With Youth, Through Adversity

Side by Side is a community-based, non-profit organization serving at-risk young people and their families.


Side by Side’s mission is to walk with young people impacted by adversity toward a future with connection and meaning.

When a group of civic-minded women started an orphanage in San Anselmo in 1895, they couldn’t possibly have imagined the vital and diverse agency this organization has become. From an orphanage that housed 100 children in Marin County, we now serve nearly 2,000 youth and their families across the Bay Area.

Those founders may very well have helped what was then the San Francisco Presbyterian Orphanage and Farm (yes, our original name!) through the 1918 influenza pandemic, so they would probably have sympathy for the challenges that we face today. Managing through times of crisis is in Side by Side’s DNA.

We meet our young people exactly where they are. We work with them to heal from trauma they may have suffered previously and provide coping strategies to handle the additional stress that our youth currently face. That’s been our job for 125 years…and hopefully for another 125 years to come.

Learn more about our history

Reach for the Stars Gala

This year’s Reach for the Stars Gala will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at a private estate in San Rafael.

Experience the Golden Age of Hollywood! Join us for an evening of glamour, al fresco dining, and libations in support of our youth. Hosted by California Senator Mike McGuire, our signature gala promises to strike a note of elegance and whimsy while raising critically needed funds for Side by Side’s behavioral and mental health programs across the Bay Area.

Buy Tickets or Sponsor the Event
Reach for the Stars Gala
We are committed to supporting the successful life transitions of homeless and disconnected youth, and see the Real Alternatives program as an invaluable partner in accomplishing our mission to improve the lives of our young people.
Charles Kallgren, , President, Five Bridges Foundation
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