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Impact Stories

COVID-19 Impact Stories

We are maximizing our facilities and staff in order to house and protect as many homeless youth and families during this pandemic effecting our world.

Safe and Housed

A local school district referred to Bill Wilson Center a mother with four children ages 13, 12, 17, and 6 when it was discovered that they were living in a van. On top of being homeless, the mom is a victim of domestic violence. BWC’s case manager got the family on the list for housing assistance. BWC staff helped the mother obtain a restraining order and file for child support. BWC enrolled her in a counseling group for victims of domestic violence, which has been a tremendous help to her. The family is now housed with all four children attending school on a regular basis (until COVID-19 reared its ugly head).

Never Giving Up on His Journey

John came to Bill Wilson Center burdened with emotional baggage, but still hanging on to his hope of becoming a successful and stable adult.  John walked in with his eyes lowered, gaze down, and too nervous to hold a conversation with staff. He had made multiple calls to crisis lines asking for someone to talk him through his extreme anxiety and flashbacks from his post-traumatic stress.

John started working with a BWC case manager last summer who discovered that John was a victim of sexual abuse. John was ashamed of what had happened to him. For years, he carried a hefty level of mistrust towards people, suffered from low self-esteem, and even contemplated ending his life. John would often lash out in irrational episodes of anger and experienced severe mood swings.

BWC’s counselor helped John rediscover a solid, middle ground amid the turmoil of his mental health history. He began to trust the staff and opened up more to his peers in the outpatient programs.  After months of treatment and support, John officially completed BWC’s program.

Because of the support from BWC’s counseling staff, John regained his vision to be a successful adult and to never give up on his journey into adulthood.

BWC's Board President

“In this unprecedented health challenge, I’m so proud of the way Bill Wilson Center has stepped up as a first responder to the at-risk and homeless youth and families who are among the most vulnerable in Santa Clara County right now,” said Ron Ricci, BWC Board President. “Our services are operating at full capacity, serving hundreds of youth and families everyday, which is a testament to the courage of the staff and the ingenuity of the leadership team in the face of many social distancing practices as well as the disease itself.”

I'm Scared

"My father now has had no job for a whole month and he paid for most things - like food, rent and other bills - so now my mother and I have to work twice as hard just to get by. And, when I go to work I’m scared that I could get the virus - not only because I could get sick, but because I live with my parents and they are much more vulnerable. Whenever I try to go get food and soap and essentials, there’s always so many people. This confuses me because we’re supposed to be in quarantine and it seems as if people don’t understand it or just don’t care for it."

Making it Through Tough Times

Life was going well for Renee. Bill Wilson Center helped her end her couch surfing and found her a room in a shared housing site. She had a job in a service deportment and was attending community college in hopes of attaining a business degree in the near future. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a new level of stress and difficulty to her life. Renee was laid off from her job, her college classes were disrupted and the shelter-in-place restrictions were taking a toll on her wellbeing. Thanks to her BWC case manager and counselor, Renee is getting the help and support to make it through these trying times.

A Volunteer's Point of View

Michaela Brody has been involved with Bill Wilson Center for more than 15 years and currently volunteers on BWC’s Development Committee.

“There are many nonprofits that service youth and families that are homeless, but I think what BWC does with counseling, education, and advocacy is what causes these young people to reconnect with their family. And the no fail motto – that’s important because these kids are young and it’s hard being in their position” - Michaela