Self-sufficiency is very important at BOSS, so important that it’s part of our name, as well as an integral facet of our mission statement. In northern California one way to achieve a new level of self-sufficiency, and to give back to the community, is through solar panels. On April 19th that dream became a reality at Ursula Sherman Village!
GRID Alternatives is a local non-profit that began changing lives and communities in 2001. Their Mission Statement is so perfectly in sync with BOSS that it is a perfect match: GRID Alternatives’ vision is a transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone. “Our mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training available to underserved communities.” They also provide training programs, including ground-breaking youth and women-only training programs, all of which mesh seamlessly with the BOSS Career Training & Employment Program (CTEC).
Rising Sun Energy Center is another local nonprofit that focuses exclusively on solar job training and installation. They also have a youth training program as well as a women-only solar job training program. Their Mission Statement shows that they focus on at-risk communities and individuals helping to generate energy and self-sufficiency: “Our mission is to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities”
The City of Berkeley has a solar program for homeowners and service providers, such as BOSS, to receive solar panel and installation for low-cost, or even for free!
On April 19th, trucks arrived, people unloaded, panels were hoisted, and all peoples rejoiced over our new independence! Jesse Arreguin, the Mayor of Berkeley, was even on hand to celebrate with us! These panels will help The Village be more self-sufficient for 20 years or more! And, even better, when the panels generate more power than the facility needs, we are helping our neighbors by putting that power back into the grid.
The collaboration of wonderfully unique and community centered organizations and the City of Berkeley have given BOSS a new way to be self-sufficient, to encourage it in others, and to support our community in new and important ways. This is Turning Lives Around!