The homeless men and women we help, as well as staff and graduates of our program decorated the ornaments. Our staff decorated the tree itself. All of the decorations are hand-painted with our colors by the homeless men and women in our program. Having them play a key part in the decorating helps them feel like they are a part of their community and not invisible, as they are so often disregarded and passed on the street as if they don't exist. It means so much to them to simply decorate a tree that will be seen by everyone in San Jose. The plastic painted cups represent the debris and trash we remove from city streets across the Bay Area.
Downtown Streets Team is a nonprofit that is helping homeless men and women find employment and housing. Our model is simple: provide homeless and low-income men and women with the resources they need to rebuild their lives. First, they join one of our teams and begin working collaboratively on beautification projects throughout the community. Currently we have teams in Palo Alto, San Jose, San Rafael and Sunnyvale. In return, the Team Members receive a stipend in gift cards to help cover their basic needs, while taking advantage of our case management and employment services to find housing and a job. Our ultimate goal is find our Team Members employment because having a job restores hope and opens the door to countless opportunities.
We help the community everyday by beautifying our downtown streets, neighborhoods and creeks but the community at large can help us by donating. We also have many volunteer opportunities and other opportunities to make in-kind donations. The options to help are endless.