Our Programs

Larkin Street provides a robust continuum of wraparound care to help young people thrive, including outreach/engagement services, health/wellness, housing, education and employment.

All of our services are tailored to meet young people where they’re at, making our programs easy to get into and hard to fall out of, with the ultimate goal of helping young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for independent adulthood.

Many of the young people we encounter have been hurt or abandoned by individuals in their lives. Our engagement programs are the crucial first step in building trust between young people and our program staff, who are a supportive and visible presence on the streets, and in our shelters and drop-in centers.

Drop-in centers, located in the Tenderloin and Haight neighborhoods, provide a safe refuge from the streets, and for some young people, are the only indoor spaces they can access. We make it fun and welcoming with events and activities in addition to hot meals, showers, laundry, computer access, and behavioral health services.

These entry-level services give young people the support they need to begin to rebuild their lives.

  • Street Outreach: our street outreach team offers food, clothing and hygiene supplies, as well as information connecting youth directly to our programs, including our medical clinic, HIV prevention and testing, emergency shelters, housing programs and counseling.
  • Youth Access Points: provide referrals to emergency, transitional & permanent housing for youth ages 18-25 year old. Coordinated Entry housing search within Larkin Street programs and beyond. Youth Access Points are at 134 Golden Gate and HSRC.
  • Haight Street Referral Center (HSRC) and Engagement and Community Center (ECC): drop-in centers for young people, offering meals, hygiene supplies, showers, laundry, computer/web access, special events, housing intake & problem solving, group activities, case management, individual and group counseling, links to programs and build supportive communities. Learn more about accessing our drop-in centers here.

Medical and behavioral health supports are critical components in Larkin Street’s continuum of services. Our medical clinic provides free primary care and HIV-prevention, including confidential testing.

Our trained case managers use evidence-based techniques like motivational interviewing to help young people develop a plan for their future that includes the coping strategies needed to tackle life’s daily stresses. Larkin Street also incorporates mindfulness training alongside classes on nutrition, cooking and yoga.

We take a holistic approach to caring for our young people, providing them with the tools to care for themselves.

  • Medical Clinic: free preventative, primary & sexual medical care including rapid HIV testing, behavioral health, family planning, and health education. Referrals for eye, dental & podiatry. Support accessing Medi-Cal & Covered California through Case Managers at Larkin Street.
  • HIV Specialty Services: provides specialized HIV medical care, medication management, viral load monitoring, HIV risk education, harm reduction supplies and PrEP navigation to help youth avoid contracting or transmitting HIV.
  • Case Management: individualized support to connect youth to Larkin Street housing, education/employment services, behavioral health services, community resources, and other supports.
  • Behavioral Health: brief and long-term therapeutic supports to help young people manage overall mental wellbeing. Specific services include: drop-in, check-ins, individual therapy, and psychoeducation groups.
  • Residential Aftercare: case management for up to one year for young people who have exited our services to support them in reaching their goals.

Larkin Street is San Francisco’s largest non-profit provider of housing for young people experiencing homelessness, providing more than 114,000 bed-nights of emergency and supportive housing each year. In addition to our two short-term shelters, Larkin Street offers more than 400 housing beds for up to two years or more.

More than just safe places to sleep, our housing programs offer comprehensive supports to young people, including individual/group counseling, life skills trainings, and more. Some provide 24-hour onsite staffing, while other programs give young people the chance to live more independently in their communities.

Several housing programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of over-represented groups among those experiencing homelessness, including young people who identify as LGBTQ+, those who have experience with the foster care system, and those dealing with mental health issues.

All housing programs provide a stable and supportive platform, enabling young people to take meaningful steps toward independence.

  • Youth Access Points:
    • TAY (Transitional Age Youth) Navigation & Youth Access Points: provide referrals to emergency, transitional & permanent housing for youth 18-25 year olds. Coordinated Entry housing search within Larkin Street programs and beyond. Youth Access Points are at 134 Golden Gate and 1317 Haight Street.
  • Supportive Housing:
    • Geary House and 1020 Haight: two-year congregate transitional housing programs.
    • Casa Adelante: a supportive housing program that provides 29 units of permanently affordable apartments for transitional age youth and parenting youth.
    • Castro Youth Housing Initiative (CYHI): a two-year scattered-site housing program for young people who identify as LGBTQ including our housing program for transgender youth.
    • Assisted Care: congregate site housing with onsite specialty services for young people who are HIV positive and HIV vulnerable
    • LEASE: scattered-site housing for former foster youth.
    • Edward II and Routz: long-term supportive housing with on-site case management; with a focus on young people with mental illness at Routz.
  • Rental Subsidies:
    • Pathways: a graduated rental-subsidy program helping young people afford their own apartments.
    • Rising Up: a time-limited housing program that provides rental assistance and supportive services to youth and young adults exiting homelessness. Rising Up places participants in independent housing with a subsidy to support them to achieve housing and economic stability.
    • TAS (Transition and Stabilization Program): services & support offered to youth after they exit the residential housing continuum & transition toward self-sufficiency with counseling, referrals for at least one-year post exit.

Young people who are experiencing homelessness spend time and energy every day wondering where they are going to sleep that night. This reality, combined with the stress and trauma of the experience of homelessness, means that they are more likely than their peers to stop attending school, which is directly linked to lower lifelong earning potential. We offer several levels of programming tailored to address this educational achievement gap, from GED tutoring to college success programs and everything in between.

To prepare young people for careers in key Bay Area sectors like technology and healthcare, our employment programs also fall on a spectrum, from introductory day-labor opportunities and basic job readiness classes to month long career explorations within these areas.

Young people have access to trained staff in group and individual settings to explore career pathways, pursue internship opportunities, untangle financial aid requirements, and get job placement support.

The combined aim of our education and employment services is to prepare young people for meaningful, sustainable, living-wage employment that makes lasting self-sufficiency possible.

Employment Programs:

  • ETP (Employment Training Program): 2 week job readiness training helping students make resumes, learn how to apply to jobs online, practice interviewing skills, learn financial literacy, and more to prepare for employment.
  • Youth Force: 3-month paid internship to practice workforce skills in the community, including the Tenderloin, Haight District and Embarcadero through a partnership with the Port of San Francisco. This program covers financial literacy.
  • Employment Success Services: One-on-one counseling to help find and apply to jobs.
  • Externships: Real-world experience being placed at employment partners in a highly supportive environment.
  • Financial Literacy – partnering with finance & accounting firms for budgeting, credit, savings & debt reduction.

Education and Academic Support Programs:  

  • GED Tutoring: 8-week boot camp instruction with one-on-one tutoring available for the high school equivalency exam including bilingual support.
  • Bridge Academy: 8-10 week cohort-based college readiness curriculum with support to successfully transition into college
  • Learning Centers: 3-month paid cohorts and drop-in workshops exploring foundational topics in technology, healthcare, and cross cultural studies.
  • College Success: One-on-one counseling on enrollment, credit transfer, financial aid and scholarship resources for both new and returning college students.
  • Scholarship Program: A year-long program for new and returning college students enrolling into non-profit universities to provide community and financial support for college matriculation.
  • ACE Program (Attempt, Cultivate & Execute): One-on-one support with a college success counselor for current college students, with financial incentives for consistent meetings.

Art Program:  

  • The Creatives Lab: 3-month paid cohort training youth on creative expression, including visual arts, dance, and music ending in a final performance.
  • Workshops: Drop-in classes on illustration, dance, music production and more.
  • Recording studio: One-on-one support with audio engineers in a professional level recording studio to mix and master music.
  • Externships: Paid placement in arts-based employment with community partners.