Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly - San Francisco
San Francisco Bay Area

Seniors are the fastest growing segment of population in the United States and, by 2025, one in every five people will be over 65 while the number of individuals over 85 will have doubled. Today, 25,000 seniors live alone in the city of San Francisco.

In a society that increasingly separates the generations, Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly brings them together, offering a life-enriching experience to young and old alike.

Our mission is to reduce isolation among San Franciscans who live alone and who are either disabled or over 65 through outreach, advocacy and companionship. We are constantly reviewing our programs to respond to the unmet needs of our elders by offering services currently unavailable through public or government agencies, such as escorted medical visits and in home social interaction.

To accomplish our work, we rely on the support of more than 3,000 volunteers and over 600 volunteers who give their time every year. Since we are only as effective as the volunteers that give their time, we are always looking for motivated volunteers who enjoy the company of elders and want to give back. If this describes you, please read about our volunteer opportunities or contact our office.

We currently serve close to elders who reflect the cultural diversity of San Francisco, coming from such varied backgrounds as Russian, Norwegian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, African American and Hispanic.  Our Elders are from 62 to 106 years old with an average age of 81. Women represent 71% of the total number of elders we serve. Our programs are available and open to all without consideration for race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, financial means, mental health or physical condition.

Although we serve the entire City and County of San Francisco, our elders tend to be more concentrated in the disadvantaged areas of the Tenderloin, Mission, Western Addition, South of Market and Bayview/Hunter’s Point. These districts have an overall higher density of isolated at-risk seniors existing solely on government assistance. In addition to social isolation, many elders suffer from the added complications of mobility issues, loss of hearing or vision, and chronic medical conditions.

A significant percentage of our elders live in single room occupancy hotels that are old and not always maintained to code, placing the residents at an even greater physical risk. This adds to the critical importance of our work as LBFE volunteers are often the first to observe any changes or deterioration in the physical and environmental conditions of the elderly. The volunteers immediately report any such changes to LBFE staff who then help the affected elder(s) receive the necessary services and assistance.

Now more than ever before, LBFE’s ability to provide services and companionship to isolated elders, as well as advocacy on their behalf, is a matter of growing consequence and urgency.


To contact our office for more information, please visit the “About Us” section of this website.