Congratulations to Ron Potts, the recipient of the Annual “Judy Guthrie Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Brunch” Volunteer of the Year Award for 2019!

Sunday, July 21st, 2019 was a day of appreciation for all the many volunteers and staff that contribute in making the Contra Costa Crisis Center the best it can be! All of them work tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our mission to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, and provide or connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community.

Many of the attendees came from the Leftovers Thrift Shop, which operates entirely through the staff of volunteers who sort, price, create displays, and sell merchandise. Since the shop was founded in 1976, it has never had a paid employee.

And other attendees came from our call center’s hotline, which operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, and serves as a touchstone for the community. Answering nearly 70,000 calls a year, the 211 Information and Referral program, assists to connect individuals and families in need to agencies that provide emergency shelter, food, mental health and substance abuse counseling and hundreds of other services.

Thank you all for your volunteer work. Thank you all for attending.

And a special thank you to Ron Potts, our Volunteer of the year!

We wish to thank our Wonderful Sponsors for the upcoming Contra Costa Crisis Center Black & White Gala on August 24th!!

Silver Circle

Bronze Circle

The CC Crisis Center is filming a documentary about The Center and all the great work it does.

The film includes our Executive Director Tom Tamura introducing us to The Crisis Center.

It will include testimonials from parents and spouses who have lost loved ones due to suicide or sudden death and how The Center helped with the loss and grieving process for them.


Also, for the first time, you will get to see inside The Contra Costa Crisis Center.
You will see the “Memorial Wall”, the grief rooms, the call center, the group therapy meeting rooms, and more.

This film will have its debut at The Black and White Gala to be held on August 24th.
For reservations, click here.

The Center handles:

  • 24 hour crisis line
  • grief counseling
  • information and referral
  • mobile grief response
  • outreach and education
  • community projects

Keep checking back for more information on this wonderful film.

Join us on August 24, 2019, at the Boundary Oaks Clubhouse for delicious dinner and the return of our gala and auction! We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here for more info, or to RSVP. If you have any questions, please contact or call 925.939.1916 today!

 – and the Crisis Center will be one of the beneficiaries!

Lafayette Juniors will host their 19th Annual Kitchen Tour on Saturday, May 19th, from 10am to 3pm. This year’s Tour benefits our organization as well as four other local non-profits dedicated to helping women, families, and individuals in need. It’s a special chance to see six beautiful Lafayette homes for a great cause, with masterfully designed modern, elegant, and awe-inspiring kitchens.  Tour tickets are $50 ($45 tax deductible). You can purchase tickets online at

We are excited to share that one of our exceptional volunteers, Luke Keenan, was selected as a 2017 San Ramon Rotary ‘Unsung Hero’ award recipient.

Luke has been a dedicated volunteer fulfilling a weekly shift on our crisis and 211 phone lines for the past two years.  Luke was described by his colleagues as thoughtful, curious, and resourceful while dealing with a rage of caller crises and needs.  Click here to learn more about the San Ramon Rotary’s ‘Unsung Hero’ recipients.


Meeting Melissa today, you might never imagine the challenges she’s faced- two deployments to Iraq, traumatic brain injury, sexual trauma, self-doubt and plans of suicide. This vibrant, upbeat mother of three made it through some very dark times. She’ll be the first to say, that the things that happen to you do not define you. How you get through them makes the difference.

Her hardest lesson came from learning that healing is a journey that requires the strength of vulnerability and honesty, accepting support rather than bare-knuckled courage alone. During her time in Iraq, her Army unit was hit in a mortar attack and she and others were injured. The blast threw Melissa into the air, landing her on her head. She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury disorder that required months of speech/language therapy to regain her full range of communication skills. It was during that period that Melissa suffered sexual trauma. “Life in Iraq has its own everyday stressors. Adding trauma on top of that makes it very difficult.”

