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Organization Information

Ritter Center


Ritter Center helps low-income residents improve their lives through free integrated services including medical and behavioral health services, housing, case management and financial assistance.

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Success Story

Grandad and Local Resident Pops was Homeless for 8 Years Until He Found Ritter Center

Pops has been housed since 2012, works at a local school, and helps out at Ritter Center

San Rafael grandad and Ritter Center client and volunteer, Pops, lived in his car for 8 years following a job loss. Ritter Center became his community hub and a lifeline for everyday essentials. In 2012, Ritter found Pops a permanent home.

“In 2004 I was laid off. I wasn’t getting along with the guy I was living with, so I put my stuff into storage and moved into my car. That was it. I became homeless at that moment and although I never slept on the streets, I lived in my car until 2012,” said Pops.“I was fortunate in that I always had a vehicle and usually some form of employment, but my job just wasn’t secure enough to sign a lease on a place to call home."

“Ritter Center was a great place for me to do laundry and take a shower. In 2012, Ritter helped me find a spare room that was available in Novato and a few months later, I had a place in the Canal District. I am able to afford it on my income and it is a wonderful place to call home. I help out at San Rafael High School athletic games making sure the teams have water and trainers have medical equipment. I maintain the golf carts. Of course, this was all pre-COVID. I look forward to returning when it is safe again. I have been there 21 years and I miss it,” shares Pops.

"The Ritter food pantry is also important. There is a lot more demand during the pandemic. It fulfills a need because many families aren’t working now and they need a little extra help to get by. Beans, cans of tuna, and peanut butter. Every little bit counts."