Bela's Story: Wellness is Employment


Bela came to our Jobs Plus supported employment program with a goal: To overcome her past trauma and make a better future for herself.

Bela was living in a community house for women who had escaped sexual exploitation, prostitution, and sex trafficking, and taking steps to build a new life.

When Bela met with Jobs Plus Job Developer Tina Zhong, she explained that her plan was to go into business for herself as a hair stylist. She’d completed her training and needed help moving forward with establishing herself in business. Tina and Bela teamed together to search for the perfect place to start a business. They brainstormed ways to promote Bela’s business and build her clientele. Soon, they found the ideal location.

Bela is all smiles when you see her working in Osbelia’s Hair Salon, a bright and beautiful salon in San Francisco’s Outer Mission District, where she rents a stylist’s station and delights in bringing joy to her clients.

Suicide Prevention Month: We can all help prevent suicide


We can all help prevent suicide. Each year, mental health organizations and individuals across the U.S. and around the world raise awareness of suicide prevention during September, National Suicide Prevention Month. During this month, we also observe National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8-14) and World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). The goal of this month and these efforts is to empower everyone in the community to help prevent suicide.

In San Mateo County, San Mateo County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services and the Suicide Prevention Committee is partnering with libraries and community agencies in San Mateo County to host 12 events and promote a social media campaign. This initiative aims to equip individuals with words and resources to support people who may be thinking about suicide. Events include support groups, informational presentations, day of prayer, film screenings, craft workshops and lived experience speakers. You may download the calendar of events here.

In Santa Clara County, Behavioral Heath Services is hosting and Mental Health and Wellness Fair on September 13 and also highlights many other important suicide awareness and prevention events on their website.

In addition to helping to amplify the important messages of suicide prevention that will be shared this month, we encourage all to know the three steps to support someone in a serious mental health crisis:

  1. Know the signs of someone who is having suicidal thoughts

  2. Kind the words to have a direct conversation with them

  3. Reach out for help

If you or someone you know considering suicide, please reach out to these 24/7 crisis hotlines:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text “Home” to 741741

  • San Mateo County/ StarVista Crisis Hotline: 650-579-0350

  • Butte County Behavioral Health Crisis Line (Butte County): 1-800-334-6622 or 530-891-2810

  • Solano County Crisis Line: 707-428-1131

  • San Francisco Suicide Prevention Crisis Line: 415-781-0500 or 1-800-273-8255

  • Santa Clara County Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-855-278-4204

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. 

Caminar Welcomes Mark Cloutier as CEO

Mark Cloutier, MPP, MPH

Mark Cloutier, MPP, MPH

After an extensive search, the Board of Directors is excited to announce that Mark Cloutier, MPP, MPH, has joined Caminar as CEO as of January 31, 2019.

Mark brings a unique set of skills and experience to his role at Caminar. With Master’s degrees in public policy and public health, he has extensive experience in leadership roles in esteemed nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in the Bay Area, including Horizons Services, San Francisco Foundation, the Center for Youth Wellness, Kaiser Family Foundation, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Mark has dedicated his career to increasing access to quality health and supportive services and improving communities’ overall health and well-being.

Mark says, “Improving the health of communities begins with understanding the role of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and social determinants of health in predisposing individuals, families and communities to poor mental health and physical health outcomes. Caminar is in a unique position to address the comprehensive needs of individuals, families and communities though our trauma informed, evidence based clinical services and our collaborations with government, nonprofit and community institutions to focus on and remedy root causes.”

Read today’s press release announcing Mark’s appointment here.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We hope your 2019 is off to a wonderful start.


Your support makes so much possible for our clients, including the opportunity to express and heal themselves through the arts. This beautiful photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge was taken by a client in our Expressive Arts program, which offers group workshops with Teaching Artists, including world-renowned photographer Michael Collopy.

Bridges are rich in symbolism, emblematic of connections, progress, and transitions. This photo represents the photographer's personal journey of wellness and recovery, made with the help of Caminar, while also invoking the journeys of clients and their families across our organization, and even our own.

