Forging pathways to housing.

Oakland, CA   |  http://www.operationdignity.org


Operation Dignity assists homeless veterans and their families. We provide emergency, transitional and permanent housing for homeless in Alameda County, California. We also offer comprehensive support services, nutritious meals and a strong peer community. Our goal is to help veterans rediscover hope and provide the tools needed to live a self-sufficient and stable life.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Marguerite Bachand

Main address

318 Harrison St. Ste. 302

Oakland, CA 94607 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

While veteran homelessness is declining nationally, Alameda County is one of the major areas where rising housing costs continue to make homelessness, especially among veterans, a major challenge. Local data estimates that more than 500 veterans in our county are homeless. In our programs, we serve those veterans who struggle with the most barriers to housing and stability. Among the people in our veteran programs: • 86% report living with a long-term disability (often with multiple health conditions, including physical and mental health challenges and substance use). • 13% enter our programs without any sources of income. • 35% are older than 60.

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?

Veterans' housing and shelter

To provide transitional and permanent housing in a safe environment for homeless veterans and families,.

Population(s) Served

We conduct street outreach to between 60 and 125 people who are homeless each day in Oakland and Alameda, CA.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Resident services and/or case management to help homeless families retain their housing.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

We partner with the City of Oakland on its "community cabins" program. This program offers up to six months of shelter and housing navigation services to people who are coming from designated Oakland encampments.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 programs help veterans address and overcome these barriers to housing by providing stable shelter and transitional housing, supportive services, and a strong peer community – all helping the veteran leave homelessness behind for good.

Operation Dignity provides shelter, housing, and services to help veterans and their families escape the crisis of homelessness and regain stability. We operate 15 shelter beds and 91 transitional housing beds for veterans at three properties in Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley. In 2018, we served 215 homeless veterans, providing them with a safe place to stay, healthy food, and case management to help them escape homelessness and enter permanent housing.

We use evidence-based practices to provide exemplary services to the veterans in our programs. These include Housing First, which asserts that homeless individuals have the best housing stability when they enter housing as soon as possible, with supportive services to help them remain housed; Harm Reduction, which works to help people struggling with addiction reduce their substance use and refocus on their goals; and Trauma-Informed Care, which helps people who have experienced trauma (including many veterans) heal and move forward.

Our housing sites provide homeless veterans with a safe, private, dignified environment in which to live and engage in services.

We operate three sites: Ashby House in Berkeley, which offers 7 transitional housing beds for single male veterans; Dignity Commons in Alameda, which offers 54 transitional housing beds for both male and female veterans and their children; and House of Dignity in Oakland, which offers 30 units of transitional housing and 15 of emergency shelter, both for single male veterans. Veterans can stay in shelter for 6 months and in transitional housing for 24 months.

All sites offer private bedrooms; on-site case managers and service offices; accessible units for people with disabilities; shared kitchens and common areas; on-site parking; a clothing closet of suits, shirts, and other needed items; access to free rides in our agency van; and either three hot meals daily (House of Dignity) or access to an on-site pantry and local food programs to help veterans secure their own affordable food (Dignity Commons and Ashby House).

From the first day homeless veterans walk into our programs, we are dedicated to helping them secure permanent housing. Our eight full-time case managers provide comprehensive on-site services to all residents, based on their individual needs and goals.

Each veteran works with their case manager to complete an individualized service plan (ISP) that identifies the veteran’s housing goals, such as securing a voucher, reuniting with family, or finding a board and care home. The case manager then works with the veteran to create achievable, measurable steps to address potential barriers to that housing and work toward their goal.

Every veteran works with their case manager to create a totally personalized and dynamic plan that derives from their needs and goals. For example, one veteran may seek to access disability benefits and find affordable in-home care, while another may wish to look for work and address a substance use issue. Our case managers work with veterans where they are and help them get to where they want to go.

To support the veteran and help them keep up their progress on their ISP, the case manager meets with the veteran each week to check in on their goals, troubleshoot any issues, and update the plan as the veteran meets goals and sets new ones. Case managers’ offices are on-site where veterans live, so they have opportunities to engage with veterans throughout the week, build a strong rapport, and be available if veterans have questions or concerns.

Our strong outcomes show our success in helping homeless veterans regain housing and self-sufficiency: in FY19, 78% of veterans in our transitional housing exited to permanent housing (well over the VA’s goal of 65% for similar programs), and 88% left with a secure source of income to help them pay for housing.

Our commitment to secure permanent housing for veterans has not changed with COVID-19, but we have adjusted our practices to keep veterans and staff safe. E.g., we have suspended in-person groups and meetings; educated the veterans on COVID prevention and staying healthy; and distributed personal protective equipment and hygiene supplies. We are working closely with Alameda County Public Health and the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley to stay abreast of best practices in disease prevention, and have a written plan for COVID response that we have used to train and prepare all staff.

Even as our community continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19, we are more dedicated than ever to keeping homeless veterans safe, healthy, and on track to regain housing.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    People experiencing homelessness in Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley, especially veterans and those living in encampments.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We experimented with hosting an Narcotics Anonymous group at one of our sites, after hearing interest from residents. We were unfortunately not able to have a consistent facilitator, but the sessions we tried helped residents feel heard. We have also educated our case managers on more NA and similar resources in our community, so that they are able to help residents connect to services nearby.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,



Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.


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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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.


Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dan Lopez

James de los Reyes

Morgan Clyde

Dale Adams

Cathy Boer

Sylvia Soublet

Nick Friend

Gretel Tortolani

Saleemah Jones

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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/06/2020

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.