Mental Healthcare is Changing in California. Join Us in Changing it for the Better!

Mental health. Substance use. Homelessness. Solutions. Investment.
These words typify our experience as San Franciscans, Californians, as Americans. But how often to we push beyond the buzzwords and have meaningful dialogue about the real issues affecting our communities? When was the last time we heard from an expert about the work on the ground and solutions that are achievable for everyday people?

Hear what we all need to keep in mind as we consider how to get involved in solutions on mental health in our community.

We’re grateful to Manny’s for providing a platform for this kind of community-based dialogue last month, joining the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies for an important conversation on the changing nature of our state’s behavioral health system. Together, we unpacked recent legislation affecting organizations like PRC and talked through the many reasons to be hopeful in the face of frustration.

“This is an incredibly dynamic moment for Behavioral Health in San Francisco, and it will require the collective effort of our entire community to explore innovative solutions for the systemic changes we aspire to see. While our primary focus is serving our clients, we understand that we cannot do this in isolation. We are committed to serving our clients alongside community members, recognizing that social rehabilitation thrives within the context of community.” – Chuan Teng, PRC Chief Executive Officer

Here are the most important takeaways you need to know:

  1. There’s more energy and political will around behavioral health in halls of power across California than ever before. Just last year, there were more than 300 behavioral health bills introduced, shattering levels from previous legislative sessions. That enthusiasm for solutions is in and of itself, a good thing. 
  2. It’s important to keep conversations around public health and criminality separate. Unfortunately, we’re seeing these conversations conflated. People who use drugs aren’t universally experiencing homelessness. People without homes aren’t universally using drugs or living with mental illness. We should reject language that says otherwise. We need to prioritize getting people into treatment because it’s proven to work. 
  3. Ensuring that everyone has the behavioral healthcare they deserve isn’t the responsibility of the government or one stakeholder. It will take all of us, government leaders, public and private health sector, nonprofits and philanthropy, and the community, working together to get more people housed and more people in treatment.

Manny’s, located in the Mission, is a space where the community comes together to take part in civic and political life. Manny’s is a town hall, a village square, the place where anyone can meet and engage with civic leaders, elected officials, artists, activists, changemakers, and each other.

Save the Date for Mighty Real | Friday, October 4

Friday, October 4, 2024 | 6:30pm | The Pearl | 601 19th St

Please join PRC at our annual fundraiser Mighty Real as we celebrate our clients and the positive life changes they make every day through imagination, inspiration, and action. Over the course of one special evening, we invite you to join us on a journey. Imagine a better future for our community. Inspire ourselves to take part in meaningful change. Act to make our vision a reality!

Named after the signature song, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” of PRC’s patron saint and greatest benefactor, the larger than life “Queen of Disco,” Sylvester, PRC’s Mighty Real pays homage to the star who benefitted from PRC’s services and in turn gifted his future music royalties to PRC. In gratitude, we honor Sylvester through the namesake of our signature fundraising event of the year. 

Sponsorships are now available and tickets go on sale soon. Stay tuned for more details!



Black Leadership Council’s Advocacy Day

Imagine a California truly equitable for Black communities and individuals. Imagine the Black mother-to-be who can focus on her pregnancy without worrying about any adverse maternal outcomes. Imagine the Black child who has everything they need to excel in school, graduate, and move on to a meaningful career. Imagine the young Black couple with as much opportunity and access to own a home and pass it down to their children.

Advocacy Day 2023 left to right: Dr. LaWanda Wesley, Dr. MaryAnn Jones, Paul (in rear), Tomiquia Moss, Assemblymember Matt Haney, Shellena Eskridge, Tasha Henneman, Darris Young, Brett Andrews and Monet Boyd.

Enter the Black Leadership Council, an initiative of PRC, which convenes leaders from various fields across our great state to turn that hopefulness of Black prosperity into reality. One way we achieve that reality is through on-the-ground power building at our state’s capitol each Juneteenth. Our “Black in Action” Day of Advocacy brings together leaders from private and public sectors, from all racial backgrounds, urban and rural communities, and all walks of life, to address the systemic inequities preventing millions of Black Californians from the thriving lifestyles they so deserve.

