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Downtown Streets Team Launches in Novato with Mission to End Homelessness

Post Date:04/20/2017 12:20 PM

Photo of Downtown Streets Team Novato members 

Through instrumental partnership with the City of Novato and the County of Marin, homeless service provider, Downtown Streets Team (DST) has launched a program in Novato, providing our community’s unhoused men and women with work experience and case management services.

A special ribbon cutting event welcoming the Downtown Streets Team to Novato will be hosted by the City of Novato on Wednesday, April 26th from 11 am- noon at the Novato Civic Green, 901 Sherman Avenue.

Since it’s official launch in January of this year, 10 Team Members (all of whom are homeless or at risk of homelessness) in Novato have joined DST’s program. In addition to focusing on employment and housing for members, the program addresses environmental needs of the community through sidewalk and street cleaning, garbage and debris removal and most recently, gum removal on Main Street. 100 percent of DST’s Team Members in Novato are local to the city.

“Expanding our program in Marin is a win-win for everyone—the downtown business community, the residents, our civic leaders and most importantly, people experiencing homelessness in the community,” said Eileen Richardson, CEO of DST. “We hope to assist at least five people in securing employment in our first year in Novato.”

DST’s primary objective is to end homelessness. Additionally, the program has resulted in the reactivation of public spaces, increased awareness surrounding the issue of homelessness, and fostering safe places for everyone to live and play.

“We are working together to end homelessness in Novato and Marin County,” said Novato Mayor Denise Athas. “By connecting these individuals to vital resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare, we have the opportunity to improve their lives in meaningful and lasting ways. Dignity through working is what this Team is all about and it is inspiring to see this Team grow. The Downtown Streets Team is a grand slam for our community!”

The DST approach is proven, effective, and has seen significant success through employment, housing and Team Member self-stability across the Bay Area, assisting 670 people in securing permanent housing and 599 in securing employment lasting over 90 days. Additionally, more than 3 million gallons of debris has been removed from the cities DST operates in including: San Jose, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Hayward, San Francisco and San Rafael.  

The Novato Team Members can be spotted wearing bright yellow shirts as they beautify streets Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Downtown Streets Team, a Bay Area 501(c)(3) is ending homelessness through the dignity of work. DST first launched in 2005, with a program in Palo Alto. Since then, its expanded to now serve seven communities throughout the Bay Area: San Francisco, Hayward, San Rafael, Novato, San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto. Since it’s inception, Downtown Streets Team has assisted 599 Team Members secure employment for more than 90 days, 670 Team Members secure housing, removed more than 3.6 million gallons of debris from our streets and parks, upcycled more than 1.7 million cigarette butts, and has forged relationships with hundreds of community partners. Recent accolades have included “Nonprofit of the Year” from Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, “Outstanding Accomplishment in Human Compassion, Dignity and Innovative Leadership” from Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce and the “Excellence in Innovation” from the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.  It was also recognized as one of the "Top 50 Innovations in Government" by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  To learn more about the Downtown Streets Team or to make a donation supporting your local community, please visit

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