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The monthly E Newsletter from 
Bay Area Community Services (BACS)    
National Poetry Month


Show BACS your favorite poem - post it to our Facebook page by clicking here.


Enjoy National Poetry Month!


5 Year Anniversary: Jamie Almanza, E.D.

BACS is delighted to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Jamie Almanza as our Executive Director!


Jamie's tenure with BACS has seen marked change, and improvements in program operations, staff morale, and overall agency strength. 


Under her leadership, BACS has maintained crucial programs like our Supported Independent Living sites and the Wellness Centers, as well as started several exciting new programs including Oakland Project Connect, Housing Fast Support Network, TAY Hope Intervention Program, and Prevention Engagement Program.


Through the work of Jamie Almanza, and our dedicated staff, BACS is able to provide these critical programs and others, continuing to pursue BACS' vision of a world where everyone is safe, healthy, and engaged in community wellness. 


P.E.P. in the Community

BACS' Prevention Engagement Program, in Solano County, is getting out into the community! PEP staff attended the MHSOAC-sponsored resource fair and community forum for those in Solano County who have benefited from MHSA.      

More than 200 people attended, and peers in the community, including two BACS staff, were able to give their important and unique perspectives on available services, what is working, and what needs to be changed. 


BACS is proud to have P.E.P. in Solano County, helping meet the high demand for services, and bringing a recovery and strengths-based approach to wellness. 


Achieving a Better Life Experience Act

98% of BACS participants live below the California poverty line. Poverty does not exist in a vacuum - it is often tied to mental health issues, aging without necessary support, and homelessness. 


Thankfully, there are programs throughout California targeting these issues, including BACS, and our legislators are working to improve these conditions. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act paves that way for individuals with disabilities to save more than $2,000 without losing public health benefits. 


The ABLE Act supports people with disabilities as they pursue education, finding permanent housing, saving for disability-related expenses, and more. These types of savings are important for individuals as they build better futures for themselves.


To learn more, click here


BACS and Borchard Foundation Present

The Brown Bag Series: Navigating from Social Services to Legal Services. This series is customized for social service providers, and will help you become better informed to access legal services for your clients. 


The May 12th topic is "Elder Financial Abuse," and will take place at 1814 Franklin Street, 4th Floor, Oakland. The program runs from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.; networking begins at 11:30. Lunch will be provided with RSVP. 


Presenters for the May event are Megan Yip, Borchard Fellow and BACS Board Member, and Brandy DeOrnellas, an attorney from Legal Assistance for Seniors. 


To learn more, or RSVP, email training@bayareacs.org 


Employee of the Month!

BACS has an All-Star staff! Below, we honor our "Employee of the Month" for April!


Yvonne Ying, Accounting Supervisor: 

Yvonne has been with BACS for over 10 years and through many changes. While many staff may not personally know Yvonne she does a tremendous amount of work "behind the scenes" in the accounting department to support all BACS programs. 


She is also happy to go beyond her duties to support the success of our partners- this was highlighted recently when she set up an Excel spreadsheet to support a partner working towards increasing their monthly budgeting skills. 

Congratulations, Yvonne!

E.D. Asked to Present on Organizational Culture Change for Federal Government

Jamie Almanza, Executive Director, was invited to present on'Bringing About Organizational Culture Change' by the Administration for Community Living, the Department of the Federal Government responsible for carrying forward the Affordable Care Act.  


Ms. Almanza was chosen because BACS led a culture change from traditional social services administration to a robust healthcare services agency focused on delivering high quality services and achieving outcomes that demonstrate a decrease in high-end utilization of public expenditures.  The presentation was geared towards helping other community based organizations, nationally, achieve the same results.


Celebrating Local History & Culture

Nancy Thompson, who was featured last month for her Things I remember About Where I was Born book, received a $5,000 grant from the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program to conduct the Elder Circle Project at the North Oakland Senior Center and to write the Pioneering Spirits - A Legacy of Courage book.   


This book featured 2 BACS participants, as well as 10 other seniors from the Senior Center. While Nancy has only published one book with BACS, all her books are an excellent window into the fascinating seniors who live in the Bay Area.


Amazing Donation
On April Fool's Day, BACS thought we were being pranked when we received a donation of $5,000 in stock. It turns out, our amazing Bay Area community thinks that any day of the year is an excellent day to change lives. 

This individual wishes to remain anonymous, so BACS extends our sincere gratitude for this generosity. Thanks to this donation, and others like it, BACS is able to pursue our mission of providing supportive wellness services to underserved individuals in our community. 

Thank you, anonymous donor, for this incredible gift!

Get Involved!

Do you love the work that BACS does? Do you want to help keep adults connected to their communities in Alameda County? If so, we would love to have you as part of our family! Here are some ideas on how you can participate:


Join an Adult Day Care Team to assist older adults with socialization events and recreational activities. 


Donate gently used blankets, coats, and other items to our winter shelter and housing programs. 


Donate time and materials for construction projects at one of our many Alameda County sites. 



Too busy to join us in person, but want to help financially? Financial donations go a long way in supporting our work!


Learn more on our website or by calling 510.613.0330.  


Get Connected, Get Involved, Give BACS
BACS has many ways in which you can help seniors and adults with mental illness
You can volunteer by contacting Visakha Som
at 510-986-8907 
or emailing vsom@bayareacs.org 
Or you can always Like us on Facebook! and Follow us on Twitter!

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