The mission of the Contra Costa Crisis Center is to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, and connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community. With help comes hope.
24-Hour Crisis Lines
We’ve operated 24-hour crisis and suicide hotlines since 1963. All local calls to the two national suicide hotlines are routed to us, as well as calls to the national Spanish-language hotline. We also answer all after-hours child abuse calls to Child Protective Services and elder abuse calls to Adult Protective Services. Our crisis lines are staffed by trained professionals and award-winning volunteers. They provide counseling, support, and resource information to people who are abused, depressed, grieving, mentally ill, and suicidal. In 2011 we answered 28,215 crisis calls, including 5,116 suicide calls, 4,618 child abuse calls, and 1,059 elder abuse calls.
Our grief counseling program is one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse bereavement services in California. Started in 1973, it provides individual and group counseling to youths and adults mourning a death. Counseling is conducted by trained volunteers, many of whom once were grief clients. Support groups meet throughout the county for children who have lost family members and friends, parents who have lost children, survivors after suicide, families victimized by SIDS, and others. All counseling is free, and many volunteers speak Spanish. We also have a 24-hour grief line, as well as a special team that provides counseling at schools and businesses following the death of a student or adult. In 2011 we provided grief counseling to 82 youths and 775 adults.
211 Information and Referral
We’re the authorized 211 provided for Contra Costa County. Trained information and referral specialists answer the calls using our 211 database. This database has comprehensive, up-to-date information on 1,500 services, is accessible in 12 languages, and is available to everyone in the community free of charge. We also publish specialized resource guides in English and Spanish of essential services. In 2011 we answered 37,146 calls to 211. The 211 database had 22,551 monthly users, and 28,184 resource guides were downloaded.
We provide a variety of services to homeless people through 211 and through our 24-hour homeless hotline. Individuals and families are referred to food, shelter, health care, job training, transportation, and other services. They also receive free emergency lodging vouchers, good for stays of one to five nights to a local motel.
Through classroom and community presentations, we help youths develop coping skills in order to reduce instances of suicide, cutting, bullying, and other destructive behaviors. We also train teachers, counselors, and other adults to recognize youths at risk and to intervene effectively. In 2011 we made 411 presentations that were attended by 11,913 students and 3,954 adults. We also facilitated on-campus support groups during lunch hour for students to talk in confidence about their fears, frustrations, and concerns.
The Contra Costa Crisis Center is governed by a 13-member board of trustees. A staff of 22 is assisted by 250 active volunteers. Our budget is $1.8 million (80 percent for direct services, 7 percent for administration, and 13 percent for fundraising). Fifty-Six percent of our funding comes from individuals, businesses, foundations, civic groups, and proceeds from Leftovers Thrift Shop, an agency auxiliary; 44 percent comes from government. We own our 7,000 square-foot facility in Walnut Creek.