GOLD2024

Shelter Tech

Building digital products and bridges for the most vulnerable

SAN FRANCISCO, CA   |  http://sheltertech.org

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Mission

ShelterTech believes everyone has a right to technology. We improve access to the internet, provide digital training, and operate the largest online directory of homeless services in San Francisco. ShelterTech was founded in 2016 by Darcel Jackson after he was injured at work and experienced life on the streets. His vision was for technology that served those who need it most, and that continues to drive our core mission. We work directly with people who have experienced homelessness to build the most impactful products and services. Our programs target three core problems faced by those experiencing homelessness: poor access to the internet, difficulty finding reliable information for homeless services, and the digital divide separating the tech community and underserved communities.

Ruling year info

2016

Co-Executive Director

Melissa King

Co-Executive Director

Bill Soward

Main address

268 Bush Street #4302

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94104 USA

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EIN

38-3984099

NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

People experiencing homelessness face three main challenges to effectively utilizing technology to improve their situation. The first is access to reliable internet and digital tools. Low-income people often have access to smartphones and computers, but can't reliably access the internet in places they live, like emergency shelters, single-room occupancy hotels, and transitional housing. The second is accurate information about homeless services. In San Francisco, there are over 500 homeless services providers, but up to date information on what services are available and how to access them did not exist in a unified place before AskDarcel, the online directory of homeless services we provide. Finally, is digital literacy. There is a growing digital divide between low income and homeless people and housed people. We provide training and jobs that improve digital literacy to people experiencing homelessness.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ShelterConnect

ShelterConnect installs WiFi in shelters and Single Room Occupancy buildings throughout San Francisco and in other Bay Area cities to provide free internet access to residents. As of November 2023, we have installed 27 WiFi networks in shelters and SROs, serving more than 2200 people a day/night.

Population(s) Served

SF Service Guide (SFSG) is an online directory of human services in San Francisco, launched in 2019. Focused on homelessness, SFSG covers a variety of other services including access to food and mental health services. We work closely with government and non-profit partners to keep the guide accurate and up-to-date.

SFSG includes, as of November 2023, more than 500 organizations and more than 1800 services spread across those organizations. The guide provides information on those 1800 services to help people in San Francisco experiencing homelessness and other forms of insecurity (job, food, medical) find the help and human services they need.

Population(s) Served

ShelterTechs Community Representatives team restarted operations in 2022 after having been on hiatus during the pandemic. The Community Reps meet monthly and work together to develop plans and materials for spreading the word about SF Service Guide in the community most in need of services. The team hosts 2-3 events per quarter at San Francisco SROs and shelters, informing people about SF Service Guide, providing demos of the guide and sharing their own experiences to make the guide relatable to our audiences. The Community Reps also attend and provide support to volunteers at our Datathons, conducted to vet the resources listed in SF Service Guide so we can keep it as current and correct as possible. The Community Reps often share their stories with Datathon volunteers, which helps illustrate the impact and importance of the work the volunteers are doing in helping us keep the guide current and correct.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Ethnic and racial groups
Substance abusers
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people
Ethnic and racial groups
Substance abusers
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people
Ethnic and racial groups
Substance abusers
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to close the digital divide between the tech and underserved communities of San Francisco. To accomplish this we build solutions that address the technological issues facing those who experience homelessness. We hope to make progress towards this goal by providing free WiFi in all Bay Area Shelters before 2024.

We hire people that have experienced homelessness to guide our product development decisions. Through direct feedback with the community we're working for, we've been able to create the relationships that are vitally important to growing and serving the homeless community.

Additionally, we've leveraged a popular organisational framework in the tech industry, the Open Source model, to maximise our impact per dollar raised. All our leadership and program teams are all-volunteer, allowing us to utilise millions of dollars worth of in-kind volunteer hours to develop our programs at a fraction of the estimated cost.

Our all-volunteer team is made up of tech industry professionals, developers, and designers, startup founders, government employees, homeless service providers, and people who have experienced homelessness. This unique and diverse team has enabled us to leverage people's professional experience and capacities with none of the cost of hiring full-time staff.

Our technical team has experience building globally scalable products which enables us to build state-of-the-art, industry standard services for the homeless community.

Our leadership team is composed of founders, engineers, finance and human resources leadership allowing us to develop a unique open source all-volunteer organisation that is effective and resilient to individual changes in the composition of the team.

So far we've provided free internet access to over 2,400 people in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area via our wifi installations. Our online directory, the San Francisco Service Guide, has grown from our starting point of 200 services to over 1,800 services, spread across more than 500 organizations included in our guide, and we've gone from one man's idea to an online directory of homeless and human services that is the choice of the Mayor's Office of San Francisco.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Shelter Tech
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Shelter Tech

Board of directors
as of 02/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Hicham Sabir

Philips Lighting

Term: 2017 - 2025

Derek Fidler

Bebo, Inc

Richard Xia

Joe Freund

MyVest

Leland Garofalo

CloudFlare

Phil Chu

Springboard

Bill Soward

Titan Seal

Melissa King

Healthspan Action Coalition

Annalisa Adams-Qualtierre

Skoll Foundation

Katie Halasz

Hicham Sabir

ESG Advantage

Ruochen Huang

Salesforce

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/13/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/27/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.