Part of how we make Black prosperity a reality is to amplify the work and voices of leaders who have dedicated their lives to making California a place for all. We’ll take time to celebrate a handful of  California’s top leaders at our legislative luncheon. Please join us in recognizing the following changemakers for their invaluable contributions to communities across the state!

Exceptional Leadership Awardees

Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent
For exceptional leadership and commitment to educational equity in California.

Shirley M. Weber, Ph.D., California Secretary of State
For exceptional and groundbreaking leadership in achieving Black Prosperity in California.

Dr. Flo Cofer, Community Advocate & Leader
For exceptional leadership in public health and championing health equity in California.

Next Generation Leadership Awardee

Tiyesha Watts, Legislative & Policy Advocate, California Academy of Family Physicians
Our Young Adult Award recognizes outstanding leadership and positive change in California.

Black Leadership Council Visionaries

Tomiquia Moss, Secretary, California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency
Malia Cohen, California State Controller
For their instrumental foundational support for the BLC and overall leadership in California. (“Seeding Sisters” of the BLC)

Advocacy is a continuous journey, extending far beyond June 19th. We invite you to support the BLC’s ongoing efforts by sponsoring Advocacy Day or donating to help sustain our work. Your contribution plays a vital role in advancing our mission and creating meaningful change in our communities.

Celebrating Our Amazing People Experience Team (HR) During Staff Appreciation Month! 

As PRC nears the end of Staff Appreciation Month (SAM), we’d like to acknowledge that this celebration is only possible because of the positive efforts and creativity of our incredible People Experience (HR) team. They go above and beyond to ensure that everyone at PRC feels supported and valued. 

Our People Experience (PX) team is the driving force behind our vibrant culture. For SAM, they’ve created and implemented exciting prize games, procured delightful goodies, and planned meaningful gatherings, making every effort to show their appreciation for our collective hard work. 

However, their dedication extends far beyond these events. They work diligently to recruit and hire the best people to staff our social and residential treatment services, ensuring that our clients receive the highest quality of care. 

The PX team also designs and conducts comprehensive trainings and workshops, making sure all staff are properly equipped to provide PRC’s essential programs. PX’s commitment to managing benefits, crafting organizational guidelines and policies, supporting health and wellness, and infusing organizational values into our processes and workspaces is truly commendable. 

We owe so much to our PX team for their tireless efforts to make PRC an exceptional place to work. Please join us in expressing our heartfelt gratitude for everything they do to create a supportive and dynamic workplace. 

Thank you, PX team, for being simply the best! 

Celebrating the backbone of PRC: our Finance Team

As PRC continues to celebrate May as Staff Appreciation Month, we recognize our phenomenal Finance team. They are experts in fiscal management and the glue holding PRC together.  

With meticulous attention to detail and unwavering devotion, our Finance team guides the smooth functioning of our organization in more ways than one. They navigate the complexities of reimbursements for more than 40 public contracts so our services are provided without disruption, while delivering the greatest impact. They manage expenses, reimbursements, and payroll for more than 200 employees, and support necessary compliance, all while exemplifying professionalism and expertise at every turn. 

Our Finance team’s diligence ensures that resources are allocated efficiently so our 7 residential treatment facilities, 22 Co-op residences, 2 Hummingbird low barrier access centers, and our Integrated Services Center can perform the crucial services each provides. Their efforts empower each department and program to fulfill their mission, helping over 5,000 clients annually to thrive. 

We are thrilled to recognize our Finance team for the invaluable part they play in our collective success. Their hard work often operates behind the scenes, but their impact reverberates throughout our organization. 

Please join PRC in extending our gratitude to the Finance team for their exceptional contributions and acknowledge the vital role they play in making a direct and lasting impact on our clients’ lives. 

P.S. Learn more about PRC’s incredible staff on our Instagram stories (click the Our Team icon). Follow us and share the important work we are doing far and wide!

