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About BWC

Who We Are

Guiding Principles

Bill Wilson Center provides services to more than 5,000 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County through our various programs. Additionally, we reach more than 100,000 clients through our street outreach and crisis line programs. Bill Wilson Center programs focus on housing, education, counseling, and advocacy. Bill Wilson Center is committed to working with the community to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient adults; and that our behavioral health department is available to provide individual and family counseling sessions to a community facing a range of social and emotional challenges. Bill Wilson Center has been providing services to runaway and homeless youth since 1973.


Bill Wilson Center’s culture is defined by its values. They are the beliefs and principles that are most important to our agency and they shape the way BWC operates and interacts internally with each other, clients and other stakeholders.


Building an environment where equity is pursued, inclusion is prioritized and diversity is celebrated.


Working together to find solutions that strengthen our community.


Understanding that every journey and person is unique, meeting them where they are and assisting them to reach their full potential.


Creating meaningful change that builds a better tomorrow.


Promoting a culture of trust, accountability, mutual respect and the courage to do what’s right.


Investing in continuous growth that improves our organization, ourselves and others.


Facing challenges with determination, believing success is possible for everyone.



Who is Bill Wilson?

Guiding Principles

The origins of Bill Wilson Center go back to 1973 when a prominent Santa Clara citizen, Bill Wilson, Jr., worked with troubled youth in addition to owning Wilson's Jewel Bakery and serving as a Santa Clara City Councilman (1963-1971), with a term as mayor in 1965.

Bill collaborated with faculty at Santa Clara University on a proposal for a counseling center which would combine counseling of students in the local secondary schools with a family therapy program. Wilson's credibility with both the counseling professionals and Santa Clara political and business leaders was an important factor in creating this community-based service.

Webster Center, as it was then called, opened its doors in the fall of 1973. Bill Wilson continued to be involved as an active member of its Board of Directors. He later earned a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and volunteered as a counselor at the Center.

In May 1977, after a brief illness, Bill died at the age of forty-one. The staff and the Board of Directors made the unanimous decision to change the name of Webster Center to Bill Wilson Center in memory of this very special person and one of the founders of Bill Wilson Center.