Urban Alchemy, a non-profit based in Los Angeles and San Francisco has opened a new office in San Francisco this weekend, with further new positions opening in Los Angeles in the coming months.
The nonprofit employs ex-convicts to provide social services within urban areas that are struggling with the intersection of extreme poverty, addiction, mental illness, and hopelessness.
Urban Alchemy helps fund the maintenance of public facilities in San Francisco, such as restrooms, side-walks and parks.
Their approach is not to shoo off the street people in favor of the tourists and businesses, but to make things more liveable when everyone is together.
Others are taking notice of what Urban Alchemy is doing. They’ve already got a contract to begin working here in Los Angeles’s Skid Row and they expect to be expanding in the coming months.
In San Francisco, Urban Alchemy employs more than 750 people. They expect that number to grow to 900 by the end of the year.