In the News: Silicon Valley Pride to tout its diversity

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The theme for Silicon Valley Pride 2019, taking place in downtown San Jose on August 24 and 25, is “Diversity In Action.”

Fulfilling that theme includes making the event welcoming for all ages. We’re thrilled to be bringing back the popular “teen space.” Hosted by our LGBTQ Youth Space, a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, the teen space will welcome young people ages 21 and younger with games, hang-out space, and activities.

Our Director of LGBTQ Programs Adrienne Keel talked about the return of the teen space and the importance of including children, youth, and families in Pride events in this Bay Area Reporter article.

In Memoriam: Barbara E. Jones

We are greatly saddened by the passing of our board member and friend Barbara E. Jones.

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Barbara became involved with Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley (FCS) as a donor in 2001. At the encouragement of friends, Barbara joined FCS’s Circle of Support Breakfast Committee in 2006. In 2012, Barbara was elected to FCS’s Board of Directors. As a member of the board, Barbara was instrumental in enhancing the organization's governance and board development functions, recruiting excellent candidates to the board, and providing thoughtful, informed counsel on strategic decisions. Always important to Barbara was understanding how a decision would affect clients and staff, as she knew people were at the heart of the work.

When FCS merged with Caminar, Barbara transitioned to Caminar's Board of Directors. She continued to be active in fundraising efforts, including through her involvement in the Circle of Support Committee.

Barbara had a wide circle of dear friends, and she inspired many of them to become involved in supporting FCS's and then Caminar's work.

Barbara cared deeply about ensuring people who were underserved had access to quality behavioral health care, educational opportunities, and help to heal from gender-based violence. She gave of her time and resources to advance causes, meet needs, and create change.

FCS, Caminar, and the community at large are the better for Barbara’s brilliance and generosity. She is missed greatly.

We extend our sympathies to Barbara’s family and friends.

We are profoundly honored by wishes to make donations in Barbara’s memory. Donations received will be invested in the work dear to Barbara’s heart. Please click here to make a gift and check the box “Dedicate my donation in honor of or in memory of a loved one.” We will pass along all messages received.

For any questions or assistance, please contact development@caminar.org or call 650.513.1509.

In the News: Op-Ed - San Jose’s LGBTQ Community is as Strong as Its Flags are Vibrant

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A recent Op-Ed in San Jose Inside, San Jose Councilmember Pam Foley details the strength, vibrancy, and diversity of and San Jose’s LGBTQ community. Included in her remarks is mention of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division’s LGBTQ Youth Space and the outpouring of support we received after it was vandalized.

Councilmember Foley writes, “Yellow is emblematic of the power sunlight has on important issues. A few weeks ago, the LGBT Youth Space began their morning by reporting vandalism to the police and cleaning shattered glass from their floors. Because of the exposure on social media and news outlets, readers rushed to support this incredibly compassionate organization.”

Thank you, Councilmember Foley, for being an important ally of the LGBTQ community.

Read more here.

In the News: The Bay Area Reporter Covers The Vandalism of the LGBTQ Youth Space

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Our LGBTQ Youth Space, a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, was vandalized in early June.

The Bay Area Reporter recently published this article on the vandalism.

We appreciate the interest in, and attention to, this event. And, we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received from the community in response to this incident.

Thank you, Bombas, for the gift of warm feet!

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We are doing the happy dance for happy and warm feet!

Our gratitude for Bombas literally extends from our heads down to our toes. Thank you, Bombas, for the wonderful gift of 1,750 socks to share with our young adult and adult clients in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.

The gift of these special socks means so much to our clients, many who have so little. They are being shared with people who are without stable housing, reentering the community after incarceration, rebuilding lives after leaving relationships characterized by domestic violence, and moving through recovery from mental health and/or substance use conditions. As well, some socks are headed to our drop-in center for LGBTQ youth and young adults, where a number of youth are couch-surfing and piecing together safe living situations.

The gift of warm feet, and the feeling of being noticed, loved, and looked after is priceless. Thank you, Bombas, for showing those in need that you care. We appreciate you!

Caminar Connections Summer 2019 Edition

Summer greetings!

We’re happy to share with you the summer 2019 edition of Caminar Connections, our quarterly newsletter of stories and insights from the transformative work you make possible for individuals and families.  

Let us introduce you to Karina, who found gainful employment, self-esteem, and confidence with the help of Caminar Jobs Plus. We also bring you photos and highlights from this spring’s 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon, which focused on “A Family’s Journey with Addiction.” And our CEO, Mark Cloutier, reflects on his almost five months at Caminar. 

Lives change at Caminar . . . thanks to you. We hope you enjoy reading how your help so positively impacts your community.


In the News: Caminar CEO Speaks on Childhood Trauma

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Our CEO, Mark Cloutier, was honored to be invited by the United States Consulate as part of the US State Department’s Speaker Program to speak last week at the Family Centre's Adverse Childhood Experiences 2019 Conference.

The Royal Gazette covered the conference and interviewed Mark about the impact of ACEs on the health and well-being of our society. 

