Downtown Streets Team is ending homelessness by restoring the dignity and rebuilding the lives of unhoused men and women. Serving the community through work teams prepares members for permanent employment and housing.
Downtown Streets Team (DST) was founded in 2005 under the Palo Alto Business Improvement District (BID) as an initiative to reduce panhandling and homelessness in the city, specifically targeting the downtown Palo Alto area. Under the direction of DST's current Executive Director, Eileen Richardson, DST broke away from the BID in 2006 and ran independently as a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Since 2006, DST has grown exponentially and has launched new teams in San Jose, Sunnyvale, and San Rafael, as well as two franchisees in Daytona Beach, Florida and another in Gilroy, California in addition to the original Palo Alto team. Because of this growth, DST's programs have continued to expand and currently offer over 140 homeless and low-income men and women the opportunity to change their life. DST's primary goal is to empower individuals to transition from lives of homelessness and instability into lives of permanency and self-sufficiency and, in doing so, effectively end homelessness as we know it.
Where We Work
What We Do
While our vision is to end homelessness, our model revolves around having homeless people volunteer on beautification projects in all of our cities. Everyday our homeless folks are making an environmental impact. We have collected 2.5 million gallons of debris from neighborhoods, streets, creeks and waterways. We have collected over 1.5 million cigarettes that would have otherwise ended up in the San Francisco Bay.