway at a time.

The Gateways Project, a partnership between nonprofit Downtown Streets Team (DST) and the City of San Jose, is more than a beautification project. It’s also about sharing social responsibility in the fight to end homelessness. Nexenta and Supermicro join Ernst & Young LLP, Wells Fargo and TiVo – the original three companies that sponsored gateways last fall, when the project launched. Other companies that just joined include Adobe, Kaiser Permanente South Bay, Pinger and SunPower.

“By engaging with homeless residing in our city,” stated Mayor Liccardo, “we are able to effectively employ the proven ‘work-first’ model by asking individuals to clean up the very streets they live on. Once engaged in this work, Streets Team offers an opportunity for support, housing, and a path to future employment.”

“Nexenta is honored to team up with the Gateways Project and San Jose Mayor Liccardo, to help beautify our city streets and support our homeless,” said Tarkan Maner, Chairman and CEO of Nexenta. “We’re passionate about empowering our community and giving back to local education and government organizations, and Nexenta’s Gateway sign near the 82/Alameda 880 highway interchange will be a reminder of this every day.”

Each gateway is marked by a bright blue sign, which can be spotted at the on-ramps. Homeless volunteers can be easily spotted in downtown San Jose wearing their bright yellow DST shirts from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 5 p.m.. At first glance many people think they are court ordered to clean – but they are volunteers who have made the choice to work hard to rebuild their lives, while making a positive impact on their community, all with the support of DST. To date, DST has housed 454 homeless and found permanent employment for 363 people. DST also serves Palo Alto, San Rafael and Sunnyvale, with more cities to come.


About Downtown Streets Team: In 2005 the Palo Alto Business Improvement District conducted a survey of local business owners to determine the biggest issues facing downtown businesses. The group identified cleanliness and homelessness as the most pressing challenges. Downtown Streets Team (DST) emerged as result of the collaboration of local businesses, law enforcement, the Palo Alto Downtown Business and Professional Association and community leaders striving to make Palo Alto a better place to live and work. The model is simple: provide homeless and low-income men and women with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.  First, they join one of our teams and begin working collaboratively on beautification projects.  Meanwhile Team Members work together with our case management and employment services to find housing and a job. In 2011, DST expanded to serve the Coyote Creek corridor in San Jose and in 2012, launched a new project in collaboration with the City of Sunnyvale and Sunnyvale Community Services. In 2013, DST expanded to San Rafael. With franchisees elsewhere in California and Florida, and inquires from all over the country, DST is positioned to become a national solution to help end homelessness and restore dignity for those most in need. To learn more about the Downtown Streets Team or to make a donation, please visit