Shelter Tech

Building digital products and bridges for the most vulnerable


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GuideStar Charity Check

Shelter Tech

EIN: 38-3984099


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


Co-Executive Director

Melissa King

Co-Executive Director

Bill Soward

Main address

268 Bush Street #4302


Show more contact info



Subject area info

Digital divide

Community and economic development

Human rights

Human services

Housing services

Population served info

LGBTQ people


Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

At-risk youth

NTEE code info

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

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms

Show Forms 990



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 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?


Shelter Tech
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.00 over 5 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4 over 5 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1% over 5 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Shelter Tech

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Shelter Tech

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Shelter Tech

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Shelter Tech’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $89,198 $11,825
As % of expenses 63.2% 3.8%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $89,198 $11,825
As % of expenses 63.2% 3.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $230,391 $322,993
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 40.2%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 47.5% 71.2%
All other grants and contributions 52.5% 28.8%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $141,193 $311,168
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 120.4%
Personnel 0.0% 49.2%
Professional fees 100.0% 34.6%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 0.0% 16.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $141,193 $311,168
One month of savings $11,766 $25,931
Debt principal payment $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $152,959 $337,099

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2021 2022
Months of cash 13.4 6.5
Months of cash and investments 13.4 6.5
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 13.4 6.5
Balance sheet composition info 2021 2022
Cash $157,922 $169,748
Investments $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $169,748
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0
Total net assets $157,922 $169,748

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2021 2022
Material data errors No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Co-Executive Director

Melissa King

With over 20 years of experience in business, non-profit and public policy, Melissa leads strategy, operations, and communications for high stakes initiatives that improve people's lives. As Co-Executive Director at ShelterTech, she leads the development and delivery of innovative solutions that help people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. Melissa has successfully led and managed multiple campaigns and projects in digital equity & inclusion, patient advocacy, public relations, industry relations, and organizational design, both at the national and international level. She has a strong background in general management, public policy, communications, and non-profit leadership, with an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Philosophy from Wellesley College. She is passionate about creating positive change for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in our society, as well as for our planet.

Co-Executive Director

Bill Soward

Bill is CEO at Titan Seal, a blockchain start-up company based in San Francisco. He is also Co-Executive Director at ShelterTech, a non-profit solving the biggest technology challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness. Previously, Bill was Chief Operating Officer at Lecorpio, a global leader in cloud based (SaaS) enterprise intellectual property management software, that merged with Anaqua in 2017. Prior to Lecorpio, he was CEO and President of Adaptive Insights, the global leader in cloud based budgeting, forecasting and reporting. Prior to Adaptive Insights, he was an Executive in Residence at Accel Partners. Prior to Accel, he was General Manager of FRS, part of S1 Corporation and also served as the interim CEO of both S1 Europe and S1's Edify business unit. Prior to joining S1, he held a variety of executive roles at Edify Corporation. He also served in management roles with Siemens-ROLM and IBM, and was Managing Partner and CFO of a residential construction company.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Shelter Tech

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Shelter Tech

Board of directors
as of 02/13/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Hicham Sabir

Philips Lighting

Term: 2017 - 2025

Derek Fidler

Bebo, Inc

Richard Xia

Joe Freund


Leland Garofalo


Phil Chu


Bill Soward

Titan Seal

Melissa King

Healthspan Action Coalition

Annalisa Adams-Qualtierre

Skoll Foundation

Katie Halasz

Hicham Sabir

ESG Advantage

Ruochen Huang


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.


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
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


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

  • 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.