Wieckowski names Downtown Streets Team Hayward Nonprofit of the Year

June 5, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Downtown Streets Team Hayward (DST), an organization dedicated to ending homelessness and empowering unhoused men and women, was honored today by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) as the Nonprofit of the Year for District 10 during the annual California Nonprofits Day Luncheon on the South Lawn of the state Capitol.

“Downtown Streets Team Hayward is getting results by working with local homeless people, and those at-risk of becoming homeless, to create a pathway to stability for the unhoused and their peers,” Senator Wieckowski said.  “They are helping people join their team, collaborate with others, learn new skills, clean neighborhoods and gain stable jobs and housing.  They have removed about 300,000 gallons of trash within Senate District 10 through their beautification projects.  Twenty-one DST participants have been housed and 20 have secured employment in Hayward alone.  Now, they are also striving to help California achieve an accurate census count through peer to peer outreach in unincorporated Alameda County and Hayward. I am proud to recognize Downtown Streets Team Hayward as the District 10 Nonprofit of the Year.”

Founded in 2005, DST chapters have enabled 938 people to go from unemployment to holding a job for more than 90 days.  Team members have removed over 7.7 million gallons of debris from Bay Area streets and waterways. In exchange for their volunteerism, team members receive case management, employment services and basic needs assistance to help them navigate to greater economic self-sufficiency.

“Downtown Streets Team is honored to accept State Senator Wieckowski’s award as Nonprofit of the Year,” said DST East Bay Director Julia Lang.  “Downtown Streets Team (DST) is a low barrier work experience program that was recognized in 2018 as one of only five evidence-based best practices for homelessness interventions by the League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties’ Homelessness Task Force. Volunteer teams of unhoused individuals change perceptions of homelessness while cleaning up their community.”

DST believes that when people are treated with dignity, they’re empowered to be a part of the solution, Lang said. Its individualized approach not only challenges team members to take an active role in their recovery, but they’re also encouraged to assist their peers with long-term solutions to end their homelessness permanently.

“With severe increases in homelessness, 31% in Santa Clara County and 43% in Alameda County from 2017-2019, we need to step up and fight for innovative and effective opportunities for those experiencing homelessness,” Lang said.  “We are grateful for Senator Wieckowski’s dedication to improving the lives of Californians experiencing poverty and homelessness and look forward to future legislation to ease epidemical homelessness in the Bay Area. Downtown Streets Team is striving to create pathways to self-sufficiency to those who need it most. We dedicate this award to all of our team members out there making a difference in their own lives and in the community. We are humbled by this distinct honor and recognition.”

Senator Wieckowski’s 10th District includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.