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May 2013
The road to recovery. It starts with the first step. The step that leads you to the Twelve Steps of recovery. Just Beyond Peach Street is a metaphor for that step you take as you leave 8 Sun Street, finish your class or your program, and as you graduate into a new life of sobriety.

Sun Street Centers celebrated its 45th anniversary this last month. Men’s Residential, located at 8 Sun Street, opened its doors in April of 1968. Since that time, Sun Street Centers has grown into a county-wide organization serving men, women and children as they walk the road to recovery.  In honor of this special anniversary, we sat down with Martin Dodd, the founder, to find out a little about the beginning.  When Martin and his wife, Nancy, started Sun Street Centers, Martin had 4 years of sobriety.  Martin had a vision of helping the winos who were on the streets.  At that time, the “paddywagon” would pick up the people on the streets, process them into jail, and let them out the following day; only to pick them up again the next day and the day after that.  Martin worked with the Police Department and the County to create a solution to this problem.  He was given an old burned out labor camp located at 8 Sun Street by a local produce business owner.  Martin and Nancy started to fix up the place. They pulled the family trailer onto the property to use as a kitchen.  From then on, Martin always considered it grace that everything they needed to build Sun Street Centers walked right through the door;  the first person, an electrician; the second person, a plumber; the third person, a cook; and so on and so forth.  Transients, winos and jailbirds started to hear about a place to find shelter.  A room, a bed, and food – and information for recovery – Sun Street was the answer to so many getting their lives and their families back.  As Martin began working with the men, Nancy started working with the families.  Nancy held the first Al-Anon meeting in Salinas at 8 Sun Street.  Martin believes that had it not been for Nancy’s presence, Sun Street would not have had the atmosphere, the attitude and the respect that these men needed to feel like a significant and worthy member of society.  The staff ate lunch each day with the residents.  It wasn’t just a family, it was a complete community.  “I may have been the brains of the operation, but Nancy was the heart”, Martin said, “and without the heart, the brain dies”.  Nancy did not see herself as the co-founder of Sun Street, but Martin and everyone else did.  “The heart had more to do with setting the tone in this place than anything.  If I saw a problem, I’d want to analyze it.  Nancy would just want to hug people.”  Likewise, Martin never saw himself as anything more than a vessel that was used to help others.  “There I would be, but for the grace of God.”
Martin has since retired as Executive Director of Sun Street Centers.  He wrote the “Social Model Theory” that Sun Street Centers still operates under.  It was Martin and Nancy’s belief that when you get help, you turn around and help the next person, and the chain goes on.  Over the past 45 years, Sun Street Centers has served tens of thousands of people.  The ripple effect extends much further.  Thank you to all who have helped build and make Sun Street Centers the fine organization that it is today!
Martin Dodd and four generations of the Dodd family touring Men's Residential.
Nancy Wheelis Dodd Fund
With Nancy’s influence and direction, a transitional housing facility for families in recovery was started in 1998.   In 2000, Nancy Dodd passed away after a battle with lung cancer.  In her honor, a fund was set up through the Community Foundation of Monterey County to help these families as they strive for self-sufficiency.  Since its beginning, this fund has granted over $27,000. to over 35 families.  The fund is set up to help with daily needs as well as vocational and educational goals.  Some of the grants have been used for car repairs and registration; laptops for school or work; bus fare to get to work or school; children’s clothing and bedding; tuition fees and books.  These grants have been awarded to residents at the Pueblo del Mar family recovery community.  On May 10, 7 more families became recipients.  If you are interested in donating to this fund, please follow the link on our website at
Congratulations to some of this year's recipients of the Nancy Wheelis Dodd Awards!
Building a Safe, Healthy Community
Prevention Coordinator, Brenda Corona, (third from left) in the Juntos Podemos Committee Group.
Salinas S.T.E.P.S. youth at the Juntos Podemos Community Forum. The youth participated in the Community Dialogue talking about public safety.

Helping Hands Foundation of Monterey County
Sun Street Center's partnered again this year at the Helping Hands Annual BBQ and Reverse Draw on May 2,2013. Thank you everybody who joined us at the event!!!
Volunteer Services
Anna Mata, Sun Street Center's General Ledger Accounting Clerk, received recognition from United Way for her volunteer help doing tax returns in Soledad and King City through the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).
Sober Living
Sun Street Centers would like to congratulate Francisco Ruiz, Community Builder and Counselor with Pueblo Del Mar Family Recovery Community, for being named as the recipient of the 2013 Child Abuse Prevention Council’s (CAPC) Front Line Award! Francisco is being recognized for his empathy, sensitivity and support of children and families. He has earned the admiration and respect of the many individuals he encounters through his work with children, parents, social workers and community partners. Francisco received the award at the CAPC Breakfast on April 19th. Great job Francisco (and to all of our staff) for positively contributing to the well-being of our community!
(Francisco pictured with Janet Cooke and Lynn Finnell of Pueblo del Mar.)
Impower Grant
The IMPOWER program has awarded the Pueblo del Mar Family Recovery Community $15,000. The donation is for scholarships to be used over a 2-3 year period for women in recovery from addiction seeking to improve their skills and become leaders in their communities.

IMPOWER, a collaboration of local business women and the Salinas Area Chamber Foundation, is women investing in women as leaders. This program raises money to provide scholarships to women and girls in Monterey County and impact the community in other areas. IMPOWER stands for bringing women together to INSPIRE, MOTIVATE, PREPARE and ORGANIZE WOMEN to ENGAGE and REINVEST.

Sun Street Centers’ addiction recovery program in Marina has served over 1350 women and children in the past ten years. These families have gone on to lead clean and sober lives. The IMPOWER grants will help women attempting to improve their education and employment skills, to become role models for their children, and leaders in their home towns.

Sun Street Centers’ Development Director, Sheryl Merrill, gratefully accepted the award at the IMPOWER luncheon on May 9th at the Corral de Tierra Country Club. Also present was Lynn Finnell, Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at Pueblo del Mar stating, “This is such a wonderful opportunity for the Women of Pueblo del Mar! Each woman comes to Pueblo with their own story of battling addiction and now in recovery, they are able to write a new ‘ending’ filled with hope, promise and the joy of self-discovery. Thank you IMPOWER!”

The donation for $15,000 was presented by IMPOWER Executive Committee members, Margaret D-Arrigo-Martin of Taylor Farms and Cathy Schlumbrecht of Comerica Bank, who added, “It is with great pleasure and a full heart that IMPOWER has this opportunity to present the $15k to help women in our community to get the education to be in a position to take care of themselves.”
(Margaret and Cathy are pictured here with Sun Street Center’s Board President Anne Leach, Development Director Sheryl Merrill and CEO Anna Foglia.)
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