MISSION

VOICES Sonoma exists to provide a supportive, safe, and non-judgmental community where transition-aged youth from all systems of care can utilize peer-based resources, feel connected, and build a foundation for their futures.


PROGRAM OVERVIEW

 

Health & Wellness

VOICES promotes the overall wellness of youth by increasing their access to health- related resources. Wellness services include 1:1 counseling and support, food and nutrition classes, physical and mental health education, and assistance with applications for all health-related services.

Employment & Education

VOICES supports youth to develop a personal plan for success in education, employment and career development. Youth have access to 1:1 coaching, tutoring, GED preparation, pre- employment skill building, assistance with jobs and internships.

Independent Living Program

The Independent Living Program provides training to help youth develop the skills needed for becoming independent adults. ILP includes individualized coaching, life conferences, life-skills workshops, leadership opportunities, social gatherings and outings.

Housing Assistance

VOICES provides referrals and application assistance to youth who need emergency, transitional, and long-term housing.

VOICES SONOMA LOCATION & HOURS

Address

714 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95401 [Map]
Phone: (707) 579-4327
Fax: (707) 579-4323

Hours

Monday: Closed (appointment only)
Tuesday: 12:00 - 6:00pm
Wednesday: 12:00 - 6:00pm
Thursday : 12:00 - 6:00pm
Friday: 12:00 - 4:30pm

 


STAFF

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SALOME FELIOUS

VOICES Sonoma Youth Intern

Hi, my name is Salomé and I’m a Youth Intern at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was repairing computers and installing software for my stepdad’s business. One of the most valuable life lessons I've learned so far is the power of choosing to be guided by love instead of fear. I find happiness in being able to be completely accepting of myself and staying in the present moment. If I had unlimited funding, I would open a sanctuary in nature to offer holistic therapy to individuals processing severe emotional trauma to help them heal and connect back to their true selves.

You can reach me at salome@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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YANIN TORRES

VOICES Sonoma Youth Intern

My first job was being a youth lead for T-N-T (Teens and Terry) at the age of 13. We helped senior citizens with everyday tasks such as yard work, house work, grocery shopping, and so on. The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is that being patient with other—but especially oneself—is the key to success. My definition to happiness consists of three main elements; loving family (chosen or blood), safe place to call home, and basic life needs—such as food.

If I had unlimited funding, I would create a center for empowering women, looking to empower other women. The center will be named Frida's Family Room. The mission of the center will be to provide resources for those who seek a place where they will feel safe. Welcoming mom's with their children, daughters who no longer have a relationship with their mothers and want a mother like figure through our Mama program, those who have no sisters and seek one, and more!

You can reach me at yanin@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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AJA HOULE

VOICES Sonoma Education Coordinator

My name is Aja Houle. I am the Education Coordinator for VOICES Sonoma. My first job was at Santa Rosa Junior College in the CalWORKs Department as a Mentor. In this role I served an amazing student population, all of whom were parenting children at home under the age of 18, whilst being students in college themselves. What I loved most about that position was watching my students succeed and conquer their educational and personal goals, with their children by their sides.

My definition of “happiness” is being with my children, partner, family, and friends. Enjoying life daily and being at peace with what happens, regardless of any hiccups, is so valuable. To me, happiness comes from the soul, and is a combination of love and tranquility. 

If funding was unlimited at VOICES, I would want to create a scholarship fund for all youth seeking higher education. I see higher education as an opportunity to fulfill one’s self in many ways, both personally, and educationally. Supporting this journey for every individual is exceptionally important to me.

 
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KITARA MCCRAY

VOICES Sonoma Youth Intern

Hello my name is Kitara and I am a Youth Intern at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was providing services like removing invasive plant species and beach cleanup with the Youth Ecology Corps. I would have to say that the most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is that although you may not be able to change the way people treat you in life, you have the power to change the way it impacts you emotionally. 

My idea of happiness is the sense of adventure that comes when trying something new like food, exploring nature, or learning a new skill. If I had unlimited funding I would create a program that provides opportunities such as summer camps, sports, playing an instrument, traveling, etc. to impoverished children in urban communities.

You can reach me at kitara@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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BERENICE MONROY

VOICES Sonoma Site Coordinator

My name is Berenice Monroy and I am the Site Coordinator at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was babysitting which taught me a lot about patience. 

One life lesson I have learned thus far is that pushing myself out of my comfort zone consistently has allowed me to have personal growth and develop new skills.

My definition of “happiness” is that regardless of things outside of my control, my joy comes from surrounding myself with things, people, and places that lift me up. Volunteering and participating with organizations that create and make social change is another source of joy for me.  

If I had unlimited funds, I would want to do a number of things; I would establish a better support network and expand services in Sonoma County for visually impaired and hard of hearing youth. On top of that I would want accessible psychological services to all who need it. 

You can reach me at berenice@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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KAYLA DIAS

VOICES Sonoma Peer Mentor for the Alchemy Project

My name is Kayla Dias and I am a Peer Mento for the Alchemy Project at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was at McDonalds in Cloverdale. The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far has been to take risks and push myself. Even if it is uncomfortable and scary at first, I have done the most personal growth stepping out of my comfort zone.

My definition of happiness is the overwhelming feeling of amazement and joy I feel when I am surrounded by things I love like family, mountains/nature, cats/dogs. Something that brings you so much love and joy that you cant help but stop and feel it in your soul. If I had unlimited funding,  I would also want to open a Recovery center for all  people to create and explore their own journey through recovery from an array of different things. It would include programs that provide quality/accessible mental health services to people. Focusing on mindfulness, peer-to-peer support and client's needs. The center would also provide housing that would help decrease the number of people that are currently homeless and provide them with sustainable job opportunities. It would also include a program to rehabilitate animals and provide healing to the clients seeking services.

