Transforming the energy in traumatized urban spaces.

Change starts here.

We’re a social enterprise that engages with situations where extreme poverty meets homelessness, mental illness and addiction.

When a neighborhood, street or intersection earns a reputation as a place to avoid, we turn it around. Urban Alchemy is a peaceful and supportive presence, inviting communities to rebuild and restore a sense of pride and respect in urban spaces.

Francine Orr, copyright 2021.
The Los Angeles Times. Used with Permission.

We’re able to do this because we share a special bond with society’s most vulnerable – and because we see ourselves in their struggle. We know what it means to be dismissed and disrespected. We recognize the humanity in those who are struggling and we treat them how we once wished others had treated us.

Urban Alchemy started back in 2018. See how far we’ve come.

Urban Alchemy has been an invaluable partner in keeping our city safe, clean, and welcoming for all. Every day Urban Alchemy’s workers are out on the streets providing essential services and support for so many in our city, and we appreciate their continued partnership in bringing out the best of San Francisco.

- Mayor London Breed

In our experience, the best people to heal society are those who understand what it means to harm it.

Few people know how to withstand the trauma and chaos we see on the streets – it’s usually those who have endured it themselves. Most of our team have served life sentences in prison. Employers aren’t bending over backwards to hire returning citizens. But at Urban Alchemy, their skills are sought-after.

Meet Our Practitioners

Our results are tangible. But the difference we make to people’s lives is unquantifiable.

We know how many overdoses we reversed, how many bags of trash we cleaned up and how many people we brought in off the streets for the night.

The one thing we can’t measure is the value of a life-changing conversation…

or the trust and even friendships that we build with people who were once strangers.

Statistics only tell half the story. Our people tell the rest.