Compass Community Services

Housing, education, and employment services for homeless and at-risk.

Compass Family Services is proud to have served the San Francisco community for more than ninety years.  Known until 1995 as Travelers’ Aid San Francisco, Compass was established in 1914 to provide assistance to newcomers to the city, particularly young women and girls drawn by the 1915 World’s Fair held in San Francisco.

Over these ninety years Compass has transitioned to meet the changing needs of our community, providing services to refugees, military personnel during wars, and transient single adults.  Beginning in the 1980s the agency began to focus on the problem of family homelessness as more and more families struggled to maintain stability in San Francisco.

Compass opened Compass Children’s Center (formerly The Tenderloin Childcare Center) in 1976, and in 1990 it became the first licensed childcare program in San Francisco to reserve slots for children from homeless families.  Also in 1990, the agency openedCompass Family Shelter, for homeless families.  Our transitional housing program, Compass Clara House, opened in 1994.  Compass Connecting Point, the citywide entry point into San Francisco’s family shelter system, was established in 1995 under a grant from the San Francisco Department of Human Services.  In 2009 Compass Family Resource Center (formerly the Positive Parenthood Project), and Compass SF HOME, both previously sub-programs of Compass Family Shelter, became the agency’s fifth and sixth formal programs.

Today Compass is a leader in our field, recognized citywide for our expertise in helping families surmount homelessness and extreme poverty.  By providing intensive, personalized and long-term services, we not only stabilize families in crisis and meet their immediate needs, but we give clients the tools and resources to obtain permanent housing, earn a living wage, and maintain lasting stability and self-sufficiency.  We also work closely with the Mayor’s office, city officials and other agencies to identify the barriers families face in obtaining housing and employment, and to facilitate access to the services that are most critical to families’ success.

“Theres a disconnect between the people that live in the tenderloin and people that have access to do cool things with tech. If you can bring them together and integrate them in a way thats genuine and positive. You’re not just bringing one group in to displace the other, but actually engaging people in real conversation & hopefully finding things that each group can offer the other. I’ve certainly learned a lot from the clients I’ve worked with over the years.” —Lisa Dyas

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