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South Bay Community Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Housing Support, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to provide children, youth and families in San Diego’s South Bay with services which reinforce the family’s role in our community and assist individuals to aspire realistically to lives of self-fulfillment. SBCS is committed to providing respectful services based on community strengths, needs and goals.

Geographic areas served: South San Diego County (National City, Chula Vista, Bonita, Imperial Beach, San Ysidro, Nester, South San Diego)

Programs: Youth and family support services:youth and family support services provides an array of services and activities to assist youth and their families in all aspects of life including: health, education, work recreation, after-school program, family, and social, as well as enhancing adult-youth partnerships. Programs include counseling, juvenile diversion, pregnancy prevention, after school programming, gang alternatives, gender specific programming, youth entrepreneurial activities, and other supportive and youth development services for at-risk youth and their families. The youth and family support services also focuses on recognizing the strengths, assets, and resiliency of youth in particular, and maximizing the potential for their long-term development by encouraging their creative abilities within a family and community context. Programs include trolley trestle transitional living program for former foster youth, casa nuestra shelter for runaway and homeless youth, independent living program for current and former foster youth, mental health services for children and youth in the community, and the community assessment team, whose purpose is to avoid at-risk youth's penetration into the justice system or social service system by providing early crisis intervention and appropriate follow-up services. Chula vista promise neighborhood (cvpromise) is an initiative coordinated by south bay community services and brings together a collaboration of partners focused on family, education, health and community to provide children in castle park neighborhood with the kind of opportunities they need to excel in school, get into college, find good jobs and lead healthy lives. Services and programs are offered on five school campuses in the castle park community and includes early learning network of programs for families with children birth to five years of age; escuelita del futuro preschool; support services and programs during and after school for elementary, middle and high school students; academic advocate program; promotora program; food distribution, universidad de padres; parenting workshops; parent centers; literacy cafes and more.

children services:the organization's children's services provide children with the therapeutic, developmental, and educational support they need, in safe, healthy environments. Children's programs include mental health services, early periodic screening diagnosis and treatment, and community services for families. Services may include therapeutic playgroups or other settings which held children to develop the physical, mental, social, emotional, and creative skills needed for life. Children learn new ways of interacting in group settings and practice life skills and socialization skills. They discover mechanisms by which they can identify anger and impulsive behaviors within themselves, and techniques to change negative behaviors and attitudes into positive ones.

family wellness and self sufficiency:family wellness and self-sufficiency programs strengthen at-risk families and the connection with their communities through a comprehensive continuum of activities, opportunities, and services. Services include a continuum of shelters, counseling and supportive services, community advocacy, and self-sufficiency skills programs. Family wellness and self-sufficiency also includes community development which promotes economic development and neighborhood revitalization, the core of which are the development of affordable housing options, social enterprise development, and community youth development projects and economic advancement for low income south bay families. The organization has developed extensive housing opportunities.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I believe it was about 1990 when a friend first introduced me to South Bay Community Services. It was not long afterward when I was honored and became a board member. SBCS is, without a doubt, a model agency that provides much needed services as well as offering a “hands-up” philosophy rather than a “hands-out” attitude. I believe it (the agency) does so because of its leadership. Kathryn Lembo is the Executive Director and carefully guides her “ship” every inch of its way. Kathy has a great team and together they make an incredible difference to those individuals who require shelter, medical attention, counseling, education, training, affordable housing, clothing, food and/or family services for Domestic Violence just to name a few offerings. SBCS provides individuals a place to turn and works closely with the local police departments and other agencies. It was the first agency to offer a Domestic Violence Intervention Program. It was also the first agency to be approved by HUD's Homeless Housing Disposition Program in 1991. In 1995, Casas Seguras opened and was the only confidential shelter and transitional housing facility for victims (and their children) of family violence in South San Diego County. SBCS was also the only 24/7 response unit in San Diego County in 1997 that began accompanying Chula Vista Police on family violence calls when children were present, which became known as the Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT). Additionally, SBCS opened a “Teen Recovery Center” providing day treatment for youth who have substance abuse issues. The following year, SBCS opened an affordable community to low incomes families with HIV/AIDS. SBCS continues to open affordable housing communities along with transitional housing developments throughout the South County benefiting low-income families, seniors, and youth who have “aged out” of the foster care system. Several years ago, Mi Escuelita was opened for children who have been exposed to family violence. Please know that this is the first therapeutic preschool of its kind in San Diego County. I have personally directed individuals to SBCS who had no where else to turn; and so, I am well aware of its services and provisions. Agencies are only as good as those individuals who lead them and have the vision and insight to keep growing and meeting the needs of the community. I am sincerely honored to have been a continual board member for nearly two decades; I cannot imagine not being a part of SBCS.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can not say enough great things about South Bay Community Services. Thanks to SBCS staff, counselors, social workers and others, much needed assistance and services are provided to victims of domestic violence, hungry families, pre-schoolers who have witnessed abuse at home, young people who age out of foster care and many others. Shelters for victims of domestic violence provide a safe and attractive environment with on-site support that helps families become self sufficient. Pre-schoolers who have witnessed abuse at home can attend Mi Escuelita, a pre-school program which is the result of a collaboration with the Chula Vista Elementary School District the the funding of caring benefactors. Young people who age out of foster care have often been in and out of foster homes and as a result have not experienced the stability and caring needed to be successful on their own. SBCS provides housing and on-site counseling for this population and many have found jobs, learned how to handle their finances and many have gone on to college. These are but some of the many excellent services that are provided. The key to the success of the agency is the committed, expert staff. The Executive Director has dedicated many years to recruiting and retaining the very best and as a result, the strong team at SBCS is a model and is often called upon to train others in this field. It is with great pride that I continue to advocate for and support the agency.