Caring Community Member & Foundation Leader Leans in Further to End Homelessness
Jackie Downing, a major BACS supporter and advocate, used her recent milestone birthday as a fundraiser towards an incredible goal – to buy a trailer (not the driving kind but the kind that will be parked in a permanent residence with a lease) for a family struggling with homelessness! Jackie has a strong and vocal community, who so quickly surpassed the goal that BACS was able to buy and renovate two stationary trailers!
As BACS knows, ending homelessness requires opening ourselves up to all kinds of permanent solutions – BACS does not buy mobile homes/RVs for clients because that lends to increasing homelessness – BACS only supports homes that can be parked permanently at a residence with a legal lease in hand. In fact, BACS is starting a ‘trailer-buy-back’ program where we can pay an unstably housed resident money for their trailer, help them gain permanent housing, and then repurpose the trailer on a permanent piece of property for someone that is living outside/on the streets.
Jackie says, “Housing is the solution to homelessness and I believe we can solve this crisis if we all do whatever is in our power… This trailer will serve as a stable form of housing as BACS helps their clients get back on their feet and secure even more permanent homes.”
Everyone at BACS is sending a huge shout-out to all of the 20+ people who donated to get two families off the streets before winter begins, and to Jackie, for mobilizing the community for such an impactful birthday gift!
Amber House Grand Opening
We were thrilled to welcome our elected officials, supporters, neighbors, and community partners to celebrate the grand opening of Amber House Crisis Center! Many thanks to Karyn Tribble, John Steinfirst, and Councilmember McElhaney for being our guests of honor and speakers, and the offices of Supervisor Carson and Supervisor Chan, as well as the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA).
Amber House is a short-term residential alternative to psychiatric hospitalization, or support following hospitalization, for individuals in active psychiatric distress who need support to cope and heal. Amber House is embedded in the community, and speeds up recovery while creating a long-term plan for wellness.
Expanded Full Service Partnerships Serve Record Numbers
The original ‘whatever it takes’ program, BACS’ Full Service Partnerships (FSPs) are celebrating a great year following our expansion in 2018! FSPs support individuals in every aspect of their life, breaking mental health, housing, and community barriers that hold people back.
BACS’ FSPs were expanded to include teens, people experiencing chronic homelessness, older adults, and people re-entering the community from prison/jail – all of our community members who need the most assistance. In the last year, our FSPs helped more than 335 people!
Oakland Community Block Party
BACS had a great time at the 4th Annual Oakland Community Block Party at Verdese Carter (Sunnyside) Park! Organized by Alameda County Public Defender Brendon D. Woods and County Supervisor Nate Miley, the block party had food, clothing, and bike giveaways, health screenings & public health information, voter registrations, criminal records repair services, a DJ, face painting, and more. It was a beautiful day out in the Oakland community.
Celebrating Long-Term Successes
This month, BACS is celebrating the 2 year anniversary of our Housing Navigation programs, a major expansion to BACS’ housing & homeless solutions work. Our Housing Resource Center, Housing Education & Counseling, and Landlord Liaison programs opened in 2017, and work with the people who need the most support. Learn more about BACS’ Housing Navigation here.
BACS is also celebrating the 5 year anniversary of the Hope Intervention Program (HIP), a prevention and early intervention program for youth, which opened in 2014. Learn more about our Prevention & Early Intervention programs here.
To all of our staff and partners who make these programs possible, happy anniversary, and congratulations on all your hard work!
Employee of the Month
This month, Brianna Gabriel is the Whatever It Takes award winner, with our Re-Entry team! Brianna’s colleagues nominated her, saying that “countless clients reach out to team members to sing her praises, and she receives thank yous and updates from clients long after they’ve graduated from BACS programs.” Brianna says BACS’ work matters because “we provide a tangible opportunity that helps our partners to re-connect, re-focus and re-claim their lives. We as an agency and individually have the ability to empower our partners in creating a plan to alleviate certain obstacles and barriers, and to help them re-define hopelessness into hope and dream deferred into a beautiful reality.”
Congratulations Brianna, and thank you for everything you do for the BACS team!
Start a Career with BACS
BACS services are always expanding, and we are currently recruiting! Check out our career opportunities on our website, and learn more about what makes BACS special.
BACS welcomes people of all backgrounds and expertise to apply. Even if you have never worked in the mental health or homeless solutions fields, but you are inspired to make a change, reach out to BACS – we have many training and entry-level positions.
BACS provides benefits and perks like: fully covered medical/dental/vision/life insurance, tuition reimbursement for loans and tuition, clinical supervision hours towards licensure, internal growth opportunities, and more! BACS also works with a wide variety of populations, and has many opportunities for learning and advancement.