The Latest News from BOSS

Facing Challenges with Passion and Determination

Facing Challenges with Passion and Determination

By Ed Buchanan, LMFT Melissa Dempsey is a Pacheco court resident and has been connected to BOSS for nine years. She’s the proud mother of five children. Melissa has faced and overcome many challenges in her life such as homelessness, various substance use addictions and domestic violence, through her resiliency, tenacity, steadfastness and resourcefulness. She continues to demonstrate a passion and desire to increase her self-efficacy, to improve her mental health and reach her goals in life...

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Congratulations Innovations Graduates!

Congratulations Innovations Graduates!

OAKLAND, CA – On the evening of February 6th at the Eastside Arts Alliance, BOSS staff and staff from partnering agencies gathered to celebrate the achievement of seven special graduates – citizens returning from incarceration who have completed the pilot BOSS Social Justice Collective (SJC) Innovations Project! In 2019 BOSS received a grant from Alameda County Innovations in Reentry to answer the learning question, Does civic involvement and participation in healing and arts activities reduce...

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A Visit to McKinley House – Permanent Supportive Housing in the Heart of Berkeley

A Visit to McKinley House – Permanent Supportive Housing in the Heart of Berkeley

On a brisk afternoon in November of 2019, Marketing Intern Max Frincke (myself) and Government and Public Relations Manager Greg Magofña went to McKinley House in Downtown Berkeley to talk Paris Anderson about what McKinley House, a 7-unit building that recently transitioned from interim housing to permanent supportive housing, provides and whom we serve.  Paris, who works as an Assistant Property Manager and lives at McKinley, is in charge of overseeing McKinley and assisting its residents....

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New Laws in 2020

New Laws in 2020

Following are some new laws taking effect this year that relate to BOSS’s work and the very low income people we serve. Many of these laws attest to the power of civic engagement, and were the subject of statewide organizing, advocacy and public education to help get them passed. Housing & Income: AB 1482: (1) Extends just cause eviction protections to tenants living in residential properties not currently covered by just cause eviction laws; and (2) Prohibits owners from increasing rent...

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Community Conversation and Call to Action

Community Conversation and Call to Action

FREMONT, CA – On the evening of Thursday, January 23rd, BOSS staff gathered with other community-based service providers and neighbors for a Community Conversation and Call to Action, to talk about making our schools and communities safe. Hosted at Fremont High School, and co-sponsored by the Violence Prevention Coalition and numerous local organizations (see flyer below), the event offered food, information about local services and resources, and candid discussion on strategies for violence...

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A Holiday Season Full of Joy and Giving

A Holiday Season Full of Joy and Giving

BOSS was founded in 1971 by a group of volunteers from Berkeley’s Jewish community who saw the need to reach out to and support to an emerging homeless population, and this same sense of community and selflessness still exists today. Every year, we work in partnership with some truly inspirational, generous individuals and groups in the community, who help make sure the people BOSS serves receive warmth, joy, comfort, and the knowledge that they are not forgotten. From food, blankets, and...

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Transformation: Lawan’s Story

Transformation: Lawan’s Story

Lewan Kaar (not her real name) first came to BOSS in November 2015. After eight years of homelessness and waiting four years to be approved for subsidized housing, she had finally found and moved into her own home, and needed help managing her funds. Warm and confident, with an easy, friendly smile and demeanor, when you first meet Lewan it is impossible to know everything she has experienced and dealt with over the years – as is the case, she points out, for nearly everyone you meet....

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Workplace Education & Development Training

Workplace Education & Development Training

As a means to pull people out of deep poverty, BOSS is developing an innovative business model, documenting our hiring practices for people with non-traditional backgrounds (i.e. no college degree, veterans, formerly incarcerated, etc.) with the understanding that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. This training series, the BOSS Workplace Education & Development Training Module, is being collaboratively designed by BOSS staff with lived experience, supported by...

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Habitot Donates Gingerbread House to BOSS Kids

Habitot Donates Gingerbread House to BOSS Kids

Back in August of this year, BOSS received a very special inquiry and invitation from the wonderful local children’s hands-on discovery museum, Habitot: “In December, here at Habitot Children's Museum we build a giant real-baked gingerbread house and have guests (including our little ones!) decorate it with real candy. It becomes a wonderful masterpiece! We are emailing to ask if you would like Habitot to donate our gingerbread house for you to put on display for your...

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BOSS Receives Award From 100 Black Men of the Bay Area

BOSS Receives Award From 100 Black Men of the Bay Area

On Saturday December 14th, 2019, BOSS received the incredible honor of receiving the Community Service Award for an Organization from 100 Black Men of the Bay Area – a prestigious award given annually to individuals, corporations, and organizations that are making a difference in the lives of Black boys and men of color in our community! The black tie awards gala was held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, and was a glittering who’s-who gathering of Black Bay Area business leaders,...

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Digging Deep to Make Change

Digging Deep to Make Change

Dig Deep Farms is among the increasing number of urban farming organizations creating vibrant communities that helps educate and support small-scale farming and permaculture systems in the Bay Area. BOSS recently worked with Dig Deep Farms to place a CTEC participant who is interested in being part of the urban food movement! Phillip Bonds, 46, a Bay Area native currently residing at BOSS Hope Reentry Campus in East Oakland and a participant at CTEC, toils in the 8 acres of garden and farm...

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Donating to Plant Seeds of Change

Donating to Plant Seeds of Change

BOSS’s shelter, housing, and support service programs provide meals, amenities, housing and job services, community activities, and a host of life-changing support. This work is only possible with the support of funders and individual community members who donate, volunteer, and support our work! Some of our supporters wrote short notes on their donation cards, explaining how they came to know BOSS, and why they give. Thank you to all of you, and all of our supporters and partners! “When I...

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BOSS Holiday Celebrations

BOSS Holiday Celebrations

Every year, families and individuals in BOSS programs work hard to find affordable homes, living wage jobs, and resources to increase their educations, social connections, physical health, and long-term healing from trauma. The holidays can be a particularly painful time for people without homes, those coming out of prison, those escaping domestic or community violence – BOSS participants may be separated from family members, are going through substance abuse recovery, dealing with serious...

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DrawBridge Art Therapy with BOSS Children & Families

DrawBridge Art Therapy with BOSS Children & Families

Since 1989, DrawBridge has inspired over 35,000 homeless and underserved children through weekly expressive art programs that are offered free of charge right where these kids live – in dozens of homeless shelters, safe houses and other low-income facilities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Through drawing, painting, clay, collage, and more, children ages four and up are given the opportunity to explore the playful creativity that is so important to healthy development. BOSS has worked...

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Thank you, Monticello Academy, for an Amazing Holiday Haul

Thank you, Monticello Academy, for an Amazing Holiday Haul

Thanks to the kindergartners at Monticello Academy in Santa Clara BOSS has received an abundance of important items that can be used by families in need for years to come!  This is the second year Ms. Sarireh Nadimi and the school have chosen BOSS for their community service project, with a collection of needed donations for our clients and participants. As part of their annual community involvement project, the kindergartners of Ms. Sarireh Nadimi class organized a donation drive where...

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Census 2020: Overview and Countdown!

Census 2020: Overview and Countdown!

The United States Constitution requires all residents to be counted every 10 years. You can help support our community and bring valuable resources for you and your family by filling out the 2020 Census. It's safe, quick and easy and there is NO citizenship question. An accurate count of EVERYONE helps assure that our communities are allocated enough funding for needed programs and services! Currently the census will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese,...

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The Berkeley School – Helping Homeless Kids

The Berkeley School – Helping Homeless Kids

New Partnership With BOSS Children’s Learning Center The Berkeley School began as the first Montessori school in Berkeley in 1963, and has since evolved into a school that employs Montessori principles and techniques as well as Reggio Emilia and Project Zero methodologies – all geared to give students a progressive education with a focus on civic education, helping students achieve their full potential as individual scholars, members of their local communities, and active citizens of the...

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CTEC Graduate Profile Series – Part III: John Walker

CTEC Graduate Profile Series – Part III: John Walker

For the third and final segment the last 2018 graduate we are profiling is John Walker, who used the help of CTEC to find a job doing what he loves. Walker’s life has had its ups and downs, but through perseverance and guidance nothing is impossible! Read about April Owens in Part I of our series, Julius Butler in Part II. John Walker Living most of his life in Oakland, 60-year old John Walker has a history of positive engagement and leadership in his community. From 1990-1996 he served as a...

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SCHP 6-Month Renovation Project

SCHP 6-Month Renovation Project

The BOSS South County Homeless Project (SCHP) has been providing shelter and life-changing support services to 24 homeless Hayward residents per night since 1989. In April of this year, BOSS began working with Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency to complete some much-needed building upgrades – new ceiling, ventilation system, heating/air conditioning, and oven, dubbed 'Emma' by staff and participants! Cleaner, cooler air for everyone at SCHP! Initially, the plan was to move...

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CTEC Graduate Profile Series – Part II: Julius Butler

CTEC Graduate Profile Series – Part II: Julius Butler

For the second segment of the CTEC Graduate Profile Series, we feature Julius Butler who graduated from CTEC in 2018. Julius used the help of BOSS not only to find employment and build his resume, but also pursue his passions and develop talent. Read about April Owens in part I and John Walker in part III of our series.Julius Butler After losing his job with a soup kitchen for arguing with upper management over workers’ rights, Julius Butler was forced into a period of homelessness. He lost...

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