TransACTION Day of Change – Dreaming of a World without TDOR (#endTDOR)

On Friday November 18, 2022, San Mateo County (SMC) community members gathered at Redwood City Courthouse square for the first annual TransACTION Day of Change in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). SMC has observed TDOR since 2015. By providing these annual days of action, the planning committee hope to create more awareness, education, and visibility to stop this violence enacted toward transgender individuals.

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), TransACTION Day of Change was created to provide community the opportunity to commit to ending TDOR (#endTDOR). TDOR has traditionally been about honoring the trans people who have been murdered simply by being themselves (the highest number are Black Transgender women). The TransACTION Day of Change Planning committee (under the lead of LGBTQ Commission Director, Tanya Beat) wanted to honor victims’ lives with dignity and end the stigma that trans, nonbinary and gender diverse people face. Ultimately, we want to live in a world that no longer has Transgender Day of Remembrance. PRIDE Initiative cochairs Dana Johnson and Scott Gruendl joined community in support of TransACTION Day of Change. The featured event had resource booths, an Allegiance Wall, Reading of the Names, and ended in a Candlelight Vigil. PRIDE Initiative cochair and LGBTQ Commissioner Dana Johnson (they/ them) was the event emcee.

The event also offered a vaccination clinic which was able to administer 106 COVID-19 vaccinations and 8 MPOX vaccinations, according to the vaccine site manager.

“The event was affirming and a step towards change. I’m happy to be a part of this community and working with other community leaders in striving to make a safer community for trans, nonbinary and gender diverse folks. Identity, intersectionality, and inclusion is important to me, and I will continue to fight for trans, nonbinary, and gender diverse folks to be heard and seen.”

Dana Johnson, PRIDE Initiative Co-Chair and LGBTQ Commissioner


For more information about TDOR and to view the TDOR 2022 PowerPoint presentation visit SMC LGBTQ Commission website here.

In Solidarity,
Dana Johnson (they/ them/ theirs)

12/11 – Anonymous Gun Buyback

Anonymous Gun Buyback | Saturday, December 11 10am-2pm | 1000 Skyway Road, San Carlos

Get cash for your unused or unwanted guns. No questions asked, we do not run ballistics, and you can remain completely anonymous. Receive up to $100 cash for a handgun/shotgun/rifle, and up to $200 cash for an assault rifle.
You can find more details in this event flyer and website.

These events are important in advancing San Mateo County’s Suicide Prevention Roadmap. To help educate the community, the Suicide Prevention Committee has also contributed suicide prevention outreach materials (listed below) for this event.

Please consider sharing this event with your network in the San Mateo County community.

Help Name the Future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus

San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services would like your help in naming the future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus and its five new buildings— a Campus Center and four Mental Health Rehabilitation Centers (see digital rendering) currently under construction in the unincorporated area of Redwood City.  

The names should center around themes such as recovery, wellness, healing, and nature to capitalize on its beautiful, serene, natural setting to complement the process of wellness, rehabilitation, and recovery, as well as incorporate the vision of the project.

  

Submit suggestions using this form by November 23, 2022. 

A diverse committee will review and select the future names, which will be announced before the new programs open.    

About the programs that will be housed at the future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus:
The future Cordilleras Behavioral Health campus has been designed to provide a world-class healing therapeutic environment that is far more homelike and far less institutional. This came about from an extensive review of best clinical practices, as well as campus and building models around the world. Treating people in a smaller-scale, more homelike setting reduces social isolation and creates a more natural environment for healing and social skills training, thereby mitigating problems related to adjustment and recovery. There will be four 16-bed mental health rehabilitation centers and co-housing for 57 residents along with a Campus Center. Construction of the new $155 million campus is currently underway next to the current facility. Completion is slated for the fall of 2023. Learn more about this project.  

For questions, please contact Terry Wilcox-Rittgers, BHRS special projects coordinator at twilcox-rittgers@smcgov.org

Health Ambassadors Reflect on the Importance of SMC’s 10th Annual PRIDE Celebration

BHRS Health Ambassadors supporting 10 year Anniversary of San Mateo County’s PRIDE Celebration

Version en Español abajo

Saturday at noon, the radiant sun, and hundreds of people ready to experience an LGBTQ+ celebration for the first time. Not just any celebration, but the 10 year anniversary of San Mateo County’s PRIDE Celebration! 

Volunteering at the 2022 San Mateo County Pride Celebration this past June was a group of BHRS’ Health Ambassadors, accompanied by their children. Joined by BHRS’ Office of Diversity & Equity, the Health Ambassadors helped collect demographic data of attendees to learn which communities were represented at the event. Along with volunteering, the Health Ambassadors were ready to make a special connection with their children and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community.  

“[At the Pride Celebration] my 14-year-old daughter seemed very happy, very open, like she was in her world. It was very natural for her to go with me around the park asking attendees each of the 6 questions of the questionnaire. We found happy people, dancing and enjoying their acceptance,” 

BHRS Health Ambassador, Lourdes Briseño, who had not attended a PRIDE celebration prior and, inspired by her experience at the festival, shared her story for the first time. 

“When my daughter came out she was between 8 and 9 years old, but I feel that I did not listen to her… At age 12 she came out to her older brother. Luis clarified/educated me that my daughter is a lesbian and demanded that I never reject her. I could had avoided 4 years of her suffering…”, said Lourdes. “When we arrived at the park, my husband looked very uncomfortable, but at last he said that he wanted to attend a support group for parents with LGBTQ + children… Having attended this event was a way of supporting my daughter. She is very young and needs the support of her family and then the support of society, because we don’t live alone as a family, she must make her life safer and happier for herself. Also, I learned the term ‘Queer’*” 

During the event, the community enjoyed local artists on stage, information booths breaking stigma around the LGBTQ+ community, and the playground for children and adults. While gifts were raffled and folks enjoyed the sun, it seems that the same balm of joy and freshness transforms minds and moves hearts.  

“For me it was nice to see that people fight to feel comfortable with who they are and that they find freedom along the way. At my daughter’s age -14 years old- she is already clear that all people should be accepted as they are, and we don’t have to judge anyone. We weren’t taught that where I grew up”. 

BHRS Health Ambassador, Angelica Zamora, originally from Mexico 

BHRS Health Ambassadors collected a total of 826 demographic surveys from an estimated total of 2,400 attendees from various parts of the Bay Area and other states across the country. The Spanish speaking community was the second largest group of attendees after the English speakers.  

You can find the Health Ambassadors continuing their support for LGBTQ+ communities at TransACTION Day of Change this Friday, 11/18 in Redwood City.

Read more

Samaritan House Transportation Resources

Community Transportation Benefits Program

What is the Community Transportation Benefits Program?
The Community Transportation Benefits Program (Program) is sponsored and funded by the San Mateo
County 101 Express Lanes. The Program helps qualifying San Mateo County residents cover some of their
transportation costs.

How do I enroll?
There are eight Core Service Agencies that work in close collaboration with the Human Services Agency of
San Mateo County to provide you and your family with basic emergency and support services. You can enroll
for the Community Transportation Benefits Program through any of the following Core Service Agencies either
virtually or in-person. Their contact information can be found below:

Commute.org

Commute.org is your go-to resource to improve how you get to work.
Visit Commute.org to learn more about rewards and resources to help with your commute.

Commute Resources
– Shuttles: Free shuttles to BART and Caltrain
– Trip Planning assistance: Send us a request or use our online STAR trip
planning tool
– E-news: Sign up to stay connected with us

Learn more at Commute.org.

Health Ambassadors Join NAMIWalks 2022

16 BHRS-Health Ambassadors and their families and pets attended the first NAMIWalks held in San Mateo County. BHRS’ Office of Diversity & Equity and Office of Consumer & Family Affairs offered San Mateo County resources at the fair.

NAMIWalks Your Way 2022 came to San Mateo County for the very first time on Saturday, October 8th at Seal Point Park in San Mateo. NAMIWalks Your Way is an opportunity to unite and magnify mental health awareness across the country. We’re all in this together, and together we walk towards a future where Mental Health for All is a reality. 

To learn more about the Health Ambassador Program contact Charo Martinez at (650) 372-6136 or email mmartinezresendiz@smcgov.org.

Written by Charo Martinez (ella/sher/her), BHRS’ Office of Diversity & Equity

Samaritan House Financial Resources

The Journey of Samaritan House

Could you use a financial boost? Have you needed financial assistance in the past just to get by? Do you struggle to make ends meet? Would an extra $500 or $1000 come in handy to deal with financial challenges?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider applying for The Journey at Samaritan House.

The Journey program will help you and your family improve your financial future. Work with a personal financial coach for eight (8) months and receive detailed financial health assessments. Also attend monthly webinars and financial trainings, while earning cash and incentives along the way!

For more information, call (650) 294-4323 or email feprogram@samaritanhousesanmateo.org.

Take Control of Your Finances!

This program is an easily accessible and fun way for you to increase yoru personal finance skills. Must have internet access and an email to participate.

Learn more at bit.ly/shfirststep. Sign up at (650) 294-4323 or email feprogram@samaritanhousesanmateo.org.

BHRS Director’s Update – November 2022

 Please see the latest issue of the Director’s Update from BHRS Interim Director, Lisa Mancini. 

 Topics include:

  • Free Tech Support for Clients+
  • Help Name the Future Cordilleras Behavioral Health Campus
  • 2022 Employee Equity Awards – Yolanda Booker, Regina Moreno, and Ziomara Ochoa
  • Congratulations – Peter Dell, MD; Brenden Scherer, MD
  • Contractors’ Association Spotlight: Daly City Youth Health Center Takes a Systemic Approach to Healing Pain in the Community
  • CalAIM Corner:  CalAIM Implementation Plan

Past issues can be found here.

11/18- TransACTION Day of Change

In honor of *Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), San Mateo County and San Mateo County Pride Center invites you to TransACTION Day of Change where they are providing the community the opportunity to commit to ending TDOR (#endTDOR).

TransACTION Day of Change will feature resource booths, an Allegiance Wall, Reading of the Names, and a Candlelight Vigil. Creating change is difficult; especially when we mourn those who have lost their lives simply for being themselves. The event want to honor those who have died and also create ways for our community to learn and take action to #endTDOR.

Amazing agencies from San Mateo County and the Bay Area have been invited to provide exclusive resources, services and practical information that support trans and gender-diverse community members and their friends and families. This is where “ally” becomes a verb and we all take part in creating inclusive spaces at home, at work, and at school.

This event is free, inclusive, and will feature an Allegiance Wall where you can sign your name and walk away with practical ways to build awareness and ways that allies can impact and create a safer community for everyone.

Additionally, we are proud to announce that there will also be a COVID-19 and MPX vaccination clinics will be joining us. Both clinics are open to the public and they encourage folx to make appointments via MyTurn while walk-ins are also welcome. Please see the second attached flyer below for more information!

Questions?
Email Tanya Beat, LGBTQ Commission Director, tbeat@smcgov.org or
Azisa Todd, SMC Pride Center Lead Trainer & Events Coordinator, azisa.todd@sanmateopride.org

For more information about TransACTION Day of Change, visit: https://www.smcgov.org/lgbtq/event/transaction-day-change

10/26- Heart & Soul Open House at New Location

Heart & Soul joyfully invites you to celebrate the opening of their new Community Drop-In Center in Burlingame! Join to learn what’s new, meet their team, have fun, be inspired, and celebrate their San Mateo County Mental Health Peer Support Community!

Free Admission! No advance registration or RSVP is required. All are welcome

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