By Cameron Safarloo —
Since 1945, Hanna has welcomed more than 4,000 youth in need from Sonoma County, Northern California, and beyond. Building on Hanna’s 75-year heritage, we are turning a page and embarking on an exciting new chapter. As CEO, I am championing our new vision that embraces new ways to broaden our impact while staying true to our mission to transform lives. We are also committed to making Hanna even stronger fiscally so that we will be here to help for generations to come.
Our expanded programs focus on a continuum of care that goes beyond the youth served here on campus. Focusing on the community members who need help most, including foster care youth, special education students, and those with mental health challenges, Hanna is creating an environment for healing and growth.
Treatment and support resources for low-income children and teens are severely limited in Sonoma. The new Community Mental Health Hub, located on the Hanna Center campus, offers mental health services to people of all ages in Sonoma. Programs include individual and group therapies, trauma-informed art-based activities, parenting workshops, and more. While the new building will have its grand opening early next year, the Hub is now offering services in locations throughout Sonoma.
Nearly 5,000 California foster youth transition out of care each year at age 18, with very poor long-term outcomes. Hanna’s new Transitional Housing Program will offer youth ages 18-24 opportunities to work towards independence, academic credentials, building job skills, and access to mental health services while living safely, and with support, on Hanna’s campus.
In collaboration with local employers and trade unions, Hanna Center’s new Vocational Training Program will help alumni and transitional-aged youth find career opportunities and earn training certifications that will lead to potentially paid internships and job placements. The program will be open to anyone in the community, 18 or older, who is looking for a viable career path.
Early in 2023, Hanna Center’s High School will be evolving into a Nonpublic School, specializing in meeting the tremendous demand for customized education plans for students with exceptional academic needs.
Career Technical Education is part of Hanna Center’s High School’s core curriculum and focuses on career tracks identified as high-wage and in-demand including construction, health, technology, and culinary/hospitality.
Staffed by experts in the field of youth development and emotional and behavioral health, the Hanna Institute equips and empowers individuals and organizations with the trauma-informed tools they need to help their communities heal and thrive. From nationally recognized trainings and credentialed courses to large-scale partnerships, our plan is to build on this success to make the Institute a nationally recognized center for research, training, and consulting.
Emotional trauma among youth is a public health crisis and the pandemic made a serious problem even worse. Hanna has the resources and expertise to lead the region in meeting this challenge. The investments we are making today will usher in a brighter future for thousands of young people and their families.
Hanna is here to serve all members of our community and I look forward to sharing more information about our individual programs and transformed lives as we embark on this exciting journey together.
Cameron Safarloo is the Chief Executive Officer, Hanna Center.