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community health fund


People Who Care Contra Costa Program Expansion

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According to the U.S. Surgeon General, a number of factors have led to a “significant increase” in mental health disorders in youth, including depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Those factors can include social and economic inequalities, discrimination, racism, neighborhood safety and other social determinants of health. Contra Costa County youth are among those at risk. A 2021 study showed that 35% of 11th grade students, 28% of 9th grade students, and 23% of 7th graders in the county reported experiencing chronic sadness/hopelessness.

People Who Care (PWC) has long understood this concern. In partnership with Pittsburg Unified School District and the Contra Costa County Probation Department, PWC provides prevention and early intervention services for at-risk youth and their families residing in East Contra Costa County. Since 2001, its programs – which deploy a community-based, culturally sensitive approach – have served more than 2,500 youth highly at-risk for crime and gang activities. Key programs include counseling and community service opportunities. This initiative aims to develop a multiyear business plan focused on program expansion, and building and formalizing community partnerships, while also beginning to tackle an executive transition plan.

Through a series of CHF Executive Director discretionary grants from April 2021 through February 2023, totaling $28,250, PWC has worked with Emerald HPC International Consulting and CHF staff on a number of efforts aimed at strengthening the organization’s ability to serve its target population. In July 2023, the CHF awarded PWC $75,000 for a Phase I implementation, with key activities and expected outcomes to include:  

  • Expanded and Improved Staffing:
    • Hire a full-time mental health clinician (funding secured with Measure X funds)
    • Hire a half-time Development Associate
    • Promote the current Program Facilitator to Program Director
  • Strengthen existing partnerships with:
    • Contra Costa County Behavioral Health Department
    • Contra Costa County Probation Department
    • Pittsburg Unified School District
  • Serve 200 clients, up from 153 served in 2022/2023
  • Continue contracting with Emerald HPC International for the purposes of:
    • Capacity building
    • Staff and Board development
    • Outreach and Marketing planning
    • Succession planning

To ensure sustainability, PWC will charge the Development Associate with creating and implementing a plan to diversify its current funding stream to include individual donors, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants. Additionally, the Board is committed to developing and supporting additional fundraising efforts.