BACS Celebrates 70 Years
Happy 70th birthday to Bay Area Community Services (BACS)! We kicked off 70th anniversary celebrations with a staff + community appreciation event at our major new St. Regis site.
This event celebrated the past, present, and future of BACS. To bring all these threads together, we buried a time capsule filled with tokens of appreciation, mementos from major moments in BACS’ history, predictions for the future, and aspirations for the world in 2053 when the capsule gets opened.
Thank you to event sponsors TMG Partners, The Steinfirst Group, PC Pro, Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente Thrive, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis Law Firm, and Crankstart – making not only the special event possible, but supporting BACS to do Whatever It Takes for the next 70 years! We were so honored to celebrate with everyone who came 💙🧡
Visit us in Sacramento: CORE Wellness Center Grand Opening
Join us for the grand opening of the Willow Wellness Center – come see why BACS is being called the “most vibrant and inspirational” Wellness Center!
October 4, 2023 | 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. | 7171 Bowling Drive, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95823 | Stop by for food, refreshments, community engagement, and to learn more about how you can access services.
BACS Wellness Centers are a hub for support for people with behavioral health challenges who want to manage their symptoms and move forward with their lives in healthy and positive ways. Every door is the right door when you come to BACS, so people who need assistance with housing, employment, behavioral health, food, healthcare, community-building, and more are all welcomed and will find the support they need at our neighborhood hubs.
A Journey to BACS Housing
Mario’s journey from homelessness to permanent housing has ended! Mario recently moved into a BACS Project Reclamation home, and is thrilled to have a beautiful place to call home.
Mario first got connected with BACS two years ago. He was facing imminent homelessness in Oakland and decided to move to Sacramento to be closer to family; a disagreement with a relative led to a quick return to homelessness. Determined to regain his footing, Mario returned to Oakland, but his housing fell through again. He wandered the streets at night and slept on the bus to keep himself safe. He came to visit Towne House, where we helped him quickly move in to our Housing Fast program in Oakland. Within two months, Mario moved into a BACS Project Reclamation home! Mario still visits the Housing Fast program to catch up with friends he made during his stay.
Mario says he cherishes the fact that he now has his own private room and access to a communal kitchen, where he loves cooking simple, healthy meals. These small comforts are significant steps toward regaining independence and stability in his life. When asked about what could further enhance his journey toward success, Mario mentioned a simple yet vital need—a bicycle. This will not only help him with his daily necessities but also to access other opportunities in the future. Mario expressed his deep appreciation to BACS for providing him with housing and creating an environment where he has felt supported and empowered.
Mario’s story is a powerful reminder of the impact that BACS supporters can have on the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness! If you are inspired by his journey and want to contribute to BACS’ mission please visit our website here. If you’d like to make a specific donation, such as providing a bike for Mario or other BACS participants, please email us. Your generosity can help neighbors like Mario access housing, means to greater independence and mobility, further enhancing their path to success.
Uplifting Mothers and Children Experiencing Homelessness at Anna’s House
BACS is doing “whatever it takes” to address all parts of the housing crisis – and we are excited to share progress on our first targeted initiative for mothers and children experiencing homelessness in Oakland. Anna’s House is named after Anna, a mother, sister, daughter and friend, who lost her life tragically after many years struggling with trauma.
Anna’s House recognizes that many factors contribute to housing instability, including prior experiences with assault or domestic violence. Anna’s House will offer a safe community for mothers who are working to overcome past trauma and striving to provide a loving, nurturing home for their children. BACS made the down payment for Anna’s House using funds donated in Anna’s memory. Now we are actively fundraising to renovate and furnish the home so that we can move moms and children into stable housing as soon as possible.
We have already raised more than $300,000 toward the purchase of the house and started renovations, including replacing the roof and installing a new (donated) HVAC system. Every dollar helps us get closer to our goal. We will be moving families into Anna’s House this fall, and hope to raise an additional $50,000 by October 31. Learn more in our Case for Support, or join the team working to make Anna’s House a reality by donating today!
Transforming Lives with Contingency Management and Medically Assisted Treatment
In August, BACS opened the first Contingency Management (CM) and Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs in Alameda County working out of our Housing Fast at the Henry Robinson Center. This pilot program is working to reduce substance use for community members experiencing other complexities and co-morbidities – like mental health challenges, homelessness, physical health conditions, and more. BACS is doing “whatever it takes” to uplift the people we serve, no matter their unique challenges.
Contingency Management incentivizes and motivates recovery for people who are using stimulants. This evidence-based treatment promotes positive behavior with affirmations, support, and financial incentives for achieving and maintaining specific goals (like negative drug tests). CM is the only treatment that has proven and meaningful outcomes for individuals living with stimulant use disorder, including reduction or cessation of drug use and longer retention in treatment.
MAT is a treatment for opioid use disorder combining the use of medications (like methadone and Suboxone) with counseling and behavioral treatments. MAT is used to decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings, to reduce the chances of relapse, and help people stay in a treatment program. If relapse does happen, people on buprenorphine MAT have lower rates of fatal overdose.
Throughout the pilot of these two innovative evidence-based Harm-Reduction interventions, BACS will be collecting data and reporting to a learning collaborative to hone best practices and eventually replicating the program. This important program is provided in partnership with Health Care Services Agency (HCSA), Healthcare for the Homeless, Cardea Health, and the Bridge Clinic at Highland Hospital, with funding from the Centers for Health Care Strategies grant.
A Day of Community and Wellness
This month, we celebrated our last Community Connect Summer Friday Event, which took place at our Towne House Wellness Center. These summer events bring together our local community and BACS partners for a day filled with food, fun, and connections. We want to help participants build their health, wellness, community, self-esteem, and connections to resources! Thanks to local vendors and community partners, partners enjoyed food, barbers and braiding, meditation sessions, massages, and music.
While this year’s Community Connect Summer Event has concluded, our commitment to doing Whatever It Takes for our community continues. BACS wellness centers are dedicated to making a lasting positive impact on people’s lives. To learn more about our wellness hubs and the services they offer, visit our website to see our monthly activity calendar. As we say goodbye to summer and look forward to fall, BACS is excited about the possibilities for next year’s Community Connect Summer Events. If you are a local vendor interested in learning how to get connected please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Don’t miss out on your chance to be heard!
Your voice matters! With more than 45% of Californians reporting that they experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, talking about mental health has never been more important. The California behavioral health workforce survey is your opportunity to have a voice in improving mental health services in our state. BACS is partnering with the California Department of Health Care Access and Information to promote the California behavioral health workforce survey.
Your opinion about the behavioral health workforce and associated services can help shape state priorities to better support those at risk of experiencing mental health challenges. Individuals who complete the survey will also be offered a $5 gift code for their time.
NORC is conducting a survey sponsored by the California Department of Health Care Access and Information and is seeking participation from behavioral health advocates, community health workers/promotores/representative voices, training programs, administrators, policymakers, providers, community-based organizations, and educators from across California. The purpose of the survey is to learn thoughts and experiences regarding the state’s health workforce. Sign-up to participate in the survey here.