GAAP | General Assistance Advocacy Project’s mission is to provide education, empowerment and advocacy to those who need it most. GAAP serves over 2,000 homeless and marginally housed San Franciscans each month by helping them obtain and retain the public benefits to which they are entitled. GAAP is the only free walk-in public benefits clinic in San Francisco.

GAAP was founded in 1985 by a group of students from University of California-Hastings College of Law in response to the unmet need for advocacy on behalf of the homeless and those in imminent danger of joining their ranks. At its humble beginning, GAAP volunteers worked out of a local San Francisco homeless shelter two days a week. Now, GAAP provides free legal assistance, counseling, and supportive services to more than 30,000 clients a year, most of whom are homeless, disabled or both, out of our permanent location in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

“We need to help people do a better job of connecting with some of the resources around them. The current system is not working; just being given cash benefits that aren’t enough to survive on. If there is some way that local businesses can help the poorest get access to things they need — I like the idea of the old bartering system. There is potential for a creative currency set up here; there is a lot of work needs to do as far as educating people and people feeling comfortable with it. The TL feels its isolated from the rest of the city anyway. A set up that lets community build up internally could only be positive.” —Gary Lewis

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