As a young, single-mother, Melissa left her toddler in the care of her own mom, so Melissa could fulfill her military obligation in Iraq. Melissa stayed in close contact with both her mother and thanks to technology, a dear friend stateside. All of them, sharing stories of Melissa’s daughter’s growth, swapping photos and simply staying in touch, kept the connection strong. Melissa and her friend Skyped regularly, at the same time of each day, until the day Melissa refused to answer. Feeling hopeless and overwhelmed, Melissa made up her mind that this would be the day she would end her life. The Skype ringtone sounded and Melissa let it ring. “I remember, my friend continued to call me back. She just kept calling…Finally, I felt so annoyed by that Skype ringtone that I answered. She talked me through it – that day, and the many days that followed.”

Melissa is an Army vet, with 10 years of active duty and today holds a position as a dedicated public servant in our community. She is alive and well, available for her family because her friend wouldn’t stop calling, and never stopped listening.

Our crisis counselors are here providing help and hope 24/7 for 63,000 callers like Melissa each year. Your generous donation today supports our entire community all year long.

We answer every call and we never stop listening.

With gratitude,

Rhonda James, MA, LMFT

Executive Director

The Contra Costa Crisis Center is excited to announce its new Coping with Grief during the Holidays workshop.  Please share as appropriate.

Coping with Grief during the Holidays Workshop


This workshop is intended for those struggling with grief and bereavement, or individuals supporting a loved one who is grieving.

Workshop will cover:

  • How grief can impact your mood, activities, and motivation.
  • Strategies for dealing with difficult situations.
  • Explore ways to honor your loved one.
  • Navigate the range of participation that feels manageable.
  • Develop coping skills to carry you through the winter holiday season.

Space is Limited & Registration is required.

Tuesday November 22nd 7-9pm  or Saturday December 10th 10am-12pm

Workshops are open to 18+, are offered free of charge and confidential

To reserve your space today, call 800-837-1818, option 5 or email

Workshops are facilitated or co-facilitated by MFT, or MSW Registered Interns and supervised by licensed LMFT or LCSW.  LMFT Lic.# 22269, LMFT Lic. #16350, LCSW Lic. #8300, MFTI 83894

Columnist Faith Barnidge highlights the upcoming Corporate Caring Volunteer Week in her Good Neighbors column this week (excerpt below).

For the full article, click here.


Elaine Clark, chief executive officer of Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, front row from left, awarded the Ray Zenoni Volunteer of the Year Award to the Wells Fargo volunteer teams led by Wells Fargo Bank vice president Darlene Campbell and Jennifer Lopez, with, second row, from left, Carole Schultze, Kathy Sutton, Mona Aviles, Debbie Goodenough, Gayle McKinley, George Kanto, Nancy Carrell, Mary Gerach-Levenesque and Maria Andrews, and top row, from left, Rita Nyulassy, Kent Tambazidis, Linda Fuller, Dave Brown, Shirley Pettit and Paula Lloyd.


By Faith Barnidge, Columnist

The Contra Costa Crisis Center provides support and safety net resources for individuals and families in stress in Contra Costa with a 24-hour crisis line, crisis-response training, face-to-face grief counseling, homeless services, and a 211 information and referral program to keep people alive and safe.

Crisis resources are available for residents for issues concerning suicide, alcohol abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, drug abuse, elder abuse and mental illness.

The Crisis Center has expanded its mission to assume management of the Corporate Caring Volunteer Week from Sept. 19-24, an annual week of service where committed, corporate volunteers from Bay Area businesses are matched with local nonprofits.

Management of the event was previously supported by the Volunteer Center of the East Bay, a nonprofit organization that sadly ceased operation at the end of May.

Corporate volunteer teams may select and register for projects that have been submitted by nonprofit organizations through Aug. 23, and expect confirmation by Sept. 1.

Projects vary in size and scope and could require a few to dozens of volunteers, so businesses of all sizes are welcome to participate.

For volunteer program inquiries, contact Dee Dee Robillard at or 925-939-1916.

For more information about the Contra Costa Crisis Center, visit