Since 1965, Horizons has met the ever-changing needs of our community

We have celebrated over 50 amazing years of providing culturally competent and informed services in our community and are excited about what the next 50 years holds for us. As an organization, we our proud of our rich history as a leader in serving the Latino community and bringing a wide array of much needed resources to our youth and families. Like many of our families, our cultural ties and humble beginnings have shaped who we are today.


Through the visionary and pioneering leadership of Mr. Roberto Lopez and Mr. Leandro Soto, Horizons was birthed as the youth component of another renowned Mission District organization, Arriba Juntos. Originally located in the St. Peter’s Church building, Horizons shared a similar vision and commitment to meet the needs of the Latino immigrant families moving into San Francisco’s Mission District during the mid-1960s. At a time where society was experiencing an ever-increasing awareness and push for the development of culturally responsive and affirming services for youth and their families, Horizons services and programs were developed with a special focus on educational and drop out prevention services for youth ages 14-18, funded by the Economic Opportunity Council.

In 1965, Horizons incorporated on its own under the name Horizons Unlimited of San Francisco, Inc. and was soon awarded federal grants under the War on Poverty programs (Mayor’s Office of Manpower (MOM), Mayor’s Office of Community Development (MOCD), Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) and the Private Industry Council (PIC) who funded the Agency’s year-round and summer job training and workforce programs. With a lack of services to address the growing epidemic of youth substance use and misuse, Horizons was awarded funding through the Department of Public Health for treatment and prevention services; including HIV prevention.

Soon thereafter, Horizons expanded to include innovative and high appeal after-school enrichment programming, including gender-affirming programming, through the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, and has continued to grow and blossom into a vibrant “One Stop Shop” for Latino youth and other youth of color and their families; employing over 20 staff, offering 15+ programs from a variety of sectors, and serving more than 5,000 youth and families per annum.

Horizons’ history is one that was founded on, embraces, and celebrates the ancestral value of Familia Primero (Family First) and engenders Cultura (Culture), Respeto (Respect), Amor (Love) y Resiliencia (Resilience) through advocacy, empowerment, pursuit of social justice, and community mobilization and action. The legacies passed down through five decades of community work have created an environment where youth and families are prepared and inspired to reach their highest potential. The Staff Family and Board Members share in this vision and are committed to respond to the changing and growing needs of our community through direct action and involvement.

Our history highlights our continued effort to create new programs and strategies to transform the lives of youth and help them realize the paths they envision for themselves.

  1. 1970’sWe delivered work readiness services to our clients through Federal Work programs.
  2. 1980’sWe created Substance Use Prevention and Treatment programs to support our youth.
  3. 1990’sWe added subsidized employment to our menu of services.
  4. 2000We brought entrepreneurship training and small business development to our Employment Program portfolio.
  5. 2005We joined a dynamic partnership with the Safety Network to bring together intervention strategies to reduce crime and reinforce public safety.
  6. 2008We introduced Gender Affirming programs for young men.
  7. 2010We incorporated workforce development for juvenile justice involved youth through the Lifeworks Employment Program.
  8. 2012We provided onsite Mental Health Treatment and Therapeutic services for our youth and their families.
  9. 2015We joined the RoadMap To Peace (RTP) initiative that reunited more than 8 organizations in the Mission District to provide holistic, wrap around services to community youth.
  10. TodayWe offer more than 15 innovative and evidenced based programs, in Spanish and English, to more than 5,000 unduplicated clients per annum through on and offsite programming, events/campaigns, and outreach.

As we move forward, we are committed to enhancing and expanding our programs to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.