Unity Care expands supportive transitional housing for female foster youth in Alameda County.

San Jose Jack and Jill Group Photo

San Jose-based youth and family development agency Unity Care opened a five-bedroom shared transitional home in a residential San Leandro neighborhood at the end of February.

“We’ve opened a new five-bedroom shared transitional home in a residential neighborhood in Alameda County,” explains a Unity Care spokesperson. The supportive transitional housing for female foster youth in Alameda County will be located in the city of San Leandro and will include an on-site female live-in Residential Advisor, who will provide additional support to youth and emerging adults.

A large suburban town in Alameda County, California, San Leandro is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay.

Unity Care, has partnered with Alameda County Social Services, Probation and Behavioral Health Departments for more than 20 years. 

The youth and family development agency provides vital services to youth and emerging adults, placed with Unity Care by Alameda County Social Services and Behavioral Health Department, in its homes in Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Placer Counties.

“With the recent housing crisis and the lack of options for transitional age foster youth, at the request of our county partners, we’re expanding our housing in Alameda County,” reveals Unity Care CEO André Chapman. 

In partnership with the county, Unity Care, conducted a survey with county social workers to better understand the population needs and gaps for transitional housing for foster youth in the region. The respondents identified an overwhelming need for transitional housing for female youth and emerging adults aged between 16 and 21.

In direct response to its findings, Unity Care quickly identified a shared-housing option in the city of San Leandro. Owned by Seneca Family of Agencies, a strategic partner agency with Unity Care, this leased property is an ideal location for serving young women in need of housing and supportive services. 

Unity Care called upon its corporate and community partners and they quickly responded by donating furnishings for the new home. Irvine Company Apartments, Sleeyhead USA and National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), San Francisco Bay Area Chapter donated furniture and household goods. Volunteers from the San Jose Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. rolled up their sleeves and hosted a day of service. On January 25, 2020 teen volunteers and parents donated additional household furniture items and spent the day building brand new bedroom dressers and decorated the house to make it feel like a home. View photos of the house and volunteers at work here.

Opening this transitional home in San Leandro will, they say, further increase the impact that Unity Care has in the region. Six new beds between three bedrooms will complement the 120 beds that Unity Care, San Jose, currently offers via its Northern California Transitional Housing Program.

“We’ve notified our partner agencies accordingly,” adds CEO, Andre Chapman, wrapping up, “and two females are moving in this week.”

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