BACS has moved in the first “cohort” of un-housed residents to the brand new SHARE Center in Salinas, CA! Our team, all from the Salinas community, welcomed the first 22 clients on Memorial Day.
Three families with children under 18 came indoors in our first group of residents, as well as 8 single adults. 86% identify as Latino/a/x. As a low-barrier program, we welcomed residents with mental health challenges, chronic health conditions, and physical disabilities. 72% have been experiencing homelessness for more than 2 years. For all of these residents, and every person who comes after them, BACS is going to do “whatever it takes” to help them find housing.
The SHARE Center is a beautiful and spacious location, including a reception, waiting room, staff spaces, health clinic, counseling offices, library, a commercial kitchen, a multipurpose room, pet kennels, outdoor dining area, children’s play areas, and bedrooms with 100 beds, including family rooms.
“We are so honored to bring BACS’ deep commitment to the “whatever it takes” philosophy to the Salinas community,” says BACS CEO Jamie Almanza, “we have a mission to serve and are so grateful to the community that has done so much to welcome us.”
The ribbon cutting was held May 26, 2021, with speakers from the County of Monterey, the City of Salinas, the community, and from BACS honoring the work of all those who made the SHARE Center possible. The beloved late Mayor Gunter and local un-housed advocate Ezzard Charles “Dread” McCall were both featured Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo invited two elementary school sisters from Gonzales, Clarissa Uribe-Rico and Paola Rico, to speak at the ceremony three years after they advocated for the opening of the center at a public hearing when they were in second grade.
“There were many adults who spoke against creating this center but that day there were also three little girls who sounded like the adults in the supervisors’ chamber, teaching and reminding the adults about compassion and having a heart for the most vulnerable.” Alejo said.
Our mission is uplift under-served individuals and their families by doing whatever it takes, and our vision is a world where all people are healthy, safe, and engaged in community wellness, with access to quality housing. The SHARE Center is extremely low barrier, meaning clients can come with their pets, partners, or families, and mental health challenges / low income / other complex needs are not a barrier to coming indoors. Once a person moves in to the SHARE Center, we hold a determined focus on getting people housed, while breaking down the other barriers that hold people back by providing mental health support, employment / benefits support, and more. Our Housing Navigators work with clients on an individualized basis to help clients end their own cycle of being unhoused and help them find permanent, sustainable housing. Our team will then work with them for 6 months afterwards to ensure they remain stably housed.
BACS is excited to join the Salinas community as the operator of the SHARE Center – we currently operate multiple “housing first” model programs, and we have strong practices, outcomes, and philosophies already in place to create a strong program at the SHARE Center . Homelessness knows no borders, so BACS takes a grassroots, regional approach to solving the housing crisis – and we want this “housing first” model to succeed regionally.