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Building a Solid Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration, Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment

Mission: Building a Solid Foundation (BSF), founded in 2003, exists to support individuals struggling with homelessness. Acknowledging the destructive effects drug and alcohol addiction can have on the lives of individuals and families, BSF strives to support the recovery effort with a focus on sustainable life changes.

Target demographics: homeless addicted to drugs, alcohol, or both.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 954 men and 263 mothers with children.

Geographic areas served: SF Bay Area

Programs: Building a Solid Foundation provides direct assistance through our 180 Day Drug and Alcohol Program, 365 Day Transitional Housing Program, 12 Step Recovery Program, GED support courses, and our Urgent Shelter Assistance Program for women with children.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Rodney Nolen

Board Member

Rating: 5

Building a Solid Foundation is exactly what (whom) they claim to be. I, too, am a Christian. We shall pray for you. We’ll accept our judgment from God alone.
We are a nonprofit organization who has, for the past 10 years, been providing warm beds, hot food, people to talk with, church on Sundays, Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Relapse Prevention meetings, and a welcome respite from the streets.
We offer a six month recovery center and a six month transitional living program. All of our fund-raisers are volunteers. Those in the transitional living program are provided with an allotment (for daily expenditures, such as food, toothpaste, socks, etc.) as well as money management in an attempt to successfully transition these men back into society.
Does it make you think? Running 8 recovery houses from San Diego to Oakland. The commercial expenditures alone are staggering. The volunteer staff required to intake over 30 people per week. Then we transport these gentlemen to and from their doctors, their appointments for social security and food stamps, their attorneys, as well as their jobsites.
We’ll be the first to admit that our volunteers could use a little help from time to time. Many of these gentlemen have been hidden away from the rest of society for years. Whatever the reason, they often ‘surface’ in an organization such as ours. We do our best to make them presentable and courteous for our fundraising activities. We don’t always succeed. We do ask your forgiveness and beg for you prayers.
We are a ‘Social Model’ drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. We survive in an industry where less than 3% of the clients remain clean and sober over 2 years. Our success rate is roughly 1.7%.
The average drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in California receives $3,600.00 per month, per client, from State, Federal, and Private Insurance monies. We take no State nor Federal funding. Our clients are literally bottom of the barrel, from the streets, and have no health insurance. Those who ‘can’ afford to pay are only asked for $10.00 per day for room and board during the first 90 days of their recovery. The second 90 days, we ask $15.00 per day. The final 180 days, the transitional living phase, we require $25.00 per day for housing, transportation, electric, plumbing, and waste disposal. We also require our gentlemen to maintain a working list of short, medium, and long range goals. We also provide money management, career counseling, resume building, and schedule interviews for employment.
We also ask that our transitional living personnel assist with our weekly feeding of the homeless (100 full lunches per house) and our weekly visits to the local high schools to provide a positive testimony to our youth.
Finally, some homework. Our books are public. Rodney Nolen has not received a dime from this organization for 2 years. Over the past 10 years, we have taken roughly $300k per year in donations. That is less than $40k per facility per year.
The math isn’t difficult. This is, quite simply, a labor of love.

Thank you for your time and understanding. God Bless You.

Rodney Nolen
Building a Solid Foundation

p.s. Chris, we tried to help you, Sir. We truly did. It was you who decided to leave. God Bless.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5


I am Billy Barnes, the volunteer information technology project manager for Building a Solid Foundation.
I did, unfortunately, spell Mr. Nolen’s name incorrectly while entering this review. I apologize. If this was the incorrect forum to address the issues, again, I apologize. Mr. Nolen is a single soldier for Christ. He operates his mission from San Diego to Oakland. He had asked me to enter his sentiments on this site.
Mr. Nolen is involved in the recovery of over 120 men, women, and children. Involved, not ‘monitoring’. I am simply amazed he is still going. I volunteered my services, as do the hundreds of volunteers throughout California, because we believe in his cause.
Rita Williams, on her way out the door to retirement, reported the best she could for her employer. She actually came out to our program house in Oakland, CA, during a relapse prevention class, and was greeted with open arms. Ms. Williams interviewed several of the clients as well as Mr. Nolen. She told us we were the ONLY organization with buildings, or even staff!
We went out and picketed Channel 2 and were granted a retraction. We were also provided an apology from the Producer of Ms. Williams news segment.
Tim, instead of playing armchair quarterback, perhaps you should get in the game. Thank you, guys and gals, for your time. God Bless!

Billy Barnes
Building a Solid Foundation

5 ceo@buildingasolidfoundation.org

Board Member

Rating: 5

The worst of the worst, in our humble opinion, are the people that return to the streets and die. Some of these people we have had to bury ourselves. We have received phone calls, in the middle of the night, from law enforcement asking us to identify a john doe. The only paperwork or identification on that person was a flier from our organization.
We ‘know’ … we truly ‘understand’ whom we are working with … I, personally, have been drug and alcohol free for 20 years. I have been running this particular program for 10 years. I do extend my apologies to you, young man, for our inappropriate placement of our personnel. I also extend my apologies for that mans’ actions and activities on that day. He was picked up early, sent to detox, and eventually returned to our program. Only to relapse, engage in a fight, and become incarcerated.
I would request, however, that you ask your father how grateful he is for organizations such as ours. There are many judges, parole officers, probation officers, and community center officials who thank us. Almost daily.
We know what we are facing each and every single day going out and keeping these men sober. According to our statistics, 98.3 out of every 100 clients shall relapse. The average age of our client is 48. The average number of previous drug and alcohol treatment facility admissions? 14. Average. The average total time spent in both jail and treatment programs: 16.4 years. Over a third of their existence has been simply lost.
I, humbly, apologize on our clients’ behalf. Yet, I shall not apologize for what I, and my team, do. This is America and I would sincerely appreciate the gesture if our government would have the safety net both in place and funded. I would graciously retire. Thankful. Until then, my God has told me what I must do.

Love, Peace, and God’s Blessings,

Rodney Nolen
Building a Solid Foundation

Review from Guidestar

1 Rodney N.

Board Member

Rating: 5

God Bless You, friends!

My name is Rodney Nolan and I am the President of Building a Solid Foundation. First, please allow me to apologize to anyone who has had anything short of a blessed time with ANY of our volunteers.

Building a Solid Foundation is a registered nonprofit corporation in the State of California. We are registered with the IRS with the Tax Identification Number 03-517533. We operate in San Diego, Fontana, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

We accept no State nor Federal funds. Your donations provide 100% of our funding, keep our doors open year round, and help provide people with a second chance.

Over the last 10 years, we have helped THOUSANDS of men, women, and children whom have fallen victim to drug/alcohol abuse and homelessness.

Our volunteers are all recovering addicts. Please offer them support and encouragement.

Please feel free to visit our headquarters at 11070 San Leandro Street Oakland, CA 94603

Please take a look at our website http://www.buildingasolidfoundation.org.

Our phone number is (323) 833-7618.

You can find us on facebook, and google+.

Rodney Nolan, President
Building a Solid Foundation