Since its founding in 1889, Felton Institute has expanded its programs while providing cutting-edge services to address the needs of the community.

The history of this 133-year-old institution is one of progress and innovation. As of the period of this report (July 2020 – June 2022), Felton boasts over fifty programs serving those impacted by the justice system, individuals struggling with mental health, preparing children for educational success, providing older adults with critical resources, and more. In addition to program expansion, Felton has grown to a workforce of nearly 500 employees as well as extending its geographic reach to five Bay Area counties that include Alameda, Marin, Monterey, San Francisco, and San Mateo.

Founded in 1889 as the first nonsectarian relief organization in the city of San Francisco, Felton’s historical timeline is one that encompasses innovation and community resilience. Its services are interwoven into the fabric of San Francisco’s history; in 1906, Felton directed the entire San Francisco Earthquake Relief Program, provided services for orphans, and introduced the first employment agency in the United States, as well as other notable accomplishments.

Since that time, Felton has created award-winning mental health services, early care and education programs, support for teen parents, service linkage for the unhoused, and reentry resources, among other vital services.

Felton Institute is a leader in providing groundbreaking services to families & communities.
Felton Institute empowers all they serve.
Older adults benefit from Felton’s services that provide support, service linkage, and vital resources.

To honor these accomplishments, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared October 30th Felton Institute Day in 2019.

Mayor Breed said of the historic organization, “Felton is an important partner in making us deliver what is necessary to make San Francisco a better, more equitable place for our residents.”

That sentiment especially rang true when the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, bringing hardship, fear, and uncertainty to the nation. Honoring Felton’s long history of successfully responding to local and national crises, the organization reacted swiftly and efficiently to the pandemic.

We accomplished this by adapting to shelter-in-place protocols that transformed needed services into virtual models and provided critical programs to the community. As the nation moves out of the darkest days of the pandemic, Felton Institute continues to provide services with compassion and care, leading the way in providing vital support and empowering communities, whether operating as Associated Charities, Family Service Agency of San Francisco, or as now Felton Institute.


Felton Institute responds to the needs of our community by providing innovative, evidence-informed social services to transform lives. Our organization offers 50+ programs that address mental health, the unhoused, early care and education, those impacted by the justice system, transitional age youth, as well as aging adults. Our award-winning programs, which have been recognized as national models, combine the latest scientific research with cultural sensitivity and a deep commitment to supporting and reflecting the communities we serve.

Founded in 1889, Felton is the oldest secular non-profit social services provider in the City and County of San Francisco. We have expanded our services across most Bay Area counties and continue to be at the forefront of pioneering new approaches to meet the emerging needs of underserved populations.

We know what it looks like to successfully build community.

We foster impactful change by strengthening the community as a premiere service provider. We also strengthen other service providers by supporting them in their fiscal, human resources, communications, IT and overall agency operations. With Felton’s support, they are able to focus on providing the best services to their clients, doing the work they were meant to do.

Felton empowers the community and ensures successful outcomes to all we engage with.

Felton Institute is a tax-exempt organization registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 94-1156530.