Mark states, “A good way to frame what Aces offers us is, it’s really the unaddressed non-infectious public health emergency of our lifetime, in that we now have the evidence from an epidemiological perspective — what is a major driver of lifetime adult chronic diseases.”

Read more.

In the News: San Jose Inside Reports on Recent Vandalism at the LGBTQ Youth Space

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Our LGBTQ Youth Space, a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, was vandalized over the weekend. The door and three windows were smashed. We don't know the motivation behind the vandalism, but our team feels fortunate the damage was not worse, no one was harmed, and we remain operational. We are heartened by the outpouring of love and support from the local community. San Jose Inside reported on the incident, which you may read here.

In the News: KRON 4 News Reports on Recent Vandalism at our LGBTQ Youth Space

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We are sad to share that our The LGBTQ Youth Space drop-in center, a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, was vandalized over the weekend. Yet, we are deeply thankful to neighbor businesses and community members who have stepped up with support, encouragement, concern, and even donations for repairs.

KRON 4 News reported on the incident, which may be viewed here.

Molly's Story: Wellness is Support

Dokie Riahi, LMFT, School-Based Clinical Counselor, FCS division, accompanied by her service dog Boston, catches up with Molly.

Dokie Riahi, LMFT, School-Based Clinical Counselor, FCS division, accompanied by her service dog Boston, catches up with Molly.

Growing up, Molly had little stability in her young life. Fortunately, she could count on her teachers. It was through the intervention of a teacher, who noticed how Molly was struggling, that she found her way to our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division’s on-campus counseling services.

Molly was in the 8th grade when she started therapy and showed signs of severe depression. During sessions, Molly revealed to her therapist the extent of the emotional trauma in her life. Her parents both struggled with substance use. They held themselves together enough that Molly had a home in San Jose and food, yet they were unable to provide crucial nurturing and guidance for their only child.

Our therapist provided Molly with a safe place to work through her trauma, develop tools to manage her depression, learn and practice social skills, and build her resilience to cope with her ongoing life challenges.

When Molly transitioned into high school, our junior high therapist ensured that she connected with our therapist at her high school, Dokie Riahi, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). This proved essential. Molly’s mother would pass away during her freshman year. Dokie was there for her.

Today, Molly is in her senior year of high school. She works part-time and just received her driver’s license. She’s convinced that her father won’t live to see her graduate. In therapy, Molly has a safe place to talk through and face her fears, prepare for the future, and learn tools to cope effectively with the effects of stress and trauma.

Thanks to the resilience Molly has built through consistent therapy, she has maintained her mental wellness and avoided decompensating, despite the stress with which she lives. She hasn’t followed in her parents’ footsteps of addiction. She’s stayed in school and secured employment. And, most critically, she’s held onto hope for her future.

“I can’t believe that there was a time that I couldn’t motivate myself even to get out of bed or take a shower,” says Molly.

Thanks to the consistent, high quality mental health care our donors and funders make possible, Molly has had support throughout the critical years of her adolescence. And that, paired with Molly’s spirit and dedication, has made all the difference.

Caminar Connections Spring 2019 Edition

We are pleased to share with you our spring edition of edition of Caminar Connections, our newsletter highlighting all that our supporters help to make possible for people in our communities in need.

This newsletter shares highlights of our 2018 Annual Report, including our fiscal year 2018 statement of financials, highlights, and impact. In addition, this edition features the story of Eddrena, who with the help of Caminar’s Supported Housing Program, has finally found a safe place to call home, heal from past trauma, and move forward in health and wellness.

Thank you to all of our supporters and donors who help to provide life-changing services to individuals and families as they move toward resilience, wellness, and independence. 

STEP Update: Expanding Services for LGBTQI Communities and with NARCAN Training

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A few months ago, we featured our Supportive Transition Empowerment Program (STEP), a program of our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, on this blog. STEP provides addiction and recovery treatment services for adults in recovery while they are incarcerated and as they transition back into the community following release. Clients receive continuing care on their recovery journeys.

Since that introduction, the team has been working hard and expanding their reach, especially in support of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex) communities.

The program has been providing well-received group services to individuals who are LGBTQI and housed in the men’s dorm at the Elmwood Correctional Facility. Given the success of the men’s program, the team is now exploring opportunities to start groups on the woman’s side at the Elmwood facility and to expand to the Main Jail.

Recently, representatives from the program visited New Haven Inn, an LGBTQ+ friendly temporary housing facility in San Jose. New Haven Inn is the only exclusive LGBTQ+ shelter in San Jose and the STEP team looks forward to working with New Haven Inn to direct clients to their specialized and culturally competent services, as well as to provide services directly to New Haven Inn’s population.

In addition to the expansion of important services specifically for LBGTQI communities, STEP will soon begin partnering with in-custody doctors at the Main Jail to provide training for Naloxone (NARCAN) distribution after a client’s release. Naxolone is a medication designed to reverse opioid overdose; proper use also requires careful monitoring after application. Training will instruct clients on how to administer NARCAN and will distribute the medication for the trained clients to have on hand in the event of an emergency in the community. This is an exciting move forward in the battle against opioid overdose.

The team is also expanding from a staffing perspective. A volunteer from the LGBTQI community will partner with the STEP group facilitator to provide support groups at New Haven Inn. The team also has welcomed two new Transition Counselors.

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Finally, STEP Manager Joseph Iacocca, LAADC/CADC-II, reported that the team was delighted to receive and screen 43 referrals last month. Six referrals were placed in treatment, 10 were placed in recovery residences, and the others are currently working with their Transition Counselors as they prepare to integrate back into the community.

We appreciate the dedication of the STEP team as they serve their clients and our community!


David Sheff to Speak at 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon

We’re delighted that bestselling author and advocate David Sheff will be the featured speaker for the 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon.

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David Sheff is the author of Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest TragedyClean, a follow-up to Sheff’s New York Times #1 bestseller Beautiful Boy, is the result of the years he spent investigating the disease of addiction and America’s drug problem, which he sees as the greatest public health challenge of our time.

In 2009, Sheff was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids honored him with a Special Tribute Award “in recognition of his voice and leadership for families who are struggling with addiction.” He was also awarded the 2013 College of Problems on Drug Dependence (CPDD) Media Award, 2017 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) Media Award, and 2017 American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Media Award “to recognize his compelling portrayal of addiction and its personal effects on families and society as a whole.”

Beautiful Boy, published in 2008, was based on Sheff’s article, “My Addicted Son,” which appeared in the New York Times Magazine. The article won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.” Beautiful Boy was made into a film, released in October 2018, directed by Felix Van Groeningen and starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. Sheff also contributed to HBO’s Addiction: Why Can’t They Just StopHIGH: Everything You Want To Know About Drugs, a book for young adults written with Nic Sheff, published in January 2019. He is currently working on his next book, The Buddhist on Death Row: Finding Light in the Darkest Place.

Sheff is on the advisory boards of the The Jed and Clinton Health Matters Campus Program “designed to help colleges and universities promote emotional well-being and mental health programming, reduce substance abuse and prevent suicide among their students,” and the International Bipolar Foundation.

Along with the New York Times Magazine, Sheff has also written for such publications as the New York TimesWiredRolling StoneOutside, and the  Los Angeles Times Magazine. He has conducted seminal interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei, nuclear physicist Ted Taylor, Congressman Barney Frank, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, Keith Haring, Jack Nicholson, Carl Sagan, Salman Rushdie, Fareed Zakaria, and others. He also wrote an award-winning documentary about John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and a radio special about Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, both for National Public Radio.

Sheff graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives with his family in Northern California.

The Circle of Support Luncheon will be held on April 26, 2019. Find out more about the event here.

Santa Clara Region Substance Use Programs Career Fair this Month

Our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division just announced two career fairs for our Substance Abuse Programs in Santa Clara County.

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We are looking for substance use clinicians and professionals with CCAPP credentials to join our team.

Please join us!

Wednesday, March 20 or Friday, March 29
2202 N. 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95131
3:00 - 6:00 PM

Expect to:

  • Meet hiring managers

  • Find job opportunities

  • Interview on the spot

  • Learn more about our Substance Use programs

Please bring updated copies of your resume.

Available opportunities include Substance Use Clinician and Case Manager, Substance Use Services

RSVP or contact us with questions at jobs@caminar.org
Visit our website at www.caminar.org/careers
Download our event flyer here.

Sharing Our Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report

Caminar Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report

Caminar Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report

Because of you—our donors, community partners, government funders, volunteers, and friends—individuals and families receive the care they need to be empowered and supported as they move toward resilience, wellness, and independence. Thank you.

We are pleased to share with you our 2018 Annual Report, which details the life-changing work you make possible.

As you may know, the Caminar family has grown by welcoming Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley, Project Ninety, and Healthy Partnerships. These mergers have expanded our reach and strengthened our capacity to help our most vulnerable neighbors toward an improved quality of life.

This Annual Report reflects the combined organization and the combined impact: Last year, with your support, we reached more than 20,000 people of all ages with education, treatment, and support that prevent and promote recovery from complex conditions, including mental health, substance use, and family violence. 

Thank you for your compassion and generosity. Because of you, our most vulnerable neighbors have comprehensive support on the path to wellness.

Reservations open for the 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon

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Reservations are now open for the 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon.

Join us on Friday, April 26, in Menlo Park for this special community event featuring advocate and author David Sheff.

Tickets are complimentary and must be reserved in advance. Click here to reserve.

This year’s luncheon will feature David Sheff, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction (recently adapted as a feature film) and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy.

Proceeds from this event strengthen our circle of support for vulnerable individuals and families. With your support, we prevent and alleviate crucial issues affecting health and wellness, including mental illness, addiction, and family violence. Guests will be invited to make a donation in support of this work at the event.

For more information about this year’s event, underwriting opportunities, and hosting tables of your friends, please contact our Development Department at 650.513.1509 or development@caminar.org or visit the Circle of Support Luncheon website.

We look forward to seeing you!