PRC’s Black Leadership Council hosts its third annual Advocacy Day

We are excited to share that PRC’s Black Leadership Council (BLC) is gearing up for its third annual day of action in Sacramento on Juneteenth. This is a prime opportunity for the BLC and community members to nurture, build, and foster relationships and collaborations with key policy makers and state leaders, for the long-term success of our advocacy efforts.

Community leaders are empowered to be effective advocates for change. By sharing their personal stories, experiences, and expertise, they engage in a day of impactful dialogue, collaborative problem-solving, and collective action. This not only amplifies the voices of those directly affected by the issues we care about but also fosters a sense of solidarity and shared purpose among participants. 

Advocacy Day 2022 left to right: Dr. LaWanda Wesley, Assemblymember Lori Wilson, Nichelle Kitt (back), Tasha Henneman, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Tamara Rasberry

The BLC is an initiative of PRC’s, formed in 2019, in response to the release of the 2018 Black/African American Health report developed by the SF Health Department. The report motivated a group of Black San Francisco leaders to convene strategies to address the alarming health disparities disproportionately affecting the Black community, highlighting stark discrepancies in access to quality healthcare, prevalence of chronic diseases, and life expectancy. These findings underscore the urgent need for targeted interventions, systemic reforms, and equitable policies to address the root causes of these disparities and ensure health equity for all populations.  

In 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, the BLC opted for a more comprehensive approach to action, centering on statewide reform. They formulated a Black prosperity agenda that includes four key policy areas: health, wealth, housing, and education.

To date, the BLC has hosted several community trainings and educational forums and is co-sponsoring two bills this year: 

AB 2250 (Weber) – this bill seeks to improve access to social determinants of health (SDOH) screenings and community navigation services by requiring health plans and insurers to pay for screening for SDOH, and to provide access to community health workers, promotores, representatives, peer support specialist, lay health workers, and social workers.   

AB 2465 (Gibson) – this bill seeks to level the playing field by requiring specific state agencies to implement equity in a specific set of grant programs where people of color and diverse-led organizations are underrepresented or non-existent.  Both bills are in Appropriation committees, so we have been ramping up and mobilizing our advocacy efforts to ensure they receive the necessary funding and support to move forward. The BLC is also supporting over 30 additional bills.

Advocacy Day 2022 left to right: Denise Green, Ryan White, Dr. Dr. LaWanda Wesley, Nenaji Jackson, (back row) Adrian Mohamad, Toni Newman, Darryl Lucien, Tasha Henneman, Tamara Rasberry, Senator Bradford, Senator Wiener, Assemblymember Gibson, Christopher Whitmore

This year’s Advocacy Day on June 19th promises to be an exhilarating day of action and education for participants and all involved, culminating in a legislative awards reception honoring some of the state’s most esteemed leaders and celebrating Juneteenth.  

Advocacy is a continuous journey, extending far beyond June 19th. We invite you to support the BLC’s ongoing efforts by sponsoring Advocacy Day or donating to help sustain our work. Your contribution plays a vital role in advancing our mission and creating meaningful change in our communities.

Celebrating our unsung superheroes: the Facilities Team

As we continue celebrating May as PRC’s Staff Appreciation Month, we’d like to take some time to recognize some of the unsung superheroes of our organization: the Facilities team. While their work often goes unnoticed, their contributions are indispensable in ensuring the smooth functioning of our residences and properties where our services are provided. 

Beyond the routine tasks of maintenance and repairs at 7 residential treatment facilities, 22 Co-op residences, 2 Hummingbird low barrier access centers, and our Integrated Services Center;  our Facilities team plays a pivotal role in overseeing capital improvements and related grants. They maintain robust property management software ensuring that our clients’ needs are met promptly and efficiently, contributing significantly to their overall well-being.

They are the architects behind the scenes, crafting healing spaces that not only foster a sense of home but also provide safe environments for clients to develop essential social and independent living skills.