You can reach me at kayla@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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AMBER NAKASH

VOICES Sonoma Director of Youth Services

My name is Amber Nakash and I am the Director of Youth Services at VOICES Sonoma.  My first job was a babysitter.

The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is that nothing comes without hard work. My definition of “happiness” is laughing with friends and family, boot camp, snuggling with my dogs, pizza, shopping, going out to a nice dinner with good people, playing games and sleeping.  

If I had unlimited funding, I would create a therapeutic farm with a variety of animals, with an emphasis on donkeys. The farm would also offer free work out classes for staff and the youth.  

You can reach me at ambern@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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GENE CALHOUN

VOICES Sonoma Alchemy Mental Health Project Youth Worker

My name is Gene Calhoun and I am an Alchemy Mental Health Project Youth Worker at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was a paperboy for the Berkeley Gazette.

The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is that there will ALWAYS be another lesson! My definition of “happiness” is remembering that I have a choice whether to be happy or not.

If I had unlimited funding, I would create frameworks for alliance building, where people would have the opportunity to get to know people who are not part of “their” group. I would create summer camps and workshops for people of all ages to unlearn institutional and internalized oppression and to create spaces for conversations designed to bring people together. 

You can reach me at gene@voicesyouthcenter.org

 

GREYSON GUNHEIM

VOICES Sonoma ILP Program Manager

My name is Greyson Gunheim and I am the ILP Program Manager at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was at a Christmas tree farm, when I was a youngster.

The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is that,  “if nothing changes… then nothing changes!” My definition of “happiness” is finding your Paradise in any and all situations.

If I had unlimited funding, I would create more youth housing and increase it’s availability.

You can reach me at greyson@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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STEPHANIE OLSEN

VOICES Sonoma MyLife Coordinator

My name is Stephanie Olsen and I am the MyLife Coordinator at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was as a sales associate at a Claire’s Boutique in my local mall when I was 16.  

The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is to forgive what hurt you but never forget what it taught you.

My definition of happiness is being around those whom I love and who love me.

If funding was not an issue, I would create a program that served meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)  to the homeless from a fleet of food trucks that would drive around cities and give away food to anyone who was in need.

You can reach me at stephanie@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 

AMARETTE FICCO

VOICES Health & Wellness Program Director

My name is Amarette Ficco and I am the Health & Wellness Program Director for VOICES Sonoma, Napa, and Solano. My first job was with the family business, North Coast Ice Company, where I would help my mom with the paperwork, bag ice, and go on deliveries with my dad.

The most valuable life lesson I have learned so far is unconditional love. My son teaches me this everyday and encourages me to strive for my best. My definition of “happiness” is feeling healthy and well in all aspects mind, body, and spirit.

If I had unlimited funding, I would create a wellness center that provides access to everything a person needs to feel healthy and well, and it would have a miniature therapy horse onsite. I am lucky enough to be working towards this right now!

You can reach me at amarette@voicesyouthcenter.org

 

KELSEY BJUGSTAD

VOICES Sonoma Education Navigator

My name is Kelsey Bjugstad and I am the Education Navigator at VOICES Sonoma. My first job was babysitting. The most life lesson is to always be curious, learning, asking questions, and loving.

My definition of "happiness" is being around those I love and who love me.

I'd love to have an art therapy center where foster youth and community members can come create anything they'd like for free. VOICES Youth Center is a great next option though.

You can reach me at kelsey@voicesyouthcenter.org or at 707-583-1668. 

 
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TJ MCKILLOP

VOICES Sonoma Alchemy Mental Health Project Manager

My name is TJ McKillop and I am the Alchemy Mental Health Project Manager at VOICES Sonoma.  My first job was at the age of fourteen.  I spent a summer digging trenches as part of the landscaping team at an apartment complex in Sacramento. I haven’t been as exhausted after a workday since that summer.

Every day I am confronted by my limitations, by the myriad ways in which I need the help of others. Yet I also find ways to contribute, ways in which I, too, am needed. All in all, the most valuable life lesson I have learned and continue to learn day-by-day is that people need people. My grandmother always told me that happiness is having enough resources to meet my needs, with enough left over to share with others. My definition of happiness is when I believe that we all belong to each other. The difficult part is remembering.

If I had unlimited funding, I would love to create a program similar to Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. A place where young adults might be empowered and equipped to explore vocation, as well as work on their own inner lives at the same time.

You can reach me at tj@voicesyouthcenter.org.

 
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AMBER TWITCHELL

OTM Associate Director/ VOICES Director

My name is Amber Twitchell and I am the Associate Director of On The Move and VOICES Director. My first job was counting electrical tubing inch by inch all day at an electric supply warehouse. I was fired for having too much potential – I apologize to the guy that I got mad at when he told me. You were right.

The most valuable life lesson that I have learned is that the moment you feel you have to prove your worth to someone is the same moment that you should absolutely walk away. The only one that needs to believe you are worthy is you.

I have found happiness at VOICES – being surrounded by people that love me for who I am, despite my flaws. Knowing with certainty that when I need someone to help me, there will be committed and passionate people ready to support me with no judgment.

If I had unlimited funding, I would support all of my staff in building the programs that they dream about (similar to what I already get to do at VOICES – I am so lucky)! 

You can reach me at amber@onthemovebayarea.org or 707-570-7769.