To radically expand treatment options for people who use substances, The Center has expanded its services beyond our own offices. Since 2000, we have provided therapy and medication services to the clients and participants of many community-based organizations.
The people we work with in our Community Services are extremely low income, homeless or marginally housed, universally traumatized, and suffering from other mental illnesses. They use drugs to cope with these problems and a myriad of stressful situations each day.
We like to say that clients “vote with their feet”. People meet us on the street, in the park or in a drop-in center. If they feel comfortable, they seek us out. Or they check out our many drop-in groups around San Francisco. If they feel like they can share without being judged, they come back. In this way, we engage and work with up 1000 people a year.
The Center is, without a doubt, the lowest-threshold mental health and substance abuse treatment service in the San Francisco Bay Area, and likely in the country. And our model of community service is studied by many who also believe that a radical change is necessary in how we treat people’s suffering.
Partnerships in Vulnerable Communities
We partner with five community-based organizations – Hospitality House, the Homeless Youth Alliance, Office-based Opiate Programs, and San Mateo County HIV/AIDS Programs to bring our services to the communities where marginalized people live. At these programs, we offer:
- Outreach on the streets and in Golden Gate Park
- “Sidewalk therapy” – for people who are too afraid to come into an office
- Crisis intervention & de-escalation
- Walk-in and appointment-based therapy
- Medication evaluation and management on a walk-in basis
- 12 drop-in groups and one drumming circle per week
In addition to client services, we offer ongoing staff support and consultation at all of these agencies and dozens more, including our newest project to be available for emergency consultation to staff of At the Crossroads, a night outreach team that works with youth on the streets of the Tenderloin and the Mission.