The 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 available throughout the week. And GAAP does it with only two paid staff members, assisted by many devoted community and Bay Area student volunteers.
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 2,000 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.
GAAP is both a student organization at UC Hastings College of Law and a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. GAAP's two full time paid staff members are supported by more than 30 volunteers from the community and nine Bay Area colleges and law schools, including two Bonner Leader/AmeriCorps placements from St. Mary’s College of California.
GAAP relies on the generosity and strength of our volunteers to staff the drop-in clinic and provide the majority of our essential services. Volunteers are encouraged to commit to three hours per week at the clinic, open every day, except Wednesdays, from 9am-12pm, and 1:30pm-4:30pm.