2018 was a year of great connections and progress for Caminar, including the acquisition of Healthy Partnerships in May and the merger with Project Ninety in June. Combined with the merger with Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley in 2017, we have greatly strengthened our capacity agency-wide to support and empower the complex needs of the most marginalized local individuals and families as they move toward resilience, wellness, and independence.

Last year, thanks to the generosity and compassion of our donors, we served more than 20,000 individuals on their journeys toward progress and positive transitions.

Throughout the year, we look forward to sharing with you more stories about the life-changing services you help to make possible. Our 2018 Annual Report will be ready next month. And, we have great transitions on the horizon, including introducing and welcoming a new CEO to Caminar soon. Stay tuned!

Please mark your calendar for our 16th Annual Circle of Support Luncheon on April 26, 2019, in Menlo Park. The event will feature David Sheff, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction.

A Look Back at 2018

With 2019 fast approaching, we look back on Caminar's impact in 2018.

Because of the generosity of our donors and funders, more than 20,000 people last year made progress in overcoming major life challenges and moved toward greater resilience, wellness, and independence. 

From all of us at Caminar and our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley, Healthy Partnerships, and Project Ninety divisions, thank you!

2018 Impact.png

Caminar Jobs Plus San Francisco Team Honors Manpower Government Solutions

The DiversAbility Breakfast, sponsored by the Department of Rehabilitation and San Francisco City College, was held on Thursday, October 4, and recognized employers whose hiring practices create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Caminar’s Jobs Plus San Francisco team attended the event and was thrilled to honor Brett Berning and Jennifer Larsh of Manpower Government Solutions for their hiring of Jobs Plus candidates. Manpower Government Solutions is committed to driving results and increasing placement opportunities for those with disabilities.

We are so grateful for the strong partnership between Manpower and Caminar Jobs Plus and look forward to connecting many more Jobs Plus candidates with gainful employment opportunities at Manpower.

Peter Davis of Caminar, Brett Berning and Jennifer Larsh of Manpower Government Solutions, and Tina Zhong and Angelina Hong of Caminar at the DiversAbility Breakfast.

Peter Davis of Caminar, Brett Berning and Jennifer Larsh of Manpower Government Solutions, and Tina Zhong and Angelina Hong of Caminar at the DiversAbility Breakfast.

One Warm Coat and Caminar Will Make a Difference


Caminar is grateful to be included as one of One Warm Coat’s registered agencies to distribute coats to people who we serve who are in need. With colder weather coming, a warm coat can help make a warmer, healthier winter for someone in your local community.

Does your organization want to make a difference this season? Consider holding a coat drive! One Warm Coat makes it easy and Caminar would love to partner with you to distribute the coats to those in need. Check out all the resources you need to hold your own drive in six easy steps.

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need. One Warm Coat supports individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country by providing the tools and resources needed to hold a successful coat drive. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, to children and adults in need, without charge, discrimination or obligation. Since One Warm Coat’s inception in 1992, they have worked with our volunteers to host more than 27,000 coat drives and have given away more than 5 million coats.

We look forward to helping those in need and warming our community this coat at a time.

For more information on how to partner with Caminar on a coat drive, please contact our Development Department at 650.513.1509 or     

Caminar Jobs Plus Partners with Microsoft

Caminar Jobs Plus is thrilled to partner with Microsoft for no-cost computer training for our Jobs Plus clients in San Francisco! This tremendous opportunity will allow our clients to gain invaluable skills—and confidence—to help them find and maintain competitive employment.

The partnership will soon expand southward and offer the same services to clients through Microsoft’s Palo Alto and Santa Clara stores.

We are grateful to Microsoft for their generous support of our clients as they move toward resilience, wellness, and independence.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Blog - May is Mental Health Awareness Month.png

The month of May marks Mental Health Awareness Month. As you may know, mental health challenges are quite common.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),

  • Approximately 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 have or previously had a mental disorder.

  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.

  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.

  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.

  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

Unfortunately, research shows that many people do not reach out for support.

This May, let’s bring awareness to this important health issue and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to better understand the significance of mental health. Here are a couple of resources to start the conversation:

Together, we can support those who most need it and ensure no one feels alone in their mental health journey.

Caminar Achieves Another Three-Year CARF Accreditation

We are pleased to report to that Caminar has been re-issued CARF accreditation for a period of three years for the following services:

CARF (1).png
  • Community Employment Services: Employment Supports
  • Community Employment Services: Job Development
  • Employment Planning Services
  • Assertive Community Treatment: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Adults)
  • Case Management/ Services Coordination: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Adults)
  • Community Integration: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Adults)
  • Crisis Stabilization: Psychosocial Rehabilitation (Adults)
  • Residential Treatment: Mental Health (Adults)

By pursuing and achieving accreditation, Caminar has demonstrated that it meets international standards for quality and is committed to pursuing excellence. 

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization and shows our organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. 

We are delighted that CARF surveyors identified many areas of strength. To list just a few:
“The staff members at Caminar are an inspiration for the work they do on a daily basis. They are strong believers in the rights of persons served and demonstrate this to the clients on a regular basis.”
“Clients stated that they appreciate the staff and the services. One person said that she is grateful for the services because, without them, she would have been living in her car and been without income. All clients interviewed spoke of their satisfaction with the services provided.”
“All clients said that staff members are warm, welcoming, energetic, respectful, and engaging… Caminar seems to do very well at hiring staff with both skills and heart.”
“A strength of Caminar is the large array of services that it provides. This allows continuity of care that clearly promotes the recovery of clients who require longer-term assistance.”

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. 

We are grateful to the entire Caminar team who contributed to this success!

Announcing our Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report

We are pleased to share with you our 2017 Annual Report, which details the life-changing work you make possible. 

Caminar and Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley merged in January 2017. Together, we have more than 120 combined years of service to people in need and have expanded our reach and strengthened our capacity agency-wide to help our most vulnerable community members. 

This Annual Report reflects the combined organization and the combined impact: Over 14,000 children, teens, and adults were served last year through our programs of recovery and positive solutions! We hope you enjoy learning more about our expanded organization and the dynamic portfolio of transformative service made possible by your generosity and compassion.

Should you have any questions about what you read in the Annual Report or about our programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Development team at 650.513.1509 or We’d love to hear what is important to you.

Thank you for your compassion and generosity. Because of you, individuals and families in our communities have comprehensive support on their roads to resilience.

Looking Back At 2017

As we start 2018, we look back on the Caminar's impact in the last year. The work our donors and funders make possible changes lives; the generosity provides people with complex health needs the opportunity to move from crisis to independence. 

One in five of our neighbors will experience a mental illness. Approximately 10.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders. Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness. And, approximately 24% of state prisoners have “a recent history of a mental health condition.”

At Caminar and our Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley division, we offer care tailored to the needs of each individual, allowing us to effectively address complex needs and empower people to transform their lives. Because of community support and the tireless work of our staff, people like Thomas and April have a safety net and many lives were changed.

2017 Impact.png

Following our January 2017 merger with Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley, we have expanded our reach and strengthened our capacity agency-wide to help our most vulnerable community members toward an improved quality of life. We look forward to continuing this work in 2018!

2016-2017 Client Satisfaction Survey Results

We are pleased to share the results of client satisfaction surveys from the 2016-2017 fiscal year. These results show our staff's commitment to Caminar's mission and to helping to empower the most vulnerable members of our community to reach their potential and thrive. 

Butte County


Jobs Plus - San Francisco, San Mateo, and Solano Counties


San Mateo County


Solano County


Caminar kicks off Mental Health Awareness Month with participation in Center for Open Recovery's "Road to Recovery" 5K

Caminar for Mental Health kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month by putting its best foot forward.

In sponsorship of the Center for Open Recovery, Caminar joined 500 participants in the inaugural "Road to Recovery 5K" walk and run with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco serving as a backdrop for the event. Caminar's team of over 20 Caminarians ran, jogged and walked their way through five kilometers from Crissy Field Beach and around San Francisco’s Presidio district.

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