The Facilities team embodies the spirit of service and commitment that defines PRC. They are the backbone of our organization, tirelessly working to create environments where our clients can thrive. Their passion, dedication, and hard work are an essential component of the driving force behind the success of our mission. 

As we celebrate Staff Appreciation Month, join us in recognizing and applauding the relentless efforts of our Facilities team. 


P.S. Learn more about PRC’s incredible staff on our Instagram stories (click the Our Team icon). Follow us and share the important work we are doing far and wide!

If you would like to donate food or items to support PRC’s Staff Appreciation Month, contact Greg Perez, Managing Director of People Experience,
at [email protected].

Celebrating Superheroes, our staff!

May is a special time of year for us at PRC when we celebrate the real-life superheroes among us: our staff.  

Just like the caped crusaders of comic book lore, our team is committed to uplifting the lives of thousands of individuals facing adversity. With unwavering dedication, they navigate the complex landscapes of homelessness, mental health, substance use disorders, disability benefits, and workforce training to empower our clients to transform their lives for the better.

Our staff are the champions of PRC’s mission, infusing each and every interaction with boundless compassion, wholeheartedness, and genuine selflessness to uplift others.

This is why we dedicate an entire month to showing our appreciation and shining a spotlight on the unsung heroes of PRC. Join us as we celebrate the heroes of humanity, those who make a difference one act of kindness at a time. 

Today we’re highlighting Jeremias Vasquez, a trainer in our Workforce Development department. At our recent Open House, Jeremias delivered a powerful spoken word performance capturing the essence of our mission. His words resonated deeply, reminding us of the power of empathy and the importance of support.

Click to watch Jeremias Vasquez present his spoken word at PRC’s Open House, on Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Jeremias’s story and performance embody the spirit of resilience and hope that defines PRC. Through his journey of healing and growth, he seeks to break the cycle of hardship for future generations. His commitment to service inspires us all.

Check out Jeremias’s book “the past to Freedom.”

As we continue our mission of empowering individuals and strengthening communities, let us extend our heartfelt appreciation to Jeremias and every member of our team who works tirelessly to create positive change. 


In Community, 

PRC


P.S. Learn more about PRC’s incredible staff on our Instagram profile (click the Our Team icon). Follow us and share the important work we’re doing far and wide!

If you would like to donate food or items to support PRC’s Staff Appreciation Month, contact Greg Perez, Managing Director of People Experience, at [email protected].

Gary and Donna Retire Pride Brunch After 25 Amazing Years

Dear Friends,

Twenty-five years ago, we started Pride Brunch with the late Chef Rusty Gaspard at Stars restaurant as an opportunity for our community to gather during Pride weekend and raise funds for PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center). It quickly grew to an immensely popular official Pride event and significant fundraiser for PRC, honoring the Grand Marshals of the Pride Parade and offering them a rare opportunity to share some remarks with the public.

2023 set new records with 350 guests, net proceeds of $78,000, and passionate remarks from every SF Pride Community Grand Marshal. The Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square came alive with colorful decor, lively entertainment, hosted bars from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Korbel, a delicious seated brunch, and a meaningful program augmented by comments from Mayor London Breed, State Senator Scott Wiener, and Assemblymember Matt Haney. In addition, we recognized 12 Legacy Partners, friends who contributed to the success of Pride Brunch over many years.

After careful consideration, we have decided to end this 25-year run with that successful 2023 event. As event expenses continue to climb, we find it increasingly difficult to keep ticket prices at a reasonable level for everyone. We want all our friends to be able to attend, regardless of their personal financial situation. In addition, the tremendous time, energy, and volunteer assistance needed for such a large event has eclipsed our resources.

We are so grateful to our generous financial sponsors, donors to the raffle and auction, those who bought raffle tickets and bid enthusiastically, and every single person who chose to support Pride Brunch with their attendance, donations, and volunteer hours. It is only with your help that Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet’s Pride Brunch has raised more than $645,000 in net proceeds since 1999 to support the life-changing work of PRC. We know how many
events and causes vie for your attention and we deeply appreciate your choice to include our event in your SF Pride plans.

To be clear, we will continue to serve on the Advisory Board of PRC and support PRC as before and we encourage you to do the same. If this decision leaves you wondering how to show your support for PRC, please consider the annual Mighty Real Fundraiser, Bare Chest Calendar, and Songs of the Season, among many other opportunities.

Thank you again for 25 years of generosity, community, and celebration. We consider ourselves very fortunate to live in San Francisco and to have your support.

Sincerely,



Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet
Co-Founders, Pride Brunch

Wow! We are still basking in the glow of our Open House!

We wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made our second annual Open House on April 3, such a tremendous success. 

From our dedicated volunteers and generous supporters to our staff members and community partners, your presence and support truly made the evening unforgettable. The energy and enthusiasm in the building buzzed as we came together to celebrate our clients and the vital services they receive at PRC. 

The evening was filled with recognition of our dedicated Volunteer Extraordinaires, powerfully inspiring spoken word, captivating musical performances, heartfelt staff testimonials, exciting raffle winnings, and a celebration of our fifth anniversary in our integrated Services Center. It was a true testament to the resilience and compassion of our community. 

Left to right | Chuan Teng, PRC CEO, Marjorie and Larry Schlenoff, Colin Hartke, Senior Director Marketing / Strategy Quest Diagnostics and PRC Board member  
PRC Volunteer Extraordinaire framed keepsakes and flowers in PRC mugs for volunteers to take home 

One of the highlights of the evening was the speech delivered by PRC volunteer extraordinaire Joanie Juster, as she reflected on her experiences with the AIDS Emergency Fund, now PRC’s Emergency Financial Assistance program. Joanie’s words echoed throughout the room, reminding us of the importance of community and the impact each individual can make when they come together with a shared purpose. 

PRC CEO Chuan Teng and PRC Volunteer Extraordinaire Joanie Juster

Tehya Fernandez, a PRC Housing Navigator, shared a heartfelt testimonial, illustrating the profound impact PRC’s services have on the lives of those they serve and the importance of lived experience. Her words painted a vivid picture of hope, resilience, and transformation. 

PRC Workforce Development Trainer Jeremias Vasquez delivered an incredible spoken word performance that left the audience spellbound. His words resonated deeply, shedding light on the challenges faced by many in our community, the importance of the connections that bring us into the work of serving our clients, and a poetic cheer for everyone providing these services.  

Sky (L) on the keys and Jeremias, PRC Trainer (front) presenting their spoken word performance

Eric and Sky performed a portion of Wind Beneath My Wings adding another layer of depth and emotion to the evening, showcasing the diverse talents within our community and bringing people together through the universal language of music. 

Left to right | Nguyen Pham, Volunteer Extraordinaire, Frameline Director of Philanthropy, and SF Pride President, Ray Pulman, 2023 Bare Chest Calendar Mr. November, Erik Lauritzen, PRC Capital Asset Manager, and Derek Jandu, Conservatory of Music Major Gifts Officer
Lauren Vega, PRC Employment Specialist  congratulates Volunteer Extraordinaire Troy Brunet for his raffle win
Left to right | Team Lead – Risk Analytics & Modeling – Chevron – Brian Redmond, Senior Software Engineering Manager – Shopify – Rune Madsen – Shopify, PRC Chief Development Office Randi Paul, PRC Board Member Darren Smith, Associate Director – Rubicon Point Partners – Austin Morgan, and PRC CEO Chuan Teng 
Ice cream cake in honor of PRC’s fifth anniversary in our Integrated Services Center

We want to extend a special thank you to PRC Board Member Colin Hartke for championing the event, our staff members who worked tirelessly to bring this event to life, and those who represented our programs and took the time to share the impactful work we do every day. Events like these remind us of the incredible power of community and the joy that comes from gathering together in support of a shared mission.

Thank you to our Co-Host Sponsors

PRC Board President Brian Schneider and Robert Lieberman

PRC Board Member Colin Hartke

Anonymous

Thank you to our In-Kind Sponsors 

Jeff Millard

Liz Pickell

Jeremias Vasquez