Alliance Healthcare Foundation Announces $1 Million Award to Interfaith Community Services for 2016 Innovation Initiative

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Alliance Healthcare Foundation recently announced Interfaith Community Services as the winning proposal for its 2016 Innovation Initiative. The Innovation Initiative is a $1 million award given annually to an idea that looks to impact systems change in such a way that it reduces costs, increases capacity and/or improves quality.

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Interfaith Community Services Executive Director Greg Anglea signs the Innovation Initiative (I2) Partnership with Alliance Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Nancy Sasaki today.

This organization is collaborating with the community to serve the needs of our vulnerable population seeking to regain sobriety and reestablish control over their lives, including ending their homelessness. - Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director of AHF

Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a nonprofit organization which works to advance health and wellness for the poor and underserved in the San Diego and Imperial Counties, recently announced Interfaith Community Services (Interfaith) as the recipient of its $1 million Innovation Initiative (i2). Interfaith presented its project, “Recovery and Wellness Center: A Cost Effective Alternative to Jails & Hospitals,” as a way to provide behavioral health counseling and case management services to veterans and the underserved members of our community.

“Through this initiative, Interfaith Community Services fills an important gap in the continuum of services available to the poor and homeless,” said AHF Board Chair Elizabeth Dreicer. “Their Recovery & Wellness Center opens the path to sobriety and services that have not historically been available. By providing an alternative to jails and hospitals, this center will improve the quality of care, along with our capacity to offer these important services to this population, while also reducing costs by offering proven treatment in a specialized caring setting. Notably, our investment in the Center is anticipated to to become self-sustaining past the term of our grant. This is a important addition to our infrastructure in the region and is the kind of investment in systems change that AHF endeavors to make through our Innovation Initiative.”

North San Diego County's 2,035 homeless individuals have limited options when struggling with addiction and medical issues. When in crisis, these vulnerable community members often visit emergency rooms or become one of the 27,487 individuals who have been incarcerated at the Vista jail on alcohol or drug-related charges over the last three years. Unfortunately, both of these resources are ill-equipped to provide comprehensive care. Through the creation of a new Recovery and Wellness Center in North County, Interfaith will provide a safe and more effective place for homeless and low-income individuals to detox from drug and alcohol abuse, to enter long-term residential and outpatient recovery, and to receive recuperative care following hospital stays.

“This project will provide one place, and one team, for our hurting neighbors, allowing them to safely stabilize and begin a journey toward recovery and self-sufficiency,” Greg Anglea, Executive Director of Interfaith, explains. Our model is cost-effective, reducing public jail and hospital expenses, and it will build upon proven successful Interfaith programs and new evidence-based best practices to create a wrap-around service center that is truly innovative, as we don’t believe such a center exists in any other community. In partnership with Alliance Healthcare Foundation, we look to change that, modelling this innovation here in San Diego, and then sharing with other communities in the future.”

With 68% of the homeless dependent on drugs or alcohol, there is a significant unmet need to address the root causes of homelessness within San Diego County. The creation of a Recovery and Wellness Center will increase Interfaith’s capacity to effectively respond to the comprehensive needs of homeless and low-income community members. This facility will provide 1,225 vulnerable community members, including homeless and veterans, with a clear path toward achieving sobriety, health and self-sufficiency each year.

“We are excited to partner with Interfaith Community Services and their Recovery & Wellness Center,” said AHF Executive Director Nancy Sasaki. “This is a strong organization in the North County that is collaborating with the community to serve the needs of our vulnerable population seeking to regain sobriety and reestablish control over their lives, including ending their homelessness. This project is the first step in that direction.”

To learn more about the Innovation Initiative visit:

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About Alliance Healthcare Foundation

Alliance Healthcare Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit which works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable – the poor, working poor, children and homeless by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region.

To learn more about AHF and available grants visit

About Interfaith Community Services

Interfaith Community Services is North County's largest social services agency and has been "helping people help themselves" since 1979. The organization provides a wide range of programs designed to empower hungry, homeless, and low-income community members to begin a pathway towards self-sufficiency. Each year, Interfaith Community Services serves more than 17,000 community members by providing basic needs and nutrition support, social services, shelters and housing, employment development, youth programs, senior services, veterans programs and addiction recovery support.

To learn more about Interfaith Community Services, visit:

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