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Just Beyond Peach Street, Volume 3 - August 2013

Change is constant. Change is moving forward. Change is the future.




Renovations on the Road to Recovery

"Change is vital to our growth and longtime sustainability here at Sun Street Centers. We just finished our Renovations for Recovery project in June. It took over three years to raise money and with the help of various community partnerships we were able to renovate the dorms and provide healthy and safe living spaces for the residents of Sun Street Centers' Men's Residential facilities.  The next thing to do is grow to continue to meet the needs of our community members. I've been here for five years now and we’ve completed some great strategic planning and laid a solid foundation.  We are going to be around for many more years.  Sun Street Centers is crucial in helping men and women making life changing decisions for themselves. It makes such a difference for their families and our community."
-Anna Foglia
CEO

The Power of Youth Summit

Knowledge is power! Thank you to all, particularly our guest speakers and collaborators (Building Healthy Communities, National Compadres Network, PALABRA and 2nd Chance Family Youth Services), who participated in the Power of Youth Summit hosted by our STEPS students Saturday, July 27th, 2013. We had a successful high-energy event with over 80 attendees with informative workshops on moving beyond the violence, student rights, defining your true self, social justice, and prevention before addiction. Our youth and guest speakers did a fantastic job at coming together to educate our community. We would also like to thank our board members for their ongoing contributions and support.

From STEPS to Program Coordinator

“My name is Sylvia Ramirez and I am currently the Prevention Coordinator for Sun Street Center’s Salinas Prevention Department. Before reaching this position, I was a program aide for Sun Street Centers, and before that, I was a student leader for the Safe Teens Empowerment Project in Salinas (STEPS). I joined STEPS my sophomore year in high school while I attended Alisal High. I decided to join this program because of the community service activities and resources that are offered to students. I obtained a lot of important skills and assets that have molded me to the strong person that I am today. As a STEPS student, I was very involved with the community.  I participated in city council meetings, DUI checkpoints, park/beach clean ups, decoy operations, gateway drug presentations, media advocacy, Life Skills trainings, resource fairs, and many more activities that taught me responsibility and great public speaking skills. Now, as a Prevention Coordinator for Sun Street Centers, one of my main focuses is to help the present STEPS students succeed in high school and obtain a higher education, while having a healthy and safe life without the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.  Initially before obtaining this position, I had goals to attend college and major in liberal studies to become an elementary teacher; but, after years of working with law enforcement and other organizations (including non-profits), I have realized that my real passion is in the field of criminal justice. I am currently pursuing a major in Human Communications with a Pre-Law concentration and using the skills and qualities I’ve obtained from working at Sun Street Centers to pay it forward in the community.”

49 Years of Sobriety

Martin Dodd (at center in blue shirt) received his 49th Year of Sobriety Award at the Sun Street Centers' Residential Awards Night on Wednesday, August 8th, 2013. 

Volunteers Needed!

We are currently looking for volunteers for our annual “Castle of the Dead” Haunted House fundraiser in October. Opportunities for Actors, Dancers, Building/Construction, Costume, Make Up, Pumpkin Patch and more! For more information contact Leslie Leach at lleach@sunstreet.org or Sheryl Merrill at smerrill@sunstreet.org.

Empowerment through IMPOWER

IMPOWER Grant recipient, Kathleen Thorn, was able to buy herself a laptop for school.  "Having a computer has made my life so much easier! I am currently using my computer to help maintain control of my finances and to search for employment opportunities. It will be so great to go back to school this semester and not have to compete for computer space in the library! Thank you so much for this generous gift."

On the Road of Recovery

 
"Getting my one year chip for sobriety was something I never thought I’d do. I thought I’d be dead at 27 (now 29). By all means I should be dead, in jail or homeless. I tried to die many times. But here I am a year later, loving life and looking forward to the future. I’m content.
I arrived at Sun Street Centers on August 4th, 2012. I was welcomed with open arms. You’re not just a resident. These people really care. They really want the best for you.
I was in a really bad place at the time.  It was my interpretations of situations that brought me to where I was.  I was maladjusted to life. The alcohol made me feel “adjusted” and made me feel like I could deal with stuff. But I wasn’t dealing with anything; I was just running from place to place, job to job, and relationship to relationship just to save face.
Nothing really hits you from your downward spiral until you get clean. It’s like all of a sudden you’re at a stop sign and the traffic just keeps going.  It all catches up. 
Working the Sun Street Centers' Castle of the Dead haunted house was one of the biggest breakthroughs for me. I could go there and be normal.  It was an outlet and a break away from all the seriousness.  I could just run around and be me. I didn’t have to think about what was going on anymore.  I made really good friends there because everybody let their guard down a little bit.  There's something about Sun Street Centers having the guys be involved in community service. It teaches you about working together and being together as a whole. It gave me perspective and instead of being self-centered, I learned to give back and be thankful and more accommodating of others.
During my last couple months here, something clicked in me. I realized that this place really did save my life. I was able to get so much back.  I have my son.  I have a job. I work here at Sun Street.  This place gave so much to me and now I can give back to them." -Brandon Reyes, Alumni 2012

Welcome to Sun Street!

We are pleased to welcome our newest Board Member: restauranteur, Tony Tollner. Tony is the owner of The Rio Grill, Montrio Bistro and Tarpy’s Roadhouse, and the founder of The Rio Grill’s Resolution Run, benefiting local nonprofits for 22 years! It's so nice to have Tony as part